Why Do You Need To Call A Professional Locksmith For A Car Lockout?

Posted on: 18 December 2014

You locked your keys inside your car. You can try to open your car lock using simple tools, but is it wise? You could cause significant damage. Calling a professional locksmith might be a wiser move.

Can you open a locked car yourself?

Car locks in older cars were relatively simple to open. They had manual posts at the top of the doors that widened at the top. These posts were pushed down manually to lock the car. They were raised manually from the inside, or with a key from the outside, to unlock the car.

If you locked your keys in your car, there was a simple remedy. A metal coat hanger could be straightened and hooked at one end, and then slid under the rubber gasket at the top of the window until the hooked end reached the lock. With a little finesse, the hook was positioned around the lock and pulled. Minimal damage was done to lock or car.

Car manufacturers eventually saw the folly in installing locks that could easily be opened, so they created lock posts that tapered to a rounded point. Eventually, electronic locks eliminated the need for keys altogether. This lead to a different approach that is popular today.

Instead of tackling the locking mechanism, the linkage inside the door that operates the locking system can be disengaged. The tool for doing this is a simple thin strip of metal with a curved end, called a "slim jim". It slides between the bottom of the car window and the door and manipulated until it reaches the linkage.

Pulling up on the linkage will disengage the lock if you are experienced in this activity. You can also pull the linkage apart so the door cannot even be opened with a key. The entire door may need to be taken apart, and the linkage reattached or replaced.

Unfortunately, slim jim type devices are used extensively by car thieves, who damage many vehicles in their attempts to steal cars. Some car models built in the last decade have rod barriers built into the doors to inhibit the use of these devices.

Calling a professional locksmith

A professional locksmith can have your car unlocked in minutes. They may also employ slim jim-type devices, but in a safe and effective manner. When newer vehicles with rod barriers are encountered, they may use plastic wedges to pry the door open slightly. A wire is then slip skillfully inside the opening to trip the door lock inside the car.

Locksmith services are covered by some auto insurance policies. They are also provided in auto club membership packages. Even if you must pay out of pocket, it is a wise investment.