Locksmith to Unlock a Car: How Do Locksmiths Open Car Doors?

Fatima Buzdar

January 1, 2023

A person wearing black leather gloves is attempting to unlock a white car using a locksmith's tool near the door handle. The image focuses on the gloved hands and the car door.

Locked out of your car and wondering how on earth you can get yourself out of this unpleasant ordeal? Whether you are faced with a lost or broken key, or your lock or key is mysteriously refusing to cooperate, you need a prompt and timely solution so that you can get back to commuting for your day-to-day tasks. If you do not have a spare key, then this problem is all the worst.

Fortunately, automotive locksmiths are there to help you resolve your issue in a timely manner! They are trained to work with all sorts of car lock issues and resolve them as fast as possible. Additionally, many of them are available 24/7, making their car lockout services accessible to you no matter what day or time your issue finds you at. Hence, should you find yourself in such ordeal, you should promptly seek a locksmith to unlock your car.

But how do locksmiths open car doors? What kind of services are best to get vehicles opened? Locksmiths look at the problem and address it based on the situation at hand and focus on the way that will not cause damage to the vehicle. This article goes over the common solutions, so that you can garner an idea of what to expect.

How Do Locksmiths Open Car Doors? 8 Common Ways and Tools

As mentioned above, the solutions can vary based on the problem behind the lockout and circumstances. An expert auto locksmith will know which is the best way to unlock the car without damaging it or incurring unnecessary costs and time. Here are some common methods behind how locksmiths unlock cars.

1. Open a Gap Between the Door and Door Frame With a Wedge

A wedge can be utilized to open a small gap between the door and door frame so that a tool can pass through to manipulate the lock of the car. A wedge is an inflatable object, which is often an airbag. Its default state is thin enough to easily slide through the tiny space between the door and frame. Once it is inside, it is pumped up and the inflation forces the needed gap. A tool can then be inserted to work on opening the lock.

2. Manipulate the Lock From the Interior With a Slim Jim

A slim jim is a tool which is a long and slender piece of metal. It is inserted between the glass of car door window and weather stripping of the car’s window in order to reach the interior of the car. Once inside, it needs to be maneuvered to reach the lock. From there on, the hook of the slim jim tool is used to manipulate the door lock to unlock a car door lock.

It is a complex process but one an expert locksmith would be adept with. Additionally, a lot of care needs to be taken. Because if this method is utilized inaccurately, then the electrical wiring system or airbags can get damaged. Hence, you should not attempt this method on your own! Locksmiths are trained to carry this job out without inflicting any damage.

This is a very common method behind how locksmiths unlock cars.

Locksmith slipping a long tool through a car window

3. Switch the Lock Buttons With the J and L Tools

For older models of cars, J and L tools can be utilized to unlock the door through switching the lock and unlock buttons. These buttons are located in the inner panel of the door. Similar to the slim jim tool, the locksmith carefully inserts J or L tool inside the car through the space between the glass and weather stripping. It is then used to open the car door by lifting the unlock button.

J and L tools have very similar designs. The J tool can be used for an extensive amount of vehicle models. On the other hand, L tool is designed to be compatible with specific car models.

4. Program a New Key Fob

If you have a keyless entry system for your car and you no longer have access to your key fob, e.g. it has been lost or broken, then a locksmith might be able to assist. Locksmiths are capable of programming new keys for many car models. They have specialized equipment and software available, which they need to connect to your vehicle in order to carry out the programming procedure.

However, for certain car manufacturers, you may need to go to a dealership to get a needed code or even have the key fob programmed entirely through a dealership. This is due to restrictions set up by the car manufacturers, which are mainly based in Germany or Italy.

5. Repair the Key fob

There are many reasons why a key fob might stop working. For example, the programming of the key fob may have been erased, which would require for the key fob to be reprogrammed. Or certain parts could have worn out, e.g. the key fob buttons, battery connector terminals which power the key fob, or the circuit board which reads and relays the signals.

In either case, repair or replacement for the key fob may be needed, depending on the nature and severity of issue.

6. Cut a New Key

For traditional car keys, the locksmith would get the right blank key. A blank key is a key that is yet to be cut to a specific bitting. In order to cut it to the bitting, the locksmith would need to sort out the required cuts through a specialized software and car details. Alternatively, the locksmith may use the lock impressioning technique in order to deduce the cutting.

7. Extract the Broken Key

If you have a spare key but can not access the lock due to the key being broken and stuck into the lock, then it needs to be extracted. If you are unable to retrieve it, a locksmith can use a tool called Broken Key Extractor in order to release the key.

8. Fix the Jammed Lock

What if you did not lose the key at all and your key is in fact in a good condition? This indicates that the door lock itself is jammed. There are many possible reasons behind this issue. These include which include a faulty actuator, solenoid or lock wiring, latch stuck in closed position, or the lock having excessive ice, dirt or rust accumulation. The locksmith would inspect the lock and repair or replace the components accordingly.

A distressed person looking through window at the keys locked in car

Locked Out of Your Vehicle? Call Our Locksmiths to Unlock Your Car

Locksmiths have various ways and tools to release the car door lock without inflicting any damage to the vehicle. They may utilize tools like slim jim, J and L tools, and wedge to manipulate and open the lock from interior of car. Alternately, they may cut a new key or program a new fob. If the keys are malfunctioning, they might repair the key fob or use a Broken Key Extractor to retrieve a broken key stuck in the door lock. Or in case of malfunctioning lock, they may repair or replace the lock components. To put it shortly, the answer to how locksmiths open car doors varies depending on the situation.

If you have been locked out of your car and seeking prompt solutions to open your car door lock, call our Markham locksmiths to unlock your car! We are available 24/7 and arrive within 30 minutes to your location. We will then inspect the situation and choose the best solution to get your car unlocked and accessible to you in no time!

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.