A Locksmith’s Automotive Lockout Tools Explained
Learn what tools an auto locksmith might use to open your car.
Have you ever locked your keys inside your car, broken a key off in a lock, or simply lost your keys altogether? An automotive locksmith can come to your aid using some of these specialized tools.
Slim Jims: For many years, slim jims were the preferred tool for auto lockouts. They can be inserted through the weatherstripping at the top of the door window and then used to reach down and pull up on the door lock. Slim jims come in a variety of shapes and lengths to accommodate the lock knobs on different vehicles. However, the sort of up and down lock knob that slim jims can grab are becoming more rare on the latest model year vehicles, and often the auto locksmith must move on to using different tools.
Wedges: In order to create enough of a gap for an auto lockout tool to be inserted into the vehicle, it is often necessary to insert a wedge to slowly open the edge of the door just a crack. The best type of wedge to use is typically an air wedge or pump wedge. These wedges can be inflated slowly to exert gradual and steady pressure on the door. Pump wedges are an absolute must when trying to open a vehicle that has a frameless window, as a traditional wedge that must be hammered in manually could easily break the window.
Long Tools: A variety of different lengths and shapes of metal rods, collectively called “long tools” can be used to manipulate the unlock buttons inside of the vehicle once a gap has been created with a wedge. If the vehicle has a button that slides back and forth, it simply needs to be pushed with the tool. If the vehicle has a button that pops up and down, a special claw or grabber attachment must be used to pop up the button and open the door.
Jigglers: Sometimes also called tryout keys, jigglers can be inserted into a door lock or even an ignition lock when the original key has been lost. An auto locksmith will have many different sets of jigglers appropriate for different makes and model years of vehicles.
Vent Window Tools: Some vehicles, especially older trucks, have a small wing window or vent window panel in the front portion of each door window. Using a special pair of metal tools, an automotive locksmith can easily pop open this window so that you can then reach inside the vehicle and unlock the door manually.
Now you may be thinking…
This sounds pretty easy. Do I really need to call an auto locksmith or can I use these tools myself?
While some types of auto lockout tools are available to the general public, it still makes sense to call an auto locksmith rather than attempting to open your vehicle on your own. For one thing, an experienced locksmith from RBM Lock & Key will know how to get the job done without damaging your vehicle. Plus, it is simply more convenient to call us for help whenever and wherever you need it, rather than trying to catch a ride home to grab your own tools.
We provide expert auto lockout service 24/7 so do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.