Losing your keys or locking them in your vehicle can be the cause of a lot of frustrations. Luckily, even if you don’t have a roadside assistance membership, there are many locksmiths and towing companies that offer unlocking services to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. These companies work to have the most up to date and effective equipment to get your vehicle open successfully without causing damage. While we do not recommend trying these methods on your own, here are a few tools and methods that professionals use to unlock your car when you find yourself locked out.
Wedge and Probe
One of the most commonly used methods of unlocking a vehicle is with a wedge and probe tool as it is one of the safest and simplest mechanical methods. This is typically done by placing a bag with a hand pump somewhere in between the door frame and the car and using the pump to expand the bag, leaving a small opening. This creates a point of entry for the probe, which is typically a thin metal bar with a hooked end. Feeding the probe through the crack in the door, it can be maneuvered to either open the handle or press the unlock button inside the vehicle.
While an air wedge is the most popular method, it isn’t the only wedge option out there. Some companies use rubber wedges that look similar to door stops. If necessary, you could use a wide range of materials, but air and rubber wedges are the least likely to do any damage to your car or chip any paint.
Broken Key Extractor
Sometimes, the problem isn’t locking your keys in the car, but breaking the key in the door or ignition. Luckily, a locksmith has the tools necessary to take care of this problem as well. After applying some oil into the keyhole to loosen everything up, the technician will use a fine tipped tool to rake out the remnants of the key along with needle nose pliers. If you are hoping to try this on your own, know that the level of difficulty could be dictated by how broken the key is in the hole. Most mobile locksmiths will have the necessary tools to cut you a new key to help you get on your way!
Because modern day vehicles are using more advanced technology, the lock and key systems have really changed over time. In fact, the classic metal slim jim is almost completely ineffective on new cars. Almost all new vehicles use keyless entry, which has completely changed the process of cutting new keys, but most locksmiths have the technology to reprogram your car to a new matching key that they can provide. Cars are run almost completely on computers now a days, so by using this technology to their advantage, locksmiths can effectively and safely open your door and make a new key or key fob with digital reprogramming.