How to Pick Manual Car Door Locks

How to Pick Manual Car Door Locks

What You’ll Need:
  • Bobby pin
  • Slim Jim
  • Screwdriver

If you find that you have locked yourself out of your car, then you may need a way to open the car door locks without the key. This is an annoying situation for many car owners, particularly in self-locking cars. You may also find that during cold weather, the key could break in the lock. Rather than call a professional to open the door, you could try opening the door yourself by picking the manual locks, or by opening the door using a Slim Jim car opener.

Keep in mind, these methods are intended for manual locks, not automatic.

Step 1 – Using the Bobby Pin

If you have the traditional type of car door locks, then you should be able to open this by using a paperclip or a bobby pin. If you are using a paperclip, open it up so that you have two prongs to the clip, similar to the bobby pin. Insert your lock picking tool into the car lock and move it up and down. You are trying to simulate the turning of the keys in the car door locks, so you may need to work for a while on moving both barrels at the same time. When you find the right combination, you should be able to turn the lock, and then open up the door, just as you would if you had your keys. However, you may decide to give up before you can hit that magic combination because it can be tough.

Step 2 – Using a Slim Jim

If you find that you can’t get into the door by trying to open the lock in this manner, then you may need a more efficient way of opening the lock. You need a Slim Jim, or a small length of metal with a slight hook on the side like a coat hanger. Take this to your car, and press it against the back door panel and the light rubber strip on the side of the front door that meets the window. Push the device through, squeezing it so that it is moved forward. You should then try to hook the Slim Jim onto the side of the lock, and pull it to its unlocked position. This may take a lot of effort, and you may not have much luck, but if you keep trying, you should be able to pick the lock in the end. With the lock opened, you can then get into the car and collect your keys.

Tip: Lock picking mechanisms like Slim Jims are restricted for private use in some states to prevent criminal and fraudulent use. Owning one can be considered evidence of criminal intent in some states as well, so be sure to know your laws and statutes regarding ownership of lock picking devices.

Step 3 – Use a Screwdriver

You may also be able to use a screwdriver to pop open the lock on your car. You will need to have a fairly old car in this case and a small, sharp, flat-headed screwdriver. Push the head of the screwdriver into the gap between the lock, and the car door. Then, push the lock forward until it is forced out of the hole. This will allow you to remove the lock, and open the door of your car. If you can get this method to work, you will need to get the locks replaced.