Everyone has gotten locked out of their car at some point in their life. Especially with the kind of locks that modern cars have, it is very easy to get locked out of your car. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can break into your own car without having to call for professional help. Your instinct might be to go and grab a screwdriver or probably a hairpin. However, none of these things are going to help. What you need is a Slim Jim, not the delicious American snack, but the spring steel-shaped tool that measures 0.79–1.57 wide, 24 long, and is classified as a lockout tool.
How Does a Slim Jim Tool Work?
The great thing about a Slim Jim is that it doesn’t try to undo the door’s locking mechanism. Instead, it directly engages the interconnecting rods and levers that are responsible for activating the door. All you have to do is carefully slip your Slim Jim through the space between your car window and the rubber seal so you can latch onto the rods that are attached to the lock mechanism and you will be able to smoothly open your door.
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However, keep in mind that using a Slim Jim also comes with its downsides. If you aren’t careful you might leave your lock practically useless. Thus, you will have to go and get it replaced. So, you need to know exactly what you are doing before you can use a Slim Jim to get into your car.
Some of the latest cars in the market are designed to make sure that a Slim Jim cannot bypass their locking system. However, most cars can still be opened using this tool.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Using a Slim Jim
Make Sure if a Slim Jim Will Work for Your Car
The very first thing you need to know is whether or not a Slim Jim will even work for your car. If your car has electric locks a Slim Jim will do nothing more than probably scratching your window and damaging the wiring inside the door. There are some sketchy devices you can use to unlock electric door locks. We have not tried these. So make sure the car doesn’t have electric locks before using a Slim Jim. The locks must be upright and cylindrical in shape because a Slim Jim won’t work on any other kind of locks.
Open the Passenger Side Door
Your first instinct might be to open the driver’s side door. However, it is much smarter to try and open the passenger side door first. This way if you damage the door’s wiring, it won’t be the door that you use the most.
Insert a Wedge Between the Window and the Rubber Strip
To make room for the Slim Jim you will need to add a wedge between the weather strip and the car window. Ideally, you should be using a rubber wedge. A wooden wedge can leave splinters and a metallic one can leave behind scratches.
Slide in the Slim Jim
Once there is enough room between the weather strip and the window for the Slim Jim, slide it in, notched end first. Make sure that it is aligned with the lock and keep pushing down towards the keyhole. Be very gentle and careful so you don’t catch on to anything else on the way down.
Keep an eye on the lock for subtle movement. The moment you see the lock moving even slightly, you know that the Slim Jim is doing its trick. Remember to keep the Slim Jim completely straight otherwise, it might get stuck on the way down.
Pull the Slim Jim Upwards Slowly
Once the Slim Jim has caught on to the locking mechanism slowly start pulling the tool and the lock will start to move upwards. Keep pulling slowly until the lock is completely open. Make sure you don’t rush your movements, otherwise you might end up causing permanent damage to the car door.
Where to Buy a Slim Jim Tool?
Just like pretty much everything else in the world you can buy a slim jim tool on Amazon. It’s just not called a slim jim in most cases.
Toughty Auto Emergency Tool
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve lost your keys and you are locked out of your car? There is no need to panic. The Toughty Auto Emergency Tool is designed for situations exactly like these. This slim and lightweight tool is designed to open locked doors on a wide range of cars, trucks, and SUVs. This tool is made from nickel-plated spring steel. Which makes it quite firm and extremely durable, so you don’t have to worry about it snapping during use.
One of the best things about the design of the Toughty Auto Emergency Tool is that it has rounded edges that prevent you from getting cut or nicked when applying pressure on the tool. Moreover, the rounded corners also ensure that the windows or doors don’t get scratched.
IMIKEYA NOLITOY Car Door Maintenance Kit
The IMIKEYA NOLITOY Car Door Maintenance Kit is one of the most complete kits for opening or repairing your car door. It has everything that you could possibly need to open your car door in case you get locked out. The 12 Pieces car door maintenance kit comes with an air wedge bag. You can use it to create a gap between your window and the weather strip. Unlike wooden or metal wedges this inflatable wedge makes sure that your window and door don’t get scratched or damaged in any other way. This inflatable wedge can also be used when installing or fixing cabinets, doors, or windows.
The kit also features three long-range tools made of solid steel which makes them very strong and sturdy. You can use these long-reach tools flexibly to improve work efficiency. The Kit also features a car trim tool set. It is designed for installing or removing car door handles, panels, dashboards, vents, and making any other interior and exterior modifications to your car.