Don’t replace your key, Let A+ Mobile Locksmith fix it!

How Do Locksmiths Open Car Doors?

In a world where convenience and security are paramount, the role of a locksmith becomes increasingly significant. When faced with the unfortunate situation of being locked out of your car, the skills and expertise of a professional locksmith can be a lifesaver. This blog post delves into the intricate process locksmiths employ to open car doors, shedding light on the tools and techniques that make this possible.

Locksmiths are often called upon in various scenarios, such as when keys are locked inside the car, keys are lost, or when keys break inside the lock. Understanding how locksmiths tackle these situations not only demystifies their work but also underscores the importance of their services in maintaining our day-to-day mobility.

How Do Locksmiths Open Car Doors?

Locksmiths employ a variety of techniques to open car doors depending on the type of lock and the specific situation. If you’ve locked yourself out of your car, they might use different tools and methods to help you regain access quickly and without damage. Check the steps that locksmiths typically use to open car doors.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Assess the Situation

Before embarking on the task of opening a locked car door, a locksmith must first assess the situation. This initial step is crucial as it determines the approach and tools required to successfully unlock the car without causing damage.

Key Considerations:

  1. Type of Lock: Different cars have different locking mechanisms. Older models might have simple pin tumbler locks, whereas newer vehicles often feature more complex electronic or transponder keys.
  2. Condition of the Lock: Inspecting for any potential damage or wear can prevent further complications during the unlocking process.
  3. Location of the Keys: Determining whether the keys are inside the car, lost, or broken within the lock helps in strategizing the unlocking method.
  4. Potential Damage to the Door: Evaluating the door’s condition ensures that the locksmith employs techniques that minimize the risk of damage.

By thoroughly assessing these factors, locksmiths can devise a plan that is both efficient and minimally invasive.

Step 2: Identify the Tools Needed

Identify the Tools Needed

Once the situation is assessed, the next step is identifying the appropriate tools. Locksmiths use a variety of specialized tools, each designed for specific types of locks and scenarios. Common tools used by locksmiths:

  • Slim Jims
  • Wedge Tools
  • Lock Picks
  • Broken Key Extractors
  • MCOT Tools (Multi-Car Opening Tools)
  • Long Reach Tools
  • Decoders and Key Analyzers
  • Vin Number Key Cutting

Each tool has a specific purpose and application, which the locksmith must choose based on the lock type and situation.

Step 3: Inserting the Tools

Inserting the Tools

With the appropriate tools selected, the locksmith then proceeds to insert them into the car door. This step requires precision and care to avoid damaging the lock or door mechanism.

  1. Using a Wedge Tool: The locksmith inserts a wedge tool between the car door and its frame to create a small gap.
  2. Inserting the Slim Jim or Long Reach Tool: Once the gap is established, the locksmith inserts a slim jim or long reach tool to reach the lock mechanism.
  3. Positioning the Tool: Proper positioning is crucial. The tool must be aligned correctly with the lock mechanism to manipulate it effectively.

This process requires a steady hand and a deep understanding of the car’s locking mechanism to ensure the tool is positioned accurately.

Step 4: Manipulating the Lock

Manipulating the Lock

Once the tool is correctly positioned, the locksmith begins the delicate task of manipulating the lock. This step involves applying the correct pressure and tension to unlock the car door.

  1. Slim Jim Technique: The locksmith slides the slim jim between the weather stripping and the window, using it to catch the rods connected to the lock mechanism.
  2. Lock Picking: For traditional key locks, the locksmith may use lock picks to individually manipulate the pins inside the lock until it opens.
  3. Long Reach Tool Technique: When using a long reach tool, the locksmith typically targets the unlock button or door handle to manually unlock the door from the inside.

These techniques require skill and patience. A proficient locksmith can open the car door without causing any damage to the lock or the door itself.

Step 5: Opening the Door

Opening the Door

After successfully manipulating the lock, the final step is opening the car door. This step might seem straightforward, but it requires careful handling to avoid any last-minute damage.

Carefully remove the tools used without disturbing the lock mechanism. Gently open the car door, ensuring that the lock and door are intact. Conduct a final inspection to ensure no damage was done to the car during the unlocking process.

By following these steps meticulously, locksmiths can open car doors efficiently and safely.

Tools Used by Locksmiths to Unlock Car Doors

Slim Jim

A slim jim is a classic locksmith tool. It is a thin strip of metal designed to bypass the car’s locking mechanism. By sliding between the window and the weather stripping, the slim jim catches the rods that connect to the lock, allowing the locksmith to unlock the door manually.

Broken Key Extractor

When keys break inside the lock, a broken key extractor is used. This tool is specifically designed to remove broken key pieces from the lock without damaging it. The extractor hooks onto the broken key fragment, pulling it out gently.

MCOT Tools

Multi-Car Opening Tools (MCOT) are versatile tools that cater to various car models. They are designed to manipulate different locking mechanisms found in different vehicles, making them a staple in a locksmith’s toolkit.


Wedges play a crucial role in creating space between the car door and its frame. They come in various sizes and materials, such as plastic or rubber, to prevent damage to the car. Wedges allow locksmiths to insert other tools into the gap to access the lock.

Long Reach Tools

Long reach tools are used to access the interior door mechanisms, such as the unlock button or door handle, from outside the car. These tools are particularly useful for cars with electronic locks or when the keys are locked inside the car.

Car Lockpicking Tools

Car lockpicking tools are used to manually pick the lock. These include a variety of picks and tension wrenches designed to manipulate the pins inside the lock cylinder. This method is often used for traditional key locks.

Decoders and Key Analyzers

Decoders and key analyzers help locksmiths decode the lock to create a new key. These tools are particularly useful for cars with advanced locking systems or when the original key is lost.

Using the VIN Number to Cut a Car Key

In cases where the keys are lost or the lock is too complex to pick, locksmiths can use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to cut a new key. The VIN provides all the necessary information to create a new key that matches the car’s lock.

Why Hire Professional Locksmiths to Open Locked Cars?

Hiring a professional locksmith to open locked cars offers several advantages:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Professional locksmiths have the skills and knowledge to handle various types of car locks efficiently and safely.
  2. Specialized Tools: Locksmiths have access to specialized tools that are not commonly available, ensuring a higher success rate in unlocking cars without damage.
  3. Safety and Security: Attempting to unlock a car door without proper knowledge and tools can lead to damage or security issues. Locksmiths ensure that the car’s integrity is maintained.
  4. Convenience: Professional locksmiths provide a quick and efficient solution, minimizing the time and hassle of being locked out of a car.

Common Misconceptions

There are several myths about unlocking car doors that need to be debunked:

  1. Anyone Can Do It: While DIY methods are popularized, they often fail or cause damage. Locksmiths receive training to safely handle various types of locks.
  2. It’s Easy with a Coat Hanger: Using a coat hanger is an outdated and often ineffective method that can damage the car’s window or lock mechanism.
  3. Locks Can Be Easily Picked: Not all locks can be picked easily, especially modern electronic or transponder locks. Locksmiths possess the tools and expertise needed to manage these complex systems.


Understanding how locksmiths open car doors highlights the importance of their expertise and the specialized tools they use. They employ a range of techniques and tools, such as lock picking and key programming, to ensure quick and efficient access to vehicles. Hiring a professional locksmith not only saves time and effort but also protects your vehicle from potential damage. When faced with a car lockout situation, the skills of a professional locksmith are invaluable, ensuring a swift and secure resolution.

A+ Mobile Locksmith is your trusted vehicle and automotive locksmith in San Bernardino, CA. We specialize in opening locked car doors swiftly and efficiently. Contact us today for prompt, professional service. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 What tool do locksmiths use to open car doors?

Ans Locksmiths use a variety of tools to open car doors, but the most common tool is the slim jim. The slim jim is a long, flat metal strip that can be inserted between the car window and door frame to manipulate the locking mechanism and unlock the door.

Q.2 How does locksmith open a car door without a key?

Ans A locksmith can open a car door without a key by using specialized tools such as a slim jim or a lock pick set. These tools allow the locksmith to manipulate the locking mechanism of the car door to gain access without causing damage. It requires skill, experience, and knowledge of different locking systems.

Q.3 Do Slim Jims work on all cars?

Ans Slim Jims, a type of lock picking tool, are not guaranteed to work on all cars. Their effectiveness depends on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the locking mechanism. While Slim Jims can be useful for some older cars with certain types of locks, they may not work on newer vehicles with more advanced security features.

Q.4 Can a locksmith open a keyless car?

Ans Yes, a locksmith can open a keyless car. While keyless cars do not require a physical key to unlock or start the vehicle, locksmiths have specialized tools and techniques to gain access to keyless cars in the event of a lockout situation. They can use methods like programming a new key fob or accessing the onboard computer system to unlock the car.

Key Problems Call Now