How to Pick a Car Lock

by Contributing WriterUpdated October 25, 2017
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Door handle and key hole on an antique car image by John Sfondilias from

If you've shut the door of your car before taking the keys out of the ignition, you know that sinking feeling of helplessness. But instead of waiting for a locksmith or taking a rock to your windshield, you can try your hand at picking the car lock. Be as careful as possible when picking a car lock so you don't damage your vehicle.

Insert the slim jim into the area where the window meets the weatherstripping, but do it gently. It's easy to damage the weatherstripping.

Search for a lever by moving the slim jim around under the weatherstripping. Different makes and models of cars have the lever in different places.

Pull or push on the lever using the slim jim. This should unlock the car door.

Unhook the slim jim gently and slowly slide it out of the window.


Anti-theft designs in newer cars might make this procedure ineffective. If you have a satellite system installed in your car, you can have the company unlock your car for you.

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