Being locked out of your vehicle can be one of the most disruptive events of the day. Suddenly, your entire schedule is on hold until the problem can be resolved. In short, it’s annoying and can ruin anyone’s mood.
Before we begin, if you’re locked out of your vehicle right now, please give us a call or text at 604-363-2760 or email us at email@example.com for the best Vancouver locksmith service.
As Vancouver’s best locksmith service, we get a lot of calls throughout the year from customers who have been locked out of their vehicles. This includes Vancouver residents, tourists visiting our lovely city, and working folks like delivery and tradespeople.
90% of the time, these lockouts involve clients who have locked their keys inside their vehicles – most often near the driver’s seat or in the trunk. Not surprisingly, a lot of these calls are from visitors who are unfamiliar with their car rentals, but anyone can be absent-minded and fall prey to this mistake.
As a young apprentice, I too once locked myself out of my old Honda Civic. Luckily, the older and wiser journeymen fashioned a slim jim out of a piece of metal scrap and unlocked the door.
These days professional locksmiths have access to a variety of tools to unlock vehicle doors. While the slim jim is still useful, the tool that most professional Vancouver locksmiths use is the long-reach tool. They come in different styles but their use is essentially the same regardless of the vehicle.
All these tools involve using a wedge of some sort to create a small opening on the driver’s side door to allow the long-reach tool to slip into the cabin. The goal is to open the door by pulling the inside handle of the door or by pressing/flipping the unlock button.
If you have a vehicle with a frameless glass window, like a convertible, the professional locksmith should utilize a special plastic wedge designed to minimize damage to the glass.
Using this method, most vehicles can be opened in under 5 minutes, especially the Japanese and South Korean models. It can be quick and easy for the locksmith and you, but there are a few problems with this method.
First, you may be asking, “Hey Vancouver’s foremost locksmith, if you insert a wedge into my car door won’t that damage it?” The answer is, of course, it will. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you or to themselves. Even if it is to create a gap of only one or two centimetres, we are still using a tool to bend the door backwards a little bit. The damage should be minor/superficial or hard to see, but it is still there.
After the job is done, the door may be visually out of alignment by a couple of millimetres. The vehicle’s weather seal should not be compromised in any way. However, the end result really depends on the skill of the professional locksmith and the quality of tools used.
Second, these vehicle access tools can be purchased by anyone with a credit card and internet access. It’s used not only by professional locksmiths but also by tow truck drivers, car dealerships, car thieves, etc.
So car manufacturers are making it more and more difficult for these tools to work. For example, in some BMWs, simply pulling the door handle will not unlock the door. You have to press a manual unlock button on the centre console and then pull the handle within 5 seconds. Not an easy thing to accomplish under pressure.
In another example, newer Toyotas typically have shorter and smooth inside door handles that are recessed into the curvature of the door. This makes it a bit more difficult to find where the handle is and to get a firm grip on it.
For the professional Vancouver locksmith, practice makes perfect and we have a lot of experience which makes things easier. Regardless, the harder it is, the longer it takes which in turn increases the risk of damage to the vehicle.
The long-reach tool is typically made of a heavy-duty metal rod with a finger-life hook at one end. They have a rubber-like coating and a cap on the end of the “finger” to minimize damage. However, due to its shape and weight, the tool is awkwardly balanced while in use. It’s not unheard of to damage the glass, windshield, and other interior trim while manoeuvring the tool into position if proper care is not taken.
So what are the other options?
Before we go on, if you’re locked out of your vehicle right now, please give us a call or text at 604-363-2760 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the first part, we covered the most commonly used tool used by professional locksmiths to unlock vehicle doors. While it’s typically quick and easy to use, it does cause, at minimum, some minor damage to the vehicle. The upside is that some variation of this method will almost work every time. For safety reasons, car doors are designed to unlock whenever the inside handle is pulled.
As Vancouver’s premier locksmith service, we help hundreds of customers each year with this issue. We have unlocked cars as small as a Smart ForTwo to vehicles large as a Peterbilt truck. We have also unlocked heavy machinery vehicles.
If even a little minor damage is not acceptable, you will need our automotive locksmith. Our Vancouver automotive locksmith has the special tools required to pick open car locks and etc. If you have lost your keys completely, we can also create new keys for you.
Engaging the services of an automotive locksmith will mean you will need to wait until the next availability and it will cost more. However, the vehicle will not be damaged. Many of our customers with higher-value vehicles prefer waiting for an automotive locksmith.
If your vehicle is more than 5 years old and you don’t want to wait several hours for an automotive locksmith, a little superficial damage may be worth saving your sanity and plans for the day.
Here’s a secret that I tell my clients. If the long-reach tool is acceptable to you, call a tow truck company. They do the exact same we do at about half the price. If you’re inside an Impark parkade or have a BCAA membership, it may even be free.
The downside to calling a tow truck driver is that we generally find them to be very aggressive in their entry techniques. Instead of focusing on minimizing the damage to the vehicle, they are more focused on speed. Almost all tow truckers we’ve seen ram a large hard wedge to create the biggest gap possible in the door. This makes work easier but puts greater stress on the door.
Just food for thought, if price and speed are your biggest concerns.
Now, how about if you lock your keys inside the trunk of your vehicle? If it’s an SUV or a hatchback, a professional locksmith just needs to get the driver’s door open. If you have a 2-door or 4-door sedan, it can get complicated.
Older sedans with wire pull truck releases are fairly straightforward. However, if you have an electronic trunk release, you may have a problem.
As previously stated, car doors are designed to unlock whenever the inside handle is pulled. If this is done without the key fob disarming the car alarm, the immobilizer remains engaged and the electronic trunk release will remain deactivated.
In this circumstance, the only solution is to have a professional locksmith pick the trunk lock cylinder using a specialized automotive lock pick.
So how do you know if you have an electronic trunk release? It’s pretty simple.
Go to your vehicle and locate the trunk release button or tab in the driver’s cockpit. If you have to pull the tab or lever to release the trunk, it’s most likely a wire pull. If you have to press and hold a button, it’s almost always electronic.
Just because you can unlock the trunk with your key fob does not mean you have an electronic trunk release. Always check the button or tab located in the driver’s cockpit or the vehicle’s manual.
If you have any questions, please call or text us at 604-363-2760 or email us at email@example.com.
We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.