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How to Pick a Car Door Lock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

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How to pick a car door lock with a paperclip – it’s easy! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to unlock any car door in no time.


Learning how to pick a car door lock can be a valuable skill for anyone-from people who have locked themselves out of their vehicles, to locksmiths, mechanics and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. With some basic tools and knowledge of the mechanisms used in common car lock designs, you can learn to pick a car door lock with minimal effort involved. This guide will provide an overview of the types of automobile door locks that may be encountered and explain the various methods used to open them. With practice and determination, almost anyone can quickly acquire the skills necessary to unlock most common passenger vehicles.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Picking a car door lock is a skill that requires special tools and a lot of patience to do properly. Before attempting to pick a car door lock, make sure to gather the necessary tools for the job. Items like a tension wrench, a rake, and a tension tool are essential for the job, so be sure to have them in your possession before starting. Once you’ve gathered the tools, you can begin the process of picking the lock.

Bump key

The bump key is a specialized type of key used to open the door locks of specific makes and models of cars. It works by manipulating the forces that control the door lock mechanism, using a hammer-like impact force to cause the pins in the lock to drop simultaneously, opening it. To use a bump key, you must first ensure that you have a compatible key-one that matches the make and model of your car-as each bump key is cut specifically for different models. Additionally, it is important to make sure you have a lock pick set with tension wrenches and picks to fit in the locks. To operate a bump key safely, always follow safety guidelines including those for proper hand placement and wearing protective gear such as goggles and gloves. After inserting a properly cut bump key into any car lock, hit it hard but not too hard with an appropriate tool such as a small hammer or similar item; use minimal force when tapping so that you don’t damage either your vehicles’ door or your tools.

Lockpicking tools

Lockpicking tools are essential for successful car door lock picking. This guide will help you understand what types of tools are required and which ones you should avoid.

First, the basics: Lock picking is a skill that has been practiced by locksmiths and security professionals for decades, so it is no surprise that there are specialized tools available to accomplish the job unique to each situation. The most common types of locks used on motor vehicles are pin tumbler, wafer tumbler, vehicle key transponder, and force applied locks.

When selecting your lockpicking tools it is important to choose quality over quantity in order to minimize damage to the vehicle, as well as avoid injury from misusing a tool. Generally speaking, one should only select tools that specialize in their particular type of lock (pin tumbler locks will require different tools than wafer tumbler locks). Commonly preferred resources for car door lock picking include: tension wrenches, pick sets (hooks, rakes), snake sticks/diamond picks for pin tumblers; pick guns and air wedges for wafers; and jigglers or bump keys for force applied locks. Glass-filled nylon tension wrenches with spoon-end tips are ideal as they do not damage the plate or springs as easily when in use.

For safety reasons it is also important to remember that these tools can be dangerous if not handled properly – always wear safety goggles when working with metal picks or jigglers!

Paper clip

Picking a car door lock can help save time when you’re locked out of your car. While it’s best to have the appropriate tools or assistance from a locksmith, picking a door lock with everyday items is possible in some cases. One of the simplest and most common methods of lock-picking involves the use of a paper clip.

To pick a car door lock with a paper clip, you’ll need two straightened paper clips and some patience. Bend one of the paper clips into an L-shape, so that it makes an angle near the top and bottom. This will be your tension wrench. The other clip can be used as your rake – carefully work it back and forth while applying tension above. Once all pins are sitting in place, you should feel them click, allowing you to open your door! Once the door has been opened, it’s highly recommended to speak with a locksmith about rekeying or replacing your lock for security purposes.

Understand the Lock

Before attempting to pick a car door lock, you need to understand what type of lock it is. Traditional car door locks use a pin-tumbler lock, which consists of a cylinder with a set of pins arranged in it. When the right key is inserted into the lock, it will push each of the pins up to the correct height, allowing the lock to open. Different car models use different kinds of locks, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the lock before attempting to pick it.

Identify the type of lock

Identifying the type of lock is one of the most important steps when attempting to pick a car door lock. Car locks are usually either a wafer tumbler, pin tumbler, or tubular design. Wafer tumbler locks have flat plates that stack on top of one another and are held in place using springs. If you look at one closely, you’ll see it has two sides – one side holds the driver pins that interact with the key, while the other side holds wafers which act as blocking devices. Pin tumbler locks are similar in design to wafer detainers – they also have several springs and pins that keep the locking bar from moving until a key is inserted and aligned properly. Tubular locks look very different from other types of car locks – they’re small cylinders with pins placed around their circumference that can be moved by an inserted tool such as a pick or tension wrench.

When looking for a car lock to pick, it’s important to examine them closely in order to identify their type and make sure you have the right tools for that particular lock. If you’re not sure exactly which type it is, take some pictures and consult an expert before trying to pick it open. Knowing exactly what type of lock you’re dealing with will guarantee greater accuracy and success if you choose to manually open your car door using lock picking tools!

Identify the type of key

When trying to pick a car door lock, the first step is to identify the type of key that goes into the lock. There are two main types of car keys: mechanically cut keys and laser cut keys. Mechanically cut keys are made by cutting a pattern into each of the grooves in the key with a file or cutter. The design of this type of key provides more resistance to picking than laser-cut keys, which are cut with a high-precision machine that creates an even pattern on each groove.

Both types of car locks exist in tubular and standard formats, although tubular locks are typically used on vans or trucks due to their greater resistance to manipulation. To pick either type of lock, you will need a set of picks and tension tools specially designed for use with that specific type. Ensure that you select picks suited for your particular model as there can be significant differences in lock designs between brands and models.

Open the Lock

Opening a car door lock without a key may seem like a daunting task, but it can be done with a few simple tools. There are several methods for picking a car door lock, and this article will cover the most common ones. From using a pick gun to using a slim jim, let’s explore the different ways to open a car door lock.

Use a bump key

Using a bump key is one of the simplest and most effective way to open a car door lock without the key. Bump keys, also known as “999 keys” are blank keys with cuts made to work with as many different locks as possible. To make this method work, you’ll need a set of these special keys and a small hammer. Start by inserting the first key into the lock and lightly tap it with the hammer to create an upward pressure on the pins inside, which will cause them to separate and release the plug. As each pin pops up, move onto the next key of your set until all pins are released. If done correctly, you should be able to tell by feeling when you move from one key in your set to the next that they are all successful releasing their respective pins in their turn. Once all pins have been released, turn your bump key anticlockwise and your lock should open – congratulations!

Use lockpicking tools

If you want to learn how to pick a car door lock, it is strongly recommended that you use the proper lockpicking tools. Tools such as picks, tension wrenches, and jigglers are used to manipulate the pins within a lock cylinder in order to open the lock. These tools are available for purchase at most hardware stores and can be used on a variety of car door locks.

Picks come in various shapes and sizes and each one is designed for a specific purpose or job. For instance, diamond picks are typically used on most automotive locks while rake-style picks are great for quickly opening multiple-pin locks. Tension wrenches consist of two parts: a long handle which provides leverage, and a tip which is inserted into the key hole alongside the pick in order to hold tension on the lock’s internal components. Finally jigglers work by inserting them into the keyhole before pulling up sharply with rotational movements until you manage to fit all of its internal pins into place simultaneously.

Although much easier than manual methods of lockpicking, utilizing these specialized tools correctly may still take some practice before achieving mastery! Remember not to take on any jobs without being confident that you can complete them successfully – if in doubt, do not attempt!

Use a paper clip

Using a paper clip is one of the easiest and safest methods for unlocking a car door without a key. The process is done by manipulating the paper clip to simulate the shape of a key. You will need two paper clips, one will be used to push down the lock and the other to turn it.

First, straighten out one of the paper clips and make a small hook in the end using long-nosed pliers. This hook should be inserted into the keyhole while taking care not to damage any internal parts. Try to move it around until you feel it hit something inside – this would mean you are pushing down correctly on tumblers within the lock cylinder.

Once you have pushed down on tumblers, use the other paperclip with hooks at opposing ends and insert it into keyhole while still keeping pressure on tumblers inside with first paperclip. Gently rotate your second picks at 90 degrees left and right as if you were turning an actual key in order open door lock in most cars.


Picking a car door lock is not always easy, and it requires a great deal of skill, practice, and preparation. If you’re in a pinch, the best way to open a locked car door is to use common household items like wire hangers or jimmies. If that doesn’t work, there are also other strategies such as using slim jims or picking tools. Although it may seem like an intimidating technical challenge, if you are willing to follow the right steps and use the right tools, anyone can learn how to pick a car door lock. Remember that your ultimate goal should be to minimize damage while still being able to gain entry into your vehicle safely and securely.

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