"I Locked My Keys In My Car”: CEO Tom Williams on What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
There’s no shame; we’ve all done it or have come close to doing it, “I locked my keys in my car.” It can make you late for work, ruin your day, and sometimes even cost you a pretty penny if you don’t have a spare immediately on hand. (See our previous post on car rekeying.)
If you’ve ever had your keys locked in your vehicle, you’ve been burned once and probably have a system in place to ensure it never happens again. If it’s never happened to you, you might not have a plan — and even if you do, you might want a review. Here, we interview The Security Professionals CEO Tom Williams in which he provides tips, dispels myths, and more.
Interview With CEO Tom Williams
The internet is full of advice on how to get keys out of a locked car. What do people need to be wary of when seeking out tips?
Tom Williams: The biggest problem with all of the advice on YouTube or the web is that the posters are paid for views or clicks, not your success. Fundamentally, not all cars have the same entry points. Some have tight weather stripping, some have different glass, some have vertical lock buttons inside, and some have slide locks inside. The technique used must match the vehicle that is being unlocked. There is no catch-all method.
You must have seen some crazy items wedged into car doors and windows over the years. What have people commonly tried to use to get inside a locked car?
Tom: As car door unlocking specialists, we have seen almost everything jammed into a vehicle. These include coat hangers, tree branches wedged between the door and window, hacksaw blades, long screwdrivers, cardboard, and more.
Yikes. What kind of damage does that cause?
Tom: When you don’t have the proper training and equipment, the most common damage problems can include scratches on the paint, ripped rubber door gasket, door lock breakage (car door won’t lock/unlock or open correctly), broken or cracked window glass, and bent or dented roof or door panel metal.
Some have said you can use a cell phone to get into a car. To clarify, when someone on the other end answers the phone and they press the unlock button on the spare remote as you hold the phone up near the vehicle. Is there any truth to this?
Tom: I actually had a pretty strong disagreement at a party with an “expert” who had done this and told me it absolutely worked. He was adamant, so at my request, we tried it during the party using his car keys and my phone and his. No, it didn’t work. The reason is simple. Mobile phones (actually all phones) are designed to send low-frequency, audible voices from one phone to the other. A vehicle’s remote button’s frequencies are high, typically one million times higher than the maximum voice frequencies. A phones’ microphone/speaker does not react to and cannot transmit or receive those high frequencies.
What about the old “use a string to snake by the door gasket and pull up on the interior lock.” Does that crazy tip hold any truth?
Tom: This technique can work — on some cars. Only vehicles where the locking system has a vertical interior lock and no interlocking door edges. On the right vehicle, this is doable, but on most vehicles, it is difficult to do without damage.
The best technique includes using an air wedge to make a gap to slide the string into the door gasket. So, if you happen to have a string, an air wedge, and some training, you might be able to pull this trick off!
So what’s the takeaway? What is something you wish people knew about getting their keys out of a locked car?
Tom: The truth is simple: the damage of trying to break into your car is expensive and many times greater than what it would have cost to have the vehicle unlocked by professionals.
Curious about other ways to avoid getting keys locked in your car? The Security Professionals have answers — send us a message to learn more!