Friday, January 20, 2012

How (Not) To Break Into A Car

The door lock in Dad's car was jammed tight. No amount of tugging and wiggling it could persuade it to budge. It just sat there, wedged tight and unyielding.

Dad, being very practical, grabbed his laptop and looked up a way to open the lock. It sounded so easy. All you needed was a long piece of wire with a hook on the end. You just stuck the wire down past the window, pulled up and voilà! The door would open.

He pushed the wire down the side of the door and fished around for the actuator rod. I looked around the street. What would people think if they saw us? Would they think we were robbers? Certainly our method was like a robber's.

After twenty minutes of putting the wire down the door and pulling it up without success, Dad gave up. The door lock still sat there, as stuck as before. Maybe robbery wasn't the way to go with this door.

"Ok, let's try the manual," Dad suggested next.

So we examined the pages of the car manual, searching for a way to open that lock. There were pieces of electrical systems, instructions on how to take the window glass out. But nowhere could we find how to unlock the door.

Finally we gave up on that too. Obviously sense wasn't the way to get that door open either. It was time for some brute force.
"Let's take the door handle off," Dad said.

The moment the handle came off, we saw our lock's actuator rod, the very thing we'd been searching for.

We tried pulling at this rod with pliers. No luck. We tried pulling on the lock knob with pliers. No luck either.

"Ok, you pull on the actuator rod with these pliers, and I'll pull on the knob," Dad said.

Together we heaved on that lock. For a moment it looked like it would give up and pop open. Then it dropped down again. Still stuck. Again we heaved, and again. Still that stubborn lock would not give in.

On more time we heaved together, pulling harder and harder until...pop. The lock shot upwards, smooth as cream.

Dad wiped his face and gingerly took the door handle. Would the door open now? Yes! It opened. The lock was freed!

I now defy any robber to get into our car when it is locked. No mere piece of hooked wire and a bit of jiggling is going to get past out security system.


  1. Oh...memories like these are priceless and so much fun... thanks for sharing!


  2. Ha! Great story :) That lock sure liked being difficult.

  3. I love the way you describe things, it's almost like you are writing a story and yet it's about you!

  4. Jessica, the whole time I was helping Dad I was thinking, 'how can I write this up in a blog post? I have to write it down and share it!' The moment we finished, I ran inside and wrote up this post. I'm glad you like the story.

  5. Nick, it sure did. We still can't work out what went wrong with it. I reckon it was just being frustrating. The rest of the car has been having problem after problem for weeks so this wasn't unusual.

  6. Emily, I love telling stories, and next best to making one up is writing one about myself. Somehow I can't seem to write a blog post without telling a story. It just comes out that way.

  7. Getting lock out is the WORST! At least it wasn't raining :)

  8. Angela, Mum and I once got locked out when we went shopping. The roadside assistance people were going to take forever so we did the sensible thing and went for afternoon tea. Thankfully this lock was only one on the back door, which meant we could get in and out through the other three to fix it.