To get started, you’ll need two bobby pins. Turn one of them so it’s a straight, long line, and then bend the other one into a zig-zag. The zig-zag pin will be used as a tension wrench to keep pressure on the lock while you pick it with the straight pin.
When you insert both pins into the keyhole and turn them sideways, they should fit in perfectly together like this:
Be careful not to apply too much pressure because you can easily break the pins if you’re too forceful. The person using the bobby pins must keep constant contact with fingers on either side of the door handle so that they can provide pressure as needed throughout the process. Once it’s locked in place securely, jiggle either pin (or both) around until you hear a click from inside of each cylinder – that means your car door is unlocked!
Grasp the bobby pin just like you would grasp a key.
It’s not hard to make friends when you’re willing to open the door for them. People like prompts, and opening doors is a great way to make one. There’s a certain delight in watching someone else fumble with their keys when you know it only takes a few seconds for you to unlock the door and let them in. But too many people treat this small gesture with disdain, hurriedly shoving their key into the lock before they even look up at their new acquaintance. It seems like common courtesy would require that we give our guests a moment of recognition, some sort of acknowledgment—but how do we make this happen?
Turns out there are two ways to accomplish this. One requires practice and confidence; the other requires nothing more than a bobby pin and two minutes of patience.
You’ll probably have to bend the part of the bobby pin that looks like a key.
Once you’ve chosen a bobby pin, you’ll probably have to bend the part of the bobby pin that looks like a key. The part of the bobby pin that looks like a key should be bent about 90 degrees. Make sure the bobby pin is still straight at the end. You should bend it as little as possible.
Stick the bent end of the bobby pin in the lock of your car door.
Step 1: Bend one of the two bobby pins so that one end is bent at a 90 degree angle. This angled end will serve as the key to unlock your car door.
Step 2: Stick the bent end of the bobby pin in the lock of your car door. Insert it at a 45 degree angle, with the bent end toward the top of the lock and the straight side facing to the left, like you would if you were turning a real key to unlock a door.
Step 3: Use your fingers to apply pressure on both sides of the bobby pin as you jiggle and manipulate it inside of your car lock. Be patient; this may take some trial and error until you get it right.
Use your fingers to keep pressure on the bobby pin while you maneuver it around in the lock.
But how do you use it? To be honest, there’s no one way to pick a lock with a bobby pin. You can use the end of the bobby pin like a key, or you can try to position the straight part of the bobby pin in such a way that it pushes on specific parts of the lock. Either way, though, there’s one tip that will help no matter what: keep pressure on the bobby pin while you maneuver it around in the lock. You can use your fingers or your thumb to do this; just make sure you’re pushing on the actual bobby pin and not on the door itself. Keep up this pressure until you feel a click; that’s how you know that something is working!
Listen for and feel a click, which means that you’ve hit the right angle to open the lock.
You’re in the right position when you feel a click. The click is the sound of the lock unlocking—and it’s often accompanied by a feeling that the lock is open. You may feel this click with your hand that is applying pressure to the bobby pin, or you may hear it with your ear closest to the lock.
Be careful not to break your bobby pin when you pull it from your door, otherwise it might be more difficult to unlock your door next time.
When you remove your bobby pin from the door, pull it up, rather than out. If you’ve bent the bobby pin in step 1, this will require a bit more force as you have to move the tip of the bobby pin over the teeth in order to disengage it from the lock. And now that you’re inside your car, we hope you get where you need to go safely!
Try to jiggle both pins in a lock at once if your car has one type of double-pinned locks.
Jiggling the pins at once usually doesn’t work, but it’s worth a try if you have a car with one of these double-pinned locks. Again, this is probably not something you want to do in a pinch—this technique doesn’t work most of the time anyway, so your time and bobby pins will be better spent trying some other methods. To give it a try:
- Ensure that both pins are in the lock. (You can tell because there are two separate grooves on either side.)
- Use both bobby pins to jiggle each side of the lock independently, but simultaneously.
- Try turning the lock gently and pulling each pin upward as you do so.
Doing this won’t damage anything in most cases; however, if it fails and you keep trying to pick the same lock over and over again with no success, it’s possible that you could damage the lock cylinder. For this reason, it’s probably best to avoid repeated attempts unless your situation is truly an emergency.
Search for a small hole along the side of the frame that houses your car’s lock if you have another type of double-pinned locks.
The small hole you are looking for is usually located somewhere along the lock mechanism’s frame. In some cars, it is in the middle of the frame while in others the hole may be at either end.
If you have a double-pinned lock (i.e., an older car), then you should see two holes on either side of your door. This means that you will need to unlock both pins independently with your bobby pin or hairpin before opening your door.
Pull upward on this hole with a long, thin tool like a bobby pin or hairpin when you find it to unlock your door.
When you park your car and leave it, be sure to lock the doors. Otherwise, you risk a thief breaking into it and stealing items from inside. This is especially true in cities or other areas with high crime rates.
To lock the door on a modern vehicle, simply press a button on your key fob while walking away from your car. However, if you misplace or lose your keys and need to unlock the door without them, use something like a bobby pin to pick the lock manually.