Help me break into my truck
March 15, 2017 6:58 AM   Subscribe

My 2002 Chevrolet Silverado got broken into about 3 or 4 months ago. The assailant(s) pushed the locks through the mechanism into the door on both sides (it's a two door). Since then I've gotten by with just the remote door opener, but both of them died on me on the same day (today). I'd like to open my truck the way the thieves did.

I'm having a bear of a time googling this one. Surely there's a way to stick a hanger or something in the hole where the lock was and open my door right? I don't imagine the people busting multiple people's locks in the middle of the night had super specialized tools?
posted by DynamiteToast to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total)
The search term you are looking for is "slim jim" (well, or "locksmith").

I am assuming, based on the previous break-in, that your alarm won't go off if you lock the door with the remote but unlock it manually? Because in many modern cars (including 2002's), it will, and it's a whole deal to get it to shut off. So you may need your remote anyway.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:20 AM on March 15, 2017

Yeah a slim jim will probably do the trick although some cars have the doorlocks designed to be resistant to that kind of lockpicking. In some states possession of a lockpick (which is what a slimjim is) without a license is a crime (burglary tools) and I'm not sure where you'd buy one (maybe eBay?). Using a slim jim is also not as easy as they make it look in the movies, and you might spend a good 20 minutes hunting around for the mechanism in the door. So be sure to have proof that you own the car if you're somewhere a cop could drive by. I'd avoid the hassle pay the $100 or so for a locksmith to get it open.
posted by dis_integration at 7:32 AM on March 15, 2017

Do you have AAA? Have them come and open the car (they've slim-jimmed a car for me before, just be clear about what you're asking for when you call in so they send the right tech) and then drive to a locksmith.
posted by vignettist at 7:47 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well my remote door opener opened the door after an hour of trying (right after AAA finally got me a locksmith). Thanks for the advice, I kept seeing stuff about slim jims but I guess I assumed that a thief pushed a lock in so that they could just open it without a slim jim or anything else.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:48 AM on March 15, 2017

If you shine a light into the hole where the lock cylinder used to be, can you see any thin rods, or a cable (not an electrical cable!) or something? Because if so, you might try to pull on that to operate the lock directly. That's how all these things work.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:55 AM on March 15, 2017

Also fwiw the police will sometimes come help with a lockout, depending on where you are.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:22 AM on March 15, 2017

Now go to the Chevy dealer and get new batteries for your remotes.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:33 AM on March 15, 2017

Change the battery in your remote. You can do it yourself. They use flat batteries.

Also slimjim won't work so easily if your lock buttons can't be reached once inside the door frame unless you also have auto lock buttons on the armrest.
posted by spitbull at 8:39 AM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Now go to the Chevy dealer and get new batteries for your remotes.

Yea I already got new batteries. When I look in the hole I see a cord that moves when I pull the handle, and nothing else. Yanking on it with a hangar didn't do anything.

If I remove the inner door panel, can I just put the lock back in it's hole? Does that usually work or do the locks get damaged badly when this happens?
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:41 AM on March 15, 2017

Yes, door panel comes off to access the lock mechanism.
posted by spitbull at 8:43 AM on March 15, 2017

I've changed my own remote batteries with some help from YouTube. No need to go to a dealership.
posted by quince at 8:44 AM on March 15, 2017

If you call the Fire Department they're likely to come help, I've done it plenty of times for people and it takes just 5 minutes.
posted by masters2010 at 10:51 AM on March 15, 2017

what quince said...........
posted by patnok at 1:53 PM on March 15, 2017

Don't call the fire department. This isn't an emergency.
posted by spitbull at 2:16 PM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Here are instructions for removing the door panels on a 2002 Silverado. You can see how the lock mechanism is laid out in the pics. Whether it can be threaded back together and held in place without replacement may depend on what was damaged when they were punched through.
posted by spitbull at 2:16 PM on March 16, 2017

Response by poster: Nice find spitbull! On a related note, my truck died on me halfway between Austin and Houston yesterday and is now sitting at a dealership in Bastrop, so thanks for your help everyone but I don't think I'll need to worry about it anymore!
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:55 AM on March 20, 2017

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