Locked Out.

Some of you have heard these, but from my perspective on the other side of the door, I can tell you things don’t look too different sometimes.

Got a call in the shop a few weeks ago: customer is in front of the shop, and wants me to go let her out of the car because her inside door handle didn’t work.  The outside door handle worked, and the window worked.  However, Her hair was gray, not blond.  She had been calling people to get her out for the previous week.  Some people need to spend some time in a beat up Chevy.

Now to be fair, there is a car out there that has door lock issues, but other than that, any car on the road has some way of letting you out by manually engaging the door lock.  My concern is BMWs.  If the electric lock fails, only the drivers door opens.  I’ve had door locks fail where the panel had to be destroyed to get the  door open.  Worst case is a 2006 model that blew the fuse for the door locks.  The location of the fuse box was in a panel that required the passenger door to be opened to access it.  This is merely an inconvenience until you think about an emergency situation where people need to get out of a car fast.

Everyone should play around with their car a little bit, figure out how the door locks and latches behave.  Notice the “double click” and what happens when the latch catches.  Roll your window down (so you can reach inside to the lock)  and see what happens when you try to lock your key in the car, open the door locked from the inside, and so on.  Some cars have ways to fight you from doing this.  Stick your key in the door lock and hold it left or right to see what happens.  Some cars will roll up or down all the windows and sunroof.   Check your trunk to see how it releases from the inside.   Learning this stuff ahead of time may someday get you out of a jam.  One of the best things to do is keep a door key (like the valet key) hidden on the car in a place like behind a bumper or fender.  you don’t need a hide-a-key, just a big hunk of duct tape and a clean surface.

One Response to “Locked Out.”

  1. I managed to lock myself out of the chevy a couple of times, but not the merc- thankfully. It’s an older model and probably doesn’t have the fancy schmancy anti- idiot gadgets.

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