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What is a slim jim tool

Many car owners have accidentally locked their keys inside the car and couldn’t get in. That is definitely not the nicest experience and most people have no idea how to act in that situation. Usually, they just start panicking or try to unlock the door using brutal force. Some would break a window, which is not the worst solution, especially if, for example, your dog is locked inside. However, as we all know, it’s only a temporary type of solution. You will have to deal with a lock or window replacement.

Actually, there are many tools you can use to unlock the car door. Today, we want to talk about a slim jim tool and how you can use it. Sure Lock & Key knows everything about this device and we would like to share our knowledge with you.

How to use Slim Jims

We bet you’ve seen a slim jim tool for cars at least once, whether in real life or a movie scene. So, basically, it is a long metal tool with a few hooks on the end. As we already mentioned, this tool is used to unlock your car door if you don’t have the keys. For example, it can be one of the methods if your key gets lost or your car key battery is discharged. Originally it was used by professional automotive locksmiths, but just like with any other tool, criminals adapted it to their needs.
Usually, these tools are made of steel that is strong and flexible at the same time. Also, they’re supposed to be extremely slim to reach the locking mechanism.
Now let’s talk about how to use a slim jim. Many cars are equipped with door locks that unlock when the wire connected to them is being pulled. So, technically you use a slim jim tool to reach that wire. However, before doing that, don’t forget to check if it’s appropriate to use that tool on your locks. After you have determined the type of lock, go to the passenger side of your car. Insert the slim jim between the window and the rubber strip along it. Slowly slide the tool along the window towards the keyhole. Pay attention to the lock because if it’s slightly moving, it means you have reached the locking mechanism. After you catch on the mechanism, gently pull the slim jim up and your door will unlock.
man use a slim jim tool
man use a slim jim tool

Does a slim jim work on all cars

We’ve already discussed how a slim jim work. The process is pretty simple and can be performed by an amateur as well. Another question is if a slim jim works on all cars.
The tool is mostly used on older car models with regular mechanical locks. It’s not the best way to unlock your car if it is a newer model. These cars are usually equipped with electrical locks that have many wires. When you insert the tool, it might get caught in all these wires. You might accidentally damage them and your door won’t unlock. In that case, your only option may be to use professional automotive locksmith services. These technicians have all the required tools and skills to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind that some of the cars today are equipped with slim jim shields. These shields are composed of solid materials and the slim jim tool won’t get past them.
slim jim tool
Even if your car doesn’t have any of these, there is still a risk of damaging your door lock when using the slim jim tool. So, if you’re not confident you can open the door yourself, it’s always better to ask a professional for help.
slim jim tool

How to make a slim jim tool

We’ve figured out what a slim jim is and how you can use it. However, what is the possibility that you’re going to have this tool somewhere around in case of an emergency? Did you know that you can actually make it yourself?
We created a little guide on how to make a slim jim tool which you might want to follow.
First of all, find a proper base for your slim jim. It should be something long, slim and made out of sturdy material. Maybe you have a metallic ruler, hanger, or a piece of metal somewhere handy.
After you’ve found your base, you’ll need to prepare it. If you’re using a piece of metal, straighten it and make a little hook on the end. If you’re using a hanger, unbend the hook part and form it so it will fit.
It’s perfect if you have a ruler because you won’t have to do much. You’ll only need to cut a notch on the end of the ruler.
When you’re done with making your own slim jim, carefully insert it into the wedge closer to the door lock and try what we described in the previous part of this article.

Can the slim jim tool damage your car?

Anyone can lock the keys inside the car. However, not everyone will try to get them on their own. To save money on calling locksmiths, the car owner will want to try to unlock the car independently, not realizing what damage they can cause. A person who does not have specialized knowledge may not realize that using slim jims to unlock newer car models is useless. Slim jims should only be used for older cars and only if you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. If you do not have such knowledge, you should not try to open the car in this way, as you can damage many things. For example, airbags, fiber optic cables, wiring, locking systems, and other things that are important for the functioning of the car.

Summing up

Car key loss and car lockouts are actually way more common than you might think. There are many ways to deal with these problems. One of the options is to use a slim jim tool. It is a thin, long metallic tool you use to reach the locking mechanism. However, if you don’t use it carefully, you may accidentally damage your lock. So, it’s always better to ask for professional assistance. Sure Lock & Key will gladly resolve any of these issues.

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