View Full Version : Oops! Locked out!

01-18-2011, 08:44 PM
I'm pulling desk duty at [Site B] again today. About a half hour ago, an English gentleman and rather sheepishly asked if I could do him a favor and look up the custoemr service number for Avis car rentals. I did, and wrote it down for him. He then explained that his cell phone had an UK number and that it'd cost him a small fortune to place the call even though it was toll-free.

Turns out that he's here in the US visiting, and had been out driving with a friend/local acquiantence when they pulled into this lot to clear some slush off the car, and he'd accidentally locked himself and his friend out of the car WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING!

Well, since he was apologetic about having to bother me, and this qualified as an emergency, I decided to be nice and let him use the second phone at the desk to call Avis, while his friend called AAA on his own phone.

After an eternity on the phone, Avis finally quoted him TWO HOURS to get someone out here.

Now, to be fair, there is a snowstorm going on, though one would think that an engine-running lockout would qualify to have the priority bumped up a little. I had to explain to him that this office closes at 5:30 and that if he was still stranded at that time that unfortunately he'd have to go outside.

Luckily for him, AAA was a lot faster, and they are now on their way.

Still, rather rotten luck for that guy.

01-18-2011, 08:56 PM
*hopes beyond hope that it is an ex-colleague (my old company is based in MA)*

*goes off to check FB updates to see if anyone is confessing*

01-19-2011, 01:37 AM
About a week before Christmas 1990, so just over 20 years ago now, we got hit with a huge snowstorm one weekday, early-mid afternoon.

There had been a little bit of "cry wolf" going on; the Weathercasters warning us for several days that we were going to get snow "tomorrow". Consequently, people stopped taking the forecasts seriously, so everyone was caught unprepared.

The next morning, at the parking garage I worked at Downtown, a Customer walked up to me and told me he'd just locked his keys in his then brand new Mazda (929 IIRC) , with the engine running! :eek:

Now this was just about the time that power door lock technology had made an advancement, and although our company had not forbidden us to not attempt to open such cars with the Slim Jim, they strongly suggested we not, since it was too easy to pull just one wire, or place the tool in the wrong spot, and short out the entire PDL and PW systems.

"No big deal", I thought, "I'll just call a tow truck!" Then it dawned on me, that they were all out clearing up the cars that had crashed into each other on the morning commute, then after that would be getting back to work on clearing up all the disabled cars from the previous afternoon.

So, I decided to give it a shot. We had never had any formal training on using the Slim Jim, just pretty much being shown during the first opportunity when we were new, then with practice. I'd been with the company for just over 7.5 years at the time.

Considering the fact that some of the older Mazdas were painfully simple to get into, and that the inside manual lock button was in the long time, and fairly standard location at the opening edge of the door, near the window, I was hoping this would be as simple as it usually had been. (First car I got into with the Slim Jim, was first generation RX7, (non-powerlock) and the lock button popped up just as I was feeling my way around to the right spot).

First off, I had to explain (no release form to fill out) to the customer that I, and the company could not be held responsible, should damage occur. I was straight up with him, explaining all the concerns and risks, and promised him I'd be extremely careful. My only concern was a language barrier, so I reinforced my cautions and concerns, he seemed to understand, and gave consent. I even called a local Mazda Dealer for advice, and asked one of the Service Department guys if he thought I should use the Slim Jim in the same manner, and location inside the door, that I would on the typical Mazda. He didn't want to commit either, (don't blame him!) but agreed, yes, that should work.

Went on down to the car, tried one door (probably passenger side-front, that's where we usually started, in case we damaged the lock), no luck after a few minutes. Went over to the other side, and IIRC, after a few minutes no luck there, either. Anyway, eventually did get into the car, shut it off and removed the keys.

Then, the moment of truth; hit the inside PDL, it worked all around, checked each of the doors, with the key, they both worked.



01-19-2011, 07:57 AM
At least the man wasn't an SC. That must have been a relief.

Sapphire Silk
01-19-2011, 02:50 PM
That happened to me once, though the car was not running. Went shopping with EE, came out and realized I'd locked the keys in the car (my now ex-hubby's car).

The ex was about 40 miles away with another friend of ours, so I called the local police. The policeman was very nice, but he politely refused to SlimJim the door for the reasons cited by Justa Cashier.

Ex had to make the trip to get me into the car. :o

01-19-2011, 05:08 PM
Just remembered another one, from years and years ago; I was at the lounge of a restaurant one evening, having a few beers. I had actually worked as a dishwasher at this place years before, (my first real job).

Another bar patron had locked their keys in their Toyota pick-up. Knowing it had that same easy to get into lock, that had been on that RX7, and no PDL, I tried what may have seemed a long shot.

That type of lock usually popped open with the downward motion of the Slim Jim pushing against a certain part of the mechanism, rather than using the hook part of the tool.

So, with the Bartender's permission, I go into the kitchen and grab at least two metal spatulas, the wide flipper style, and narrower one.

Went out to the truck, and, as I recall, without much trouble at all was able to pop the lock with the wider spatula!


01-20-2011, 04:29 AM
I locked the keys and my 2 week old son in my car. It was August and the temps were up above 90, IIRC.

I know, I know - but I was a kid myself at the time. :ashamed:

These were the days before cell phones, so I freaked right out. I was crying and carrying on just as loudly as Danny was in the back. Thank God the clerk inside the gas the station was kind and called the cops for me.

The cop arrived and started to refuse to slim-jim it, but then saw Danny wailing in the back seat and promptly changed his mind.

Was quite a scary moment.

01-20-2011, 06:32 AM
Last winter, I'd traded cars with my girlfriend for a few days so my uncle could do some work on her car. She managed to lock my keys in my running car one morning while she was scraping the ice off the windows before she left for work. She claims that the car locked itself. My car does lock by itself if you unlock it from the remote but don't open a door within a certain interval. It shouldn't lock if you've opened a door. Maybe it malfunctioned, I don't know. The keyless entry remote (not attached to the keychain at that that point since the plastic part broke) does not work if there is a key in the ignition.

I at this point had not much more than three hours of sleep. I had to work (probably could have gotten away with not going in, but I'd left my cell charger at work the previous day and I didn't want to say I wasn't coming in to work but come in for my cell charger). So I'm nowhere near conscious, its 6 am, and my phone is ringing over and over and over and over because she kept calling back when I didn't answer. Eventually I did. But the rest of this day sucked for it.

I searched my room for the extra keys that are theoretically somewhere in the piles of crap I've hoarded over the years. 20 minutes of searching and no dice. That meant I had to drive 18 miles in the wrong direction to get the other spare keys from my parents' house. Then 56 miles with a $3.75 in tolls from my parents' house to my girlfriend's house. She offered her bed, since I originally wasn't supposed to work that day, but I had to decline since I did need to go to work. I showered though, after helping her rectify some traded cars since my car had her dad's car blocked in, then took the 32 mile drive with $3 in tolls from her house to work. I stuck with it at work for about three hours then went to sleep. I had plans to take her on a monthaversary date or something, but I slept the rest of the day once I left work.