How to Use a Slim Jim on Power Locks? – Roadside Rescue Tips

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

how to use a slim jim on power locks

If you repeatedly find yourself stuck out of the car, having neither your keys nor a way in, Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll reveal the secret to how to use a slim jim on power locks.

You probably already know about slim jim from Hollywood Blockbuster since it is used often in car robberies in these movies. All they ever do is insert this metal strip into the gap between the window and the thin rubber band.

But they make it look easy on TV. To work a slim jim, in reality, is trickier than you may think since it may damage your car and can only be used on some types of cars.

So dive in and discover how a simple tool could change your world forever!

What is a Slim Jim, and How Does It Work?

A metal strip with a notch at one end is a slim jim. The primary use of a Slim Jim Tool is to help unlock a car door without using a key or a lockpick.

You can use slim jim to unlock car doors without using a key or lock pick. Slim jim car door openers’ hooked end is inserted between the rubber seal on a car window and the rods that link to the lock mechanism, catching them. It’s possible to open the door with some careful manipulation.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Slim Jim

What to Prepare

  • A car slim jim kit: slim jim, mirror, flashlight, and pair of gloves
  • Park your car and shut the engine
  • Make sure you have permission to unlock the vehicle and that it is legal to do so

Step 1: Identify the lock mechanism

Examine the door and window to understand the type and position of the lock mechanism to make sure it’s slim jim door lock friendly.

Because slim jims can not be used on electric locks, you are good to go as long as your car doesn’t have this.

Another helpful tip is to check if your car has upright locks. These locks, which resemble little cylinders, are located close to where the automobile window meets the door at the bottom. Note that vehicles built in 1992 or earlier typically have these locks.

Step 2: Choose the right slim jim


Now let’s choose a suitable slim jim to get into a car.

Select a metal slim jim that suits the lock mechanism of your vehicle, as slim jims vary in size and shape. A good tip is to find the smallest and slimmest slim jim possible. I personally don’t recommend a homemade, DIY slim jim.

Step 3: Insert the slim jim and jimmy the car door


Stand on the side of the car where the lock mechanism is located. Slide the slim jim between the car’s window glass and weather stripping. Gently wiggle it down.

Stop right away if you encounter any resistance. This could mean you are rubbing against an internal screw or a wire.

Use a wiring diagram to see if that’s the case. Once you have determined what is causing the resistance, follow these steps:

  • Wire: Move the slim jim until it wraps around it.
  • Screw: Spin the slim jim around it.

Step 4: Locate the lock rod


Once the slim jim is inside the door cavity, carefully maneuver it to find the lock rod responsible for triggering power locks, and hook the slim jim onto it.

Pro tips: Try to angle the slim jim towards the interior of the door, navigating it down to where the locking mechanism is located. This may require some trial and error to find the right spot.

Step 5: Manipulate the lock rod


Gently pull or push on the slim jim to move the lock rod up and down. Continue until you hear a click resulting from unlocking.

If you hear a “click,” this means the door has been opened!

Step 6: Remove the slim jim


Now that the car door is open try your best to remove the slim jim without causing any harm to the car by slowly pulling out the slim jim between the door and window.

To prevent causing any unnecessary damage, take your time and try to move slowly and smoothly.

Does It Work on Newer Cars?


Yes and no. You can use slim jims for unlocking cars lock picking tools or your keys, so if this is the mechanism of your vehicle, then you can use slim jims. However, modern cars have internal defense functions that cannot be opened using a slim jim.

That’s because new, modern cars have better locks and security.

Important Note

A slim jim can damage your vehicle’s internal mechanisms or electronic components. It is recommended to consult a professional locksmith or contact your vehicle manufacturer for assistance instead of attempting this method yourself.

What Are the Tools to Open a Locked Car Door?

You can always use closed door way tools, such as slim jim, and wedge lock-out tools, such as wedge and probe, to open your car door when the keys are lost.


In conclusion, learning how to use a slim jim on power locks can be a handy skill in emergencies, when locked out of a vehicle. With patience, practice, and proper technique, one can effectively unlock power locks without causing damage.

However, remember that slim jim for cars should be used responsibly and only when you have legal rights to access the car.

But keep in mind that it’s always an option to contact professional locksmiths, call an Autozone new you or use electronic key fobs, which can be less intrusive and potentially safer for your car’s security system.

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