Locked out of Car; Bonnet Release

The battery condition is critical to the operation of the car as many functions - ignition, steering, sliding doors, air conditioning all rely on the battery being up to scratch.   Even if the battery is OK it is possible to get yourself LOCKED OUT of the car.

as I see it, precautions that might be taken against getting locked out are:

  1. change the locking method to single lock (needs PP2000).
  2. run a fused wire from the battery connection to a safe point under the car so you can recharge the battery.
  3. add a bowden cable  and route it down to under the car so you can release the bonnet catch.
  4. not to fit aftermarket radios without swapping the live and switched live wires over.

It started off like this:

Please help!! The key fob will not operate the door either electronically or manually.  I have also tried the spare.  When I put key into door handle and turn I can not even hear an unlock click.  I am locked out of the car....any ideas?

This is not a good situation to be in.  The only obvious answer is to break a window (some say the driver's door window; some say the small window by the rear seats) so you can get the ignition key in the lock and start the car.  This seems to clear the problem however  see below  for two less damaging solutions.

This can happen:

WARNING: If you disconnect your battery - leave the doors unlocked and the windows open

Do not open the bonnet, lock the doors and take the battery out because if you (or some helpful assistant) then closes the bonnet there is no easy way of opening the doors or tailgate.

Shows the bonnet release (under the left-side dash) LHD car shown

The release is in same position on RHD cars - underneath the passenger side glovebox

BUT you won't be able to access the bonnet release if the doors are deadlocked (the default) and the battery goes flat.

Then your options will be smash a window; try an electrical solution or try a mechanical solution.

Electrical solution

Another way out of this situation will involve grovelling under the car as follows: do wear glasses in case there is a spark or oil drops into your eyes.

Þórleifur Ugluspegill Ásgeirsson has been there, done that.   Not quite as hard as he thought.

  1. Jack up both sides of the car (in case of an accidental starting and better workspace) and have the key in your pocket or very close by.
  2. All modern cars are negative earth, so using jump leads, connect negative of a spare battery onto a chassis point (or somewhere on the engine)
  3. Then wrap about a metre of ordinary 1.5mm stiff wire around the positive battery terminal and crawl under the car from the front holding the stiff stripped wire in your right hand.
  4. You can just about see the starter above.  Touch the thick cable on the starter with the end of the stiff wire (careful not to touch chassis).
  5. You should hear some clicks as the BSI comes to life: PRESS THE "DOOR OPEN" button on the key with your other hand.  If you are lucky, this will clear the dead-lock and the door should begin to open.
  6. Once into the car, open the bonnet and fit the new battery - wait 30 seconds for the electronics to settle and you should be OK.
  7. Resolve never to let it occur again

Mechanical solution

pre-arranged Emergency Release

If you have set this up beforehand, then this simple emergency release can get you out of trouble

Just a piece of wire, through some loops . . . . . . .

. . . . . . and pulled through to just behind the bonnet - or maybe routed down to somewhere under the car

David Porter got in by jacking up the front left side; removing the wheel and splash guard, and reaching up and tugging the release cable.

Stuart Preston got a local locksmith out who "opened the car in under 5 minutes" without breaking a window.

Chris Reid has opened the door with a key and helped another person with this method:

Insert key; turn to unlock position and hold there while you pull the door open