Locked out of Car

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 then it is possible to get yourself LOCKED OUT of the car.

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 locked out of the car....any ideas?

This is a very bad 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 a less damaging solution.

This can happen:

if the battery goes flat (eg after long standing, lights left on, battery failure).

if you disconnect the battery after closing all the doors and windows and then close the bonnet.

if there is a door problem and the doors won't open on the remote or with the outside door handle.

If it appears everything works except the doors then suspect the  in-door actuator  which can either operate too slowly, not at all, or be jammed in the open position.

Inside the car, sitting on the drivers seat, pull the inner door handle and listen -  Yves has posted a very good demo  of what a worn actuator sounds like and what a new one sounds like 

If this actuator is faulty, it can shut down the Door ECU - and it stays shut down - so the doors won't work. Clear via the reset procedure (but if the actuator is faulty, it will immediately put the ECU back into shut-down mode)

If you keep trying the doors, I suspect it can also shut down the security module in the BSI - but I don't know for certain.  Just imagine yourself as a burglar and you can see the car is protecting itself.

WARNING: If you disconnect your battery - then do 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 way of opening the doors or tailgate.

The only 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 meter 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 double-locking 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