Car door lock tennis ball - Tennis Review

Car door lock tennis ball

Unlocking your car door with… A tennis ballFor some reason, it seems to be unavoidable: there inevitably comes a time when we find ourselves on one side of our locked car door, with the keys on the other.

If we’re smart, we’ve got a backup set, but what do you do when the extra keys are with your significant other, and they’re out at a tennis match?

A sporty solution

Let’s imagine that I’m the sporty type, and that calling a locksmith or roadside assistance is an insult to my athletic sensibilities – only a solution that uses my muscles will do. Then what? I break the window? I pick up the car and shake it, in the hopes that the keys fall out? I pull a Hercules and peel back the roof in a single go?

I don’t think so.

The principle

You can see for yourself, there’s another video demonstration here (try to disregard the production quality and somewhat dubious commentary). Now, take a moment to think. What are you really looking at? A ball is squeezed, a door opens, but is one related to the other? Is it possible that someone is using the remote key off-camera at the same time?

The idea behind this “trick” is that when the air in the ball is compressed, it exerts enough pressure on the lock mechanism to open it. Some people will say that you need to put a seal on the lock, or that you need to burn the edges of the hole for it to work. We could even take it a step further, and say that it only works on pump-activated central locking systems (which already work based on air pressure, and are mainly found in European cars) or on old models (ideally with bad paint jobs).

Myth or reality?

I have a confession to make: I’ve only tested this on one car. My one and only attempt was a giant fail, and I didn’t relish the idea of having to explain to a police officer why I needed to play with the locks of all the cars parked on my street. However, the television show Mythbusters tried it, too, and came to the conclusion that it’s impossible (even using ten times the pressure of a tennis ball).

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