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-   -   Unlock your car with a tennis ball (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=2694)

snopes 03 February 2007 01:29 AM

Unlock your car with a tennis ball
 
Comment: I just saw a video about opening a locked car by placing a tennis
ball with a hole in it over the lock. The woman demonstrating then pushed
the tennis ball quickly and the car unlocked. It said the pressure causes
the mechanism to move and unlock. In the comments, people said it works
on some cars and not others. One commenter said he tried it on 3 cars and
it worked on all of them. The link I saw this at was:
http://algebraoflife.blogspot.com/20...nnis-ball.html

Auntie Witch 03 February 2007 01:38 AM

Oh, yeah, I carry around tennis balls in my purse for just such emergencies.

:fish:

(Dare I point out that if your keys got locked in your car, your purse is likely in there, also. I also liked the comment that the tip was for women. :rolleyes: )

surfcitydogdad 03 February 2007 02:04 AM

I hate it when I lock my burglary tools in the car!

marc137 03 February 2007 02:39 AM

But it would not work since most keys have and electronic device on it so that way even if the burglar (or the innocent woman) has a double of the key, the car will not unlock.

Plus it realy dint look like she pressed on the ball at all

erwins 03 February 2007 02:57 AM

I just tried it. (Ruined a perfectly good tennis ball.) It doesn't work on my car.

I have an electronic chip in my car key, but I believe that it only is "read" when it's in the ignition. I don't think it matters for the door key.

But, it definitely does not work on a 2002 Altima.

ETA: Not that I have a separate door key -- I just think that the electronic chip isn't read when it's in the door lock.

erwins

snopes 03 February 2007 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 49254)
INot that I have a separate door key -- I just think that the electronic chip isn't read when it's in the door lock.

Yes, there may be some exceptions, but in general non-chipped copies will still open doors and trunks; they just won't activate the ignition.

- snopes

Meka 04 February 2007 12:17 AM

I can maybe buy air pressure depressing the pins in the lock cylinder, but how exactly is squeezing a tennis ball supposed to replicate turning the key in the lock? Last I checked, just putting the key in the lock wasn't enough to open it.

OptimusShr 04 February 2007 12:37 AM

You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it :fish:

ETA: Almost forgot, seriously doubt what's shown in the vid works.

ganzfeld 04 February 2007 02:30 AM

This is great for when you accidentally lock your slim jim in the car but I just hate it when I lock my tennis ball in the car too.

Singing in the Drizzle 04 February 2007 02:52 AM

Haa!!! Yah!!! Right!!!

RichardM 04 February 2007 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OptimusShr (Post 49849)
You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it :fish:

ETA: Almost forgot, seriously doubt what's shown in the vid works.

No, no. It takes a tennis racket to do that.:lol:

FloridaGirl 04 February 2007 03:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OptimusShr (Post 49849)
You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it :fish:

ETA: Almost forgot, seriously doubt what's shown in the vid works.

When I read the thread title, this is what came to my mind as well! :lol:

marc137 04 February 2007 10:13 PM

Apperently the tennis ball idea came from a book http://community.discovery.com/eve/f...6/m/5411928128

DawnStorm 04 February 2007 10:39 PM

Sounds like a McGyver Trick!

Casey 05 February 2007 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DawnStorm (Post 50460)
Sounds like a McGyver Trick!

Except his were possible. ;)

Let's review, shall we? This can be doing one of two things.
1. Popping the door lock button up, unlocking the door.
2. Engaging the lock, popping the lock itself open.

This is patently impossible.

Why?

Start with 2. Obviously, even if you got enough air in there to move the pins (which you won't), you're not going to be able to replicate the cylinder actually turning. It would be the same as putting a key in a lock, pulling it out, and expecting the lock to be open. Never happen.

1 is where a lot of commenters (saw this on another board as well) get stuck. In theory, if the air were powerful enough, it could push the lock button up, unlocking the door. This, however, is impossible. No car door, ever, has been sealed well enough to make this happen. There are stabilizer bars for the hinges that need free air to move in, drain holes on the bottom edge for most, and trim that just isn't airtight.

Five bucks says the guy pressed the unlock button when she pushed the tennis ball. Hence the "innocent blonde woman" angle.

dragonbiker 05 February 2007 04:01 PM

And MY car gets 300 MPH, on a Glass of WATER!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 49194)
Comment: I just saw a video about opening a locked car by placing a tennis
ball with a hole in it over the lock. The woman demonstrating then pushed
the tennis ball quickly and the car unlocked. It said the pressure causes
the mechanism to move and unlock. In the comments, people said it works
on some cars and not others. One commenter said he tried it on 3 cars and
it worked on all of them. The link I saw this at was:
http://algebraoflife.blogspot.com/20...nnis-ball.html

Raelly, when you consider the energy required when the key engages the mechanical apparatus in the door, consider just exactly how MUCH air pressure would be required........

Love the story, although, now about my revolutionary new and VERY secret enghine that runs on water, for only a very nominal fee:fish: :fish: :duh:

Doug4.7 05 February 2007 04:23 PM

At first, after reading some of the comments on the site, I would vote "possible". However when I got to:
Quote:

What if you locked yourself inside the car and can't reach the outside key hole?
and the response of:
Quote:

Please tell me that wasn't a seroius question? If you lock yourself inside the car then your already on the INSIDE!!!! you just have to reach over and lift the lock!!!!
,I'm not so sure....

vanilla 05 February 2007 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug4.7 (Post 51256)
What if you locked yourself inside the car and can't reach the outside key hole?

BlondeStar to the rescue! :lol:

(Scroll down a bit to hear it.)

RichardM 05 February 2007 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vanilla (Post 51283)
BlondeStar to the rescue! :lol:

(Scroll down a bit to hear it.)

ROFL! And I'm blond.

silvercorvette 06 February 2007 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Casey (Post 51203)
Except his were possible. ;)

Let's review, shall we? This can be doing one of two things.
1. Popping the door lock button up, unlocking the door.
2. Engaging the lock, popping the lock itself open.

This is patently impossible.

Why?

Start with 2. Obviously, even if you got enough air in there to move the pins (which you won't), you're not going to be able to replicate the cylinder actually turning. It would be the same as putting a key in a lock, pulling it out, and expecting the lock to be open. Never happen.

1 is where a lot of commenters (saw this on another board as well) get stuck. In theory, if the air were powerful enough, it could push the lock button up, unlocking the door. This, however, is impossible. No car door, ever, has been sealed well enough to make this happen. There are stabilizer bars for the hinges that need free air to move in, drain holes on the bottom edge for most, and trim that just isn't airtight.

Five bucks says the guy pressed the unlock button when she pushed the tennis ball. Hence the "innocent blonde woman" angle.

OK I joined this site just so I can point out the error in your logic. The premise of the tennis ball thing is that it will work on some cars that have remote electronic locks. When you have a car with remote electronic locks the key serves no function when you open the car electronically. In fact you can open the door with the remote even if you lost your key . When you push the remote button an electric solenoid pushes the button up, the key never enters the lock nor comes in contact with the lock and the pins in the tumbler never move or turn. The pins in the tumbler serve no function when the remote opener is pushed. OK now that I have made it clear that the tumblers do not have to move to unlock the car the question is how can air pressure open the lock. I am not convinced it can but one theory of mine is the there is some kind of electrical contact switch inside the door near the key hole. It could be possible that air pressure from the ball can be great enough to cause the electric solenoid switch to move enough to close the circuit and open the lock electrically. I hope I have explained how it might work. And if there is any question about the tumblers needing to move just watch someone open the lock with a remote and verify that when the remote is used the key never comes in contact nor moves the tumblers in any way.


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