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  #1  
Old 03 February 2007, 01:29 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Blow Your Top 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
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  #2  
Old 03 February 2007, 01:38 AM
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Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
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Oh, yeah, I carry around tennis balls in my purse for just such emergencies.



(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. )
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  #3  
Old 03 February 2007, 02:04 AM
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I hate it when I lock my burglary tools in the car!
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  #4  
Old 03 February 2007, 02:39 AM
marc137
 
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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
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  #5  
Old 03 February 2007, 02:57 AM
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erwins erwins is offline
 
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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
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  #6  
Old 03 February 2007, 03:09 AM
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Blow Your Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
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
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  #7  
Old 04 February 2007, 12:17 AM
Meka Meka is offline
 
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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.
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  #8  
Old 04 February 2007, 12:37 AM
OptimusShr
 
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You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it

ETA: Almost forgot, seriously doubt what's shown in the vid works.
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  #9  
Old 04 February 2007, 02:30 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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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.
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  #10  
Old 04 February 2007, 02:52 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Haa!!! Yah!!! Right!!!
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  #11  
Old 04 February 2007, 02:55 AM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptimusShr View Post
You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it

ETA: Almost forgot, seriously doubt what's shown in the vid works.
No, no. It takes a tennis racket to do that.
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  #12  
Old 04 February 2007, 03:17 AM
FloridaGirl
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptimusShr View Post
You can unlock your car with a tennis ball if you chuck it at the windshield hard enough.

I got it

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!
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  #13  
Old 04 February 2007, 10:13 PM
marc137
 
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Apperently the tennis ball idea came from a book http://community.discovery.com/eve/f...6/m/5411928128
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  #14  
Old 04 February 2007, 10:39 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Crash

Sounds like a McGyver Trick!
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  #15  
Old 05 February 2007, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old 05 February 2007, 04:01 PM
dragonbiker
 
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Crash And MY car gets 300 MPH, on a Glass of WATER!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
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
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  #17  
Old 05 February 2007, 04:23 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Crash

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....
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  #18  
Old 05 February 2007, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
What if you locked yourself inside the car and can't reach the outside key hole?
BlondeStar to the rescue!

(Scroll down a bit to hear it.)
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  #19  
Old 05 February 2007, 06:03 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanilla View Post
BlondeStar to the rescue!

(Scroll down a bit to hear it.)
ROFL! And I'm blond.
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  #20  
Old 06 February 2007, 06:15 AM
silvercorvette
 
Posts: n/a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
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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