It is very distressing to be locked out of your vehicle, worse still, when the battery is dead. However, like most things, there is a way around it. Some cars would not open their doors if the car battery was dead. There is a way to open the hood of a locked car manually, but it involves tools, and some get messy.
You do not have to panic, because with the steps you will be reading soon, you will find that it is not so hard. What you need is two sets of tools, which are; a wrench and a copper wire, and a screwdriver. You would also need a flashlight to look into some nooks and crannies.
Here are some steps to follow to open up the hood of a locked car;
Press down the hood
The hood has a different method to open it than a door. When it comes to cars, the hood is usually pressed down first to open it. The lock is designed to release once the hood is pressed down. Sometimes it is difficult to get it open because the latch may be stuck. In this case, you have to do some extra work. To disengage a stuck hood, you will need some tools and maybe even extra hands to join you.
Reach for the lock
The grille area is the best angle from which you can reach the latch. You might need a flashlight to look through the grille in a dark area. Place the light from the grille’s angle, and you should be able to see the lock.
Disengage the hood
Now that you have found the lock, the next thing to do is disengage the hood. You can do this by tripping it with a thin tool. It would be best if you had a long thin tool because your fingers won’t be able to fit into the grille holes. A long, slender screwdriver or wire should do. If your grille is removable and it is getting in the way of reaching the lock, you can go ahead to remove it also.
If your grille is non-removable, it is best to leave it that way so as not to create more problems. Without removing it, you should be able to reach the lock through the grille’s angle and trip it while the hood is still pressed down.
Reach the latch from under the hood
With some cars, dealing with the lock from the front can be a challenging task. So, in this case, it is best to reach the lock from the underside of the hood. However, be careful of this method if your car engine was turned off not too long, as that area would still be hot.
Using a pair of pliers, try tugging at the cables. This way, the lock is more accessible, and you can keep tugging to disengage it.
Other Methods To Try
Asides from the above listed, there are other methods you can apply to open the hood of a locked car when the battery is dead. This method involves using smart features of the car and its key.
Most modern cars use a smart auto-lock with a mechanically linked key. The mechanical key is held by locks and buttons in smart keys. Disconnect the key from the smart lock. As a car owner, you should remove the mechanical key if you cannot open up the doors since the battery is dead.
Open the door using the mechanical key.
Once you have removed the key from the smart lock, enter the mechanical key into the lock on the door’s handle, and this should get the door open.
Replace the smart key’s battery
The battery of the smart key would run empty fast, so you should replace it with a new one. The batteries car smart keys use is small, round, and flat. You can easily buy them from your local car dealership or accessories shop.
It is recommended that you replace your smart key batteries every two to three years of use. However, if the battery shows flashing indicators, cannot receive signals, or is damaged within that period, you should replace it immediately.
What Causes The Battery To Drain?
The following are reasons your car battery could have run empty;
- How long you have been using the battery
- Leaving electrical accessories such as the stereo and headlights on
- Driving short distances too frequently
- A faulty alternator
- Turning your automobile on and off
- Idling for a long period
These factors make your battery drain power. If the battery is old, like over three or four years, it might be declining already and is due for a change.
Also, switching off electrical appliances in your car when not in use is important to save battery power. Avoid short-distance driving, as starting your car requires more power than driving; doing so too often will empty your battery fast.
An alternator is important for charging your battery. If it is faulty, when the battery is drained, it will not be able to charge due to the damaged alternator. Replace the alternator with a new one if this is the case.
What if the hood is frozen? How do I open it?
Here are some things you can try if the temperature is freezing and your hood is stuck; a handheld hair dryer, apply the de-icing spray to the windshield, warm or hot water, metal scrapers, or a spatula to shave off the ice.
How long should a fully charged car battery run?
Without driving, a full car battery should last up to two weeks. While driving, it depends on the accessories you have on, but it should last between two hours and five hours. The discharge period also depends on the age of the battery, brand, and capabilities.