• Jul 12, 2007
You may remember a video that we showed on Autoblog where someone poked a hole in a tennis ball, lined up the hole in the ball with the key-hole of a car, pressed really hard, and the door unlocked. After reading your comments from that post, we decided that it was definitely worth testing to see if this tennis ball technique works for ourselves. One of the commentors from the last post on this subject used pressurized air to try to unlock four different doors to no avail, and another used a plunger (we wish we had video of that) but nobody tried a tennis ball like the video in question.

Hit the jump to see what happened when we tested the "use a tennis ball to unlock your car" trick. We tried it on four different vehicles, and we used two tennis balls, each with a different-sized hole in it to verify our findings. Check it out, and if you have a tennis ball and a screwdriver lying around the house, try it yourself and let us know in the comments if you got the same result we did. We're guessing you probably will.


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  • 58 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does Volvo have special non dent door panels or are they just really flimsy cheap plastic?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Try it on a Toyoto Corrola (sp? that can't be right) it apparently works according to my friend - try something like the 79
      • 7 Years Ago
      did it just not cross anyone's mind that someone else used the electronic remote (that they showed) to unlock the door when she pushes down on the ball.....?
      • 7 Years Ago
      xterra so fking own man :D
      • 7 Years Ago
      i don't have a tennis ball right now to test this, but watching the video i can say this.
      the ONLY way for this to work would be with a VERY QIUCK and forceful application!
      the lock cylinder is enclosed but not airtight and the air pressure must be applied in such a manner as to overwhelm the "escape velocity" of the cylinder.
      if this works at all it is on the same principal as the "vibrator" type lockpicks that put the pins in "freefall"
      if you will, so that they can slip into the slots.
      to have any chance of success one would have to positioin the ball with two fingers or something
      and do a "palm strike" to get enough pressure quickly enough to do it, in much the same manner as mounting a tire.
      if air pressure is applied too slowly, the air will simple escape as fast as it goes in and the tire will not " pop on"
      the bead which is why tire shops have high volume air to
      force the sidewals into contact with the rim so pressure can build up
      Cheryl
      • 7 Years Ago
      Satun used to have dent resistant paneling and even those flex some so I'm pretty sure all panels flex on all cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chris,
      This is somewhat unrelated, but I have to point out that you present this extremely well. Esecially for a short piece for a blog. It's succinct, gets to the point, and you don't trip over every other word. Well done. Try to rub off a little on your Weblogs, Inc cohort Scott McNulty over at TUAW. He's terrible on camera...
      Amarnath Venkatesh
      • 2 Years Ago
      i tried the cell phone signal trick and i was able to lock the car but not able unlock it !!
        Black Bart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Amarnath Venkatesh
        and, of course, your keys were inside the car when you locked the door hahahahahA
      Gary
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a load of B.S. !! The tennis ball is good for one thing. You can bounce and catch it while you're waiting for the locksmith to arrive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Gary
        Not if there's a hole in it :)
      Bird
      • 7 Years Ago
      cuz u all have shit american cars
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Bird
        So there!

        I agree with this numskull.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Bird
        Are you saying that if we didn't have American cars, the door would unlock?
      • 7 Years Ago
      True, all cars do flex, some more than others. Have you ever pushed the rear end of a Corvette? or the bumber of a Chrysler 300?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I believe this may explain things:

      Metacafe has a rewards system for videos that get higher hit counts - so people make videos like this to attract traffic. There was also a "how to hack the gas pump to get free gas" video that was faked.
      • 7 Years Ago
      CMDR totally wins for best post. I, However, had my sis-in-law's XC90 back into my car and caused $4500 in damage.
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