How to use a slim jim

In almost all American made cars there is a control arm that extends from the inside end of the door lock cylinder. When the car door key is inserted, the control arm and connecting linkage are activated to either lock or unlock the car door. A slim jim is used when the car door key is not available and only with the consent of the owner of the car or vehicle.

Prior to using a slim jim to open a car door, it is a good idea to consult the manufacturers maintenance and parts manual. You should try to become familiar with the door locking mechanism you are trying to unlock. These mechanisms vary from model year to year and from one manufacturer to another. The control arm may be located to the front of rear of the door lock. The slim jim (lockout tool) is inserted (notched end) on the outside of the window between the glass and the weatherstripping. Use the notched end of the tool to push down on the control arm. In general, the lock can be activated to open by pushing down on the control arm. When the slim jim is being used properly the car door will unlock.
Most slim jims will come with complete instruction booklets which explain how and where to insert the tool and where the control arm is located based on the make and model of the car.

We do not suggest that a novice attempt to use a slim jim as you could seriously damage a vehicle's locking mechanism or break the window of the vehicle if too much pressure is exerted. At the very least you could destroy the weather stripping around the door frame. Slim jims should be only used by experienced locksmiths, law enforcement and recovery personnel.

Recovery agents, lockout specialists and other security professionals often need complete slim jim kits, auto opening kits and other automotive entry tools. There are many available at They also carry the Super Slim Jim which can be used on a wide variety of vehicles with horizontal or vertical linkages. Wider and stiffer Slim Jim than the standard jim at 1 1/4" x 25" - .032 thickness. The Clamp On slim jim is available as well.

Slim Jims

Resources for Slim Jims