How to Open a BMW X3 (E83) After Getting
Locked Out with the Keys Inside

· · 2 Comments

It’s Christmas Eve today, the day on which Murphy’s law is at its strongest. We were in a rush today to get to our family, and while loading up the car with grocery bags, I left the keys in the boot. Like an idiot.

TL;DR

Locked car keys in boot. Car has no locks. Broke front passenger window, because it’s the cheapest and easiest to source). Found a shop with a new pane for my car. On Christmas Eve.


I opened the boot from the key itself and didn’t unlock the car’s doors. This meant that the alarm was still on and all the anti-theft devices engaged. Like any sane human being, I turned to Google for answers — they all said that I’m basically screwed, that I need a spare key or some sort of long wire with a hook, to fish the keys out. The problem was that they were in the boot, under the cover-thingy, unreachable from the back or front windows.

I called an “expert” who came, looked at the car, and was conquered — he said that he can only offer to drill through the tailgate to get at the lock itself. I politely declined. The reason for his rather drastic proposal was that the doors on this particular BMW don’t have traditional locks — they’re operated via the buttons on the key only. I called another locksmith specialising in BMWs. This one suggested he could fish the key’s out, but that he would probably permanently damaged the doors and scratch the paint — this was obviously not an option. So I had to take matters into my own hands…

I went back to the store, bought some sticky tape and garbage bags. I chose to break the passenger front window for a number of reasons:

  • the side front windows (left and right) are cheapest to replace
  • they are most readily available
  • the rear windows are factory tinted, which makes them much more expensive
  • the small triangle-shaped windows are even more expensive, hard to source and it takes much longer to glue them in
  • the rear window is the most expensive to replace (apart from the windshield)

I taped over as much of the window as possible, to limit the amount of glass that would fall into the car, but left the bottom left corner uncovered — this is the place where I would break it. I then put a garbage bag over my hands to protect them and sourced a hammer with a sharp end from the store’s maintenance. I stood back, and started whacking away. It took a number of strong hits, but the sharp tip finally broke that glass.

At this point all I had to do was carefully remove the glued window, which mostly remained intact, and clean up the car as best I could. I managed to find a car shop which had my particular window in stock and was still open — pure dumb luck, considering it’s December 24 and close to everything is closed.

So here I am, waiting for them to sort the car out, typing on my iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard, and trying to get used to it, while trying not to think about the fact that we’ll be late. It’s actually much better (the Smart Keyboard) than I assumed it would be, but worse than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 Type Cover. More on that later though…


So how’s your Christmas this year?

Chcesz zwrócić mi na coś uwagę lub skomentować? Zapraszam na @morid1n.

  • RDF3.2

    załatwiłem się tak kiedyś pod Los Angeles – głupi auto-lock w fordach. wezwana ekipa za pomocą kawałka plastiku i drutu rozwiązała problem w 30 sekund za 50$. ;)

  • Serio tak się załatwiłeś? ;-) Dość drastyczne rozwiązanie ale tak jak piszesz nie było innego. Nie macie drugiej pary kluczyków?