Lonedev

Can't get in my car... PUZZLE.

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Hey! First post. Bit of an emergency. Sorry if this is in the wrong place!

My car battery is flat.

The car's driver side is up against a wall so I can't fit through it.

No other door has a keyhole.

I can reach in an arm and put a key in the ignition, that's it. The airbag light is the only one shows.

Windows won't wind down to get in.

Bonnet latch is out of reach to open and jump start the car.

 

The last thing I want to have to do is pay for a tow a meter up my drive . I've no breakdown cover.

Is there somewhere outside the car I can connect jump leads? I have a tacklfe T6 to jump the car.

Is there a way to pop open the bonnet other than that latch?

 

 

 

 

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I've no coathanger to reach the doorhandle or bonnet latch, if I can find something I'll try that.

I'm wondering, is there something can maybe help to move the car, rotate it a little to get me the room to open the door?  My present thought is maybe buying a cheap jack and a couple of wheel chocks and then lowering the car onto them so that the car is pushed a little sideways each time.

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First question is- how did you get out of the car in the first place if the door is against the wall?
Second question- are you creating a escape room scenario for a critical reasoning / problem solving type experiment?
My answer would be to use hydraulic wheel dollies and /or a trolley jack to drag the car out.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

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What a strange scenario. Does that mean you normally have to climb across the passenger seat to get into the drivers seat? Bit strange if so. Surely you'd just reverse on?

Rear tow bar and get a neighbours car to give you a tug. You can then ask them to move your car back a bit 😜.

 

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I had the car up against the wall so builders could get past with bulky stuff then I hopped out through the passenger door!  It is a weird scenario, even worse since I was supposed to be traveling tomorrow on the ferry to Scotland... 

Another possible idea is a few friends helping lift the front and rotate the nose of the car but, we'd probably end up ripping off a body panel or something 😅.  I've thought of a towbar but, I've no experience. Is there a chance the car would lunge sideways into the wall? The tow point I believe is far on the passenger side, and the handbrake is on!

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4 options.

1.) Try the jack idea that people have come up with.

2.) Get dragged via the towing eye away from the wall or down the driveway.

3.) Learn by your mistake and pay for breakdown cover. They usually take a 1 off payment of about £90 (may have gone up a bit) then a monthly payment after that, if they still offer this.

4.) Smash a window to let you take the handbrake off to roll the car far enough to get in.

Still cannot understand parking the driver door that close to the wall when it must be as easy just to reverse in.

 

 

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I assume the doors are deadlocked otherwise you ought to be able open the passenger door with a long piece of looped stiff wire. But as its only a small car 3 or 4 people could bounce it out sideways.

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If you can reach the cigarette socket, make up a lead with a cig plug on one end and a pair of croc clips on the other and connect the crocs to a battery, that way you back feed power to the car and should then be able to use the remote to unlock it.

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If you've got a local bodyshop, ask to borrow a couple of skates, put them on the rear wheels (the ones that are locked if you put the handbrake on properly) and then roll it back a bit.  I hope you didn't leave it in gear though... :laugh: 

Alternatively, do you have any kids/neighbours kids that could squeeze in to release the door handle or bonnet latch?

 

Finally, you can energise the car from outside...but you'd probably need a jack to do it.  You just put the posi cable on the starter/alternator wire and the neg anywhere that's metal.  Just make sure not to touch the small starter wire, especially if you did leave it in gear!

 

Oh!  If it's 5dr and a poverty model with manual rear windows, you can just slide the window down with a bit of force...easier when the regulators a bit worn, may not be so easy on a newer car! 

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UPDATE

I managed to sort it! (I think anyway, I'll be back if I'm wrong) The fix is MacGyversh, I found a feather duster on a pole in the garage. I twisted the end into a hook shape, failed to open the passenger door then tried to get the bonnet latch. I tried a few times, the head falling off the duster twice then I gave up...   What I hadn't realised is the bonnet popped open, noticed it through the window just now as I was getting quotes from local mechanics.

I'll answer a few of the questions/suggestions though now to tie up loose ends!

Thank you so much to everyone that replied. ❤️

_________________________________________

@Mavroz: I had reversed in, I then later shuffled the car to the side to make room. A window replacement would cost at least as much as RAC/AA 😛

@Comares: Your idea is basically what I did! Though, the multiple people bouncing one I'd thought of but decided against as might rip off trim or cause other damage.

@Milkman: That's an awesome idea but I had no way to reach the 12V sockets.

@Nicam: Yes, I live life on the edge... of driveways too apparently.😅 This is my first car, almost 2 years driving. Frugality was more of a priority than preparedness. given it's a fairly young low milage (45k) motor.

@Toms: I'd feel so awkward asking, would mechanics generally let you borrow things?  Door wouldn't open wide enough for a kid... unless dropped through the top maybe. Forcing down manual windows sounds interesting, I'd have tried that idea out! The rear are manual despite being a titanium model. I'd read about energising from below, requiring unscrewing things and stuff. I've a friend with a jack so I was contemplating it.

@Tiexen: Nope, ford thought it was a bright idea that the only openable thing with no power is the driver door.

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So you're now sorted? Can you still get wire coat hangers? Do you realise that the cost of one single tow off the motorway is equal to a whole year's cover? (Green Flag) 

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Here's a pic of the car for those curious taken just after I popped the bonnet and the situation it was in.

 

 

HQoeWzT.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, nicam49 said:

So you're now sorted? Do you ralealise that the cost of one single tow off the motorway is equal to a whole year's cover? (Green Flag) 

Yes, but I thought what are the chances on a relatively new car with low miles! 😛   I had actually been eyeing up cover this month as it felt time, nice RAC deal right now for 40% off I found on a UK deals site.

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Well, for starters, what if you have a puncture and can't undo the wheel nuts because they've been tightened with a windy gun? 

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6 minutes ago, nicam49 said:

Well, for starters, what if you have a puncture and can't undo the wheel nuts?  

On the relatively unlikely chance that happened I was prepared to swallow the cost. Spend £50 to maybe save £100  vs Spend 0 to maybe pay £150 (on a £150 assistance cost assumption).  One of those options I'm guaranteed to lose ~50 a year (depending what cover I chosen). That'd be doubled now as it's been two years. Almost the cost of a callout. It makes sense to not pay for cover on a vehicle you expect no issues with. I don't drive that many miles, if I driven a lot then issues like that are more likely so I'd also be more likely to buy breakdown cover. 😉

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If only life was that predictable.... but it really isn't. I prefer a safety net myself, but this isn't about me! So enjoy your ferry to Scotland and thanks for the interesting  thread. 👍

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1 hour ago, Lonedev said:

@Toms: I'd feel so awkward asking, would mechanics generally let you borrow things?  Door wouldn't open wide enough for a kid... unless dropped through the top maybe. Forcing down manual windows sounds interesting, I'd have tried that idea out! The rear are manual despite being a titanium model. I'd read about energising from below, requiring unscrewing things and stuff. I've a friend with a jack so I was contemplating it.

Glad you're sorted!

I know a few local bodyshop techs so I'm sure I could borrow some...whether you could or not, I can't say! :laugh:  When I was first learning mechanics, the local garage at the end of my road let me borrow a few 'specialist' tools...worth an ask if you get stuck, worst they can say is no... :smile: 

I can't remember if those Fiestas have full undertrays, if not, you wouldn't need to unscrew anything to reach the engine.  Would mean laying on the floor though lol!

1 hour ago, Lonedev said:

On the relatively unlikely chance that happened I was prepared to swallow the cost. Spend £50 to maybe save £100  vs Spend 0 to maybe pay £150 (on a £150 assistance cost assumption).  One of those options I'm guaranteed to lose ~50 a year (depending what cover I chosen). That'd be doubled now as it's been two years. Almost the cost of a callout. It makes sense to not pay for cover on a vehicle you expect no issues with. I don't drive that many miles, if I driven a lot then issues like that are more likely so I'd also be more likely to buy breakdown cover. 😉

I'm with StartRescue...cost about £25 for Roadside and Recovery.  I don't pay AA/RAC prices any more after a few bad experiences with them!

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A year last February, on the coldest day of the year and with my wife and her cousin on board and 20.miles from home,  I was driving them to the local Tesco when suddenly smoke poured from the engine and I lost power steering. I was about 1/2 mile from the cousins home and 20 from mine. And it was freezing. I quickly discovered that the power steering pump had seized, trashing its drive belt, hence the smoke. RAC took 3 hours to arrive and tow me home, but boy was I glad I had the cover! What else would I have done, who would I have called? How would I have got the numbers to call? How would I have got myself and wife home, then back and forth to organise recovery. A single taxi ride home would have been, what, £25?I didn't have to find any cash, and one phone call did it all. You take out insurance and hope not to need it, surely... 🤔 

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I have a black membership card with the RAC   I haven't used them all that often but they have been well worth the money on the three occasions when I have called them out to the M1   Once for a puncture where the tyre had shredded and blocked the jacking point and twice for breakdowns,   My membership also covers my wife and she is unable to change a tyre due to back surgery.

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14 hours ago, nicam49 said:

A year last February, on the coldest day of the year and with my wife and her cousin on board and 20.miles from home,  I was driving them to the local Tesco when suddenly smoke poured from the engine and I lost power steering. I was about 1/2 mile from the cousins home and 20 from mine. And it was freezing. I quickly discovered that the power steering pump had seized, trashing its drive belt, hence the smoke. RAC took 3 hours to arrive and tow me home, but boy was I glad I had the cover! What else would I have done, who would I have called? How would I have got the numbers to call? How would I have got myself and wife home, then back and forth to organise recovery. A single taxi ride home would have been, what, £25?I didn't have to find any cash, and one phone call did it all. You take out insurance and hope not to need it, surely... 🤔 

Some people do have friends and relatives...  One of my mates just calls his Dad to pick him up or tow him home whenever his car breaks down...  Sadly, I'm not in the same position! :laugh:  You can also get internet on your phone these days, to find numbers of people to call.

Personally, I'd have ripped the rest of the belt out and driven back with no PAS, or at least driven the 1/2 mile to the other persons house to wait somewhere warm and with a toilet if you didn't trust the battery to last 20 miles.  My last proper breakdown was a blown turbo, exhaust side so no chance of runaway, I drove it 10 miles home billowing smoke as I couldn't wait for the recovery.  Then 4 years ago I had a dragging clutch, got so bad that I couldn't get it out of gear and it was pulling me onto a roundabout with the clutch down...ended up trying to wrench it out of gear and breaking the linkage so just had to switch off the engine immediately!  Fortunately I was near a supermarket so I could run across there for the loo while waiting...but even then they took so long to arrive the clutch cooled down, I managed to bodge the linkage on and drove home...stuck in 3rd gear for the last couple of miles as the clutch heated up and the linkage came off again.  Which was doable until I got back to my parking space and habitually swung around forwards to reverse in... 🤦‍♂️ :laugh:  Had to switch the engine off, try and refit the linkage without burning my arm on the exhaust manifold and then bump it back into the space on the starter!

The two times I have had no choice but to call recovery were both pretty horrific tbh.  One was a blown rad hose which I had no chance of bodging.  That was outside college and I ended up doing the whole evening of college before recovery arrived!  The other was a locked drum brake, which occurred just around a 60mph blind bend, fantastic!  The recovery didn't believe me that it needed trailering so sent out 2 different van crews before a truck finally came several hours later...I'd had to get a lift to my Nans (2 miles away) to use the toilet twice in that time, and then very quickly realised I couldn't cope with the rough ride of the flatbed...  In hindsight, I should've driven the 2 miles to Nans, wrecking the tyre and probably the alloy, but not have had to go through that whole experience!  Needless to say, I've been terrified of breakdowns ever since!  Especially as all of my breakdowns so far have been mechanical and could've happened to any car, nothing to do with modern electronics! :unsure: 

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Hi Tom, car too heavy to steer without power steering! Also the coolant pump is slaved off the pas pump., not the alternator. I would have had to do a 3 point turn to go back, and on a bus route.... no dice!. too dicey! Also would have needed tools to remove belt cover which I hadn't got. 

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After getting the car jumped and out for a run it seems the battery can't hold a charge now. After 2 hours drive to charge up the battery I stopped at a petrol station and it wouldn't start again! Had to get a friend to come out, my little portable jump starter didn't seem to work on it any more. I think that little insurance black box done some real damage to the battery by discharging it. I've ordered a new Yuasa battery from Tayna (£15 extra to come to NI!) then I've to try and work out how to fit the thing... No tools here so I'll need to order some too.  The battery was about £100 itself excluding delivery  (EFB, start-stop). RAC/AA were quoting about £400 for the battery and fit which was madness, or £250 to come with a standard battery instead, which wouldn't last a year in a start-stop car. Madness! A local place quoted £200 for a noname efb battery and fit so decided a DIY route would be better.  It seems if I had RAC/AA this time around I'd have the recovery guy offering to swallow my wallet in exchange for a battery swap with me not knowing the price of a new battery I might have went for it.

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2 minutes ago, Lonedev said:

After getting the car jumped and out for a run it seems the battery can't hold a charge now. After 2 hours drive to charge up the battery I stopped at a petrol station and it wouldn't start again! Had to get a friend to come out, my little portable jump starter didn't seem to work on it any more. I think that little insurance black box done some real damage to the battery by discharging it. I've ordered a new Yuasa battery from Tayna (£15 extra to come to NI!) then I've to try and work out how to fit the thing... No tools here so I'll need to order some too.  The battery was about £100 itself excluding delivery  (EFB, start-stop). RAC/AA were quoting about £400 for the battery and fit which was madness, or £250 to come with a standard battery instead, which wouldn't last a year in a start-stop car. Madness! A local place quoted £200 for a noname efb battery and fit so decided a DIY route would be better.  It seems if I had RAC/AA this time around I'd have the recovery guy offering to swallow my wallet in exchange for a battery swap with me not knowing the price of a new battery I might have went for it.

Some people get all the luck! :wink: 

You only need a 10mm spanner to swap a Mk7 battery iirc.  Lucky it's not a Focus as you have to dismantle half the engine bay for those. :rolleyes: 

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