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[OT] Locking myself in the car

No, I didn’t really lock myself into my car, but maybe it’s possible.

I have a 1997 Plymouth van that recently suffered a rat attack in the engine compartment. They chewed up some wires. My first attempt to start it was like living in a circus. Things going on and off. I did have good insurance coverage, and it was repaired. Not quite. In wet or damp weather the door latches randomly go on and off. The van is not our primary vehicle.

After a lot of rain and snow recently, I got in and drove to the store. I noticed I couldn’t use the electrical lock button to open the door. I pulled up the mechanical knob and got out, then locked the door with the knob. That raised the question in my mind as to what might have happened if the mechanical latch had failed too. How would I get out of the van? In fact, that’s my question here. Another question is has this ever happened to anyone, outside of being in an accident?

You just use another door…

Happens all the time. Handles break, latches malfunction. It’s usually the driver’s door, since that one gets all the use.

Sometimes you roll down the window and open the door from the outside. Sometimes you slide out of the seat and use another door until you get it fixed.

Yes, what you say is true, but I’m thinking of a total malfunction of the doors that keep them locked. We have four vehicles. In my high use vehicle, I have a glass spring loaded punch. I might have one in the van. In any case, I’m just curious how people handle the probably very, very low chance of this happening.

I started carrying the punch an escape out the window if I somehow end up in a river. I’m in an area where that could happen.

“I have a glass spring loaded punch.”

You’ve answered your own question.

I managed to do it once, and without the aid of an electrical failure.

I own an older SUV. On a cold winter morning, I walked out to my car to go to work. I Put the key in the driver’s side door ant turn it. Nothing. Door’s frozen shut. No worries-I walk around to the passenger side door. Also frozen. Rear driver’s and passenger’s doors tell the same story. In a last act of desperation, I try the hatchback. Success!

Or not. You see, in older SUV’s, you can’t open the hatchback from inside the car-a fact I quickly became aware of. The doors were just as frozen from the inside, and they hadn’t improved much by the time I arrived at work. I ended up rolling down the window, hopping out, going back in via the hatchback (propped open this time), rolling up the window, and exiting via the propped open hatchback.