By Steve Young / July 2005







American Towman Lockout Column

The Audi brand is one of the fastest growing luxury brands in North America and around the world. Although Audi shares a relationship with VW and Porsche, the Audi Corporation can trace its roots back to 1899. The Audi A4 (photo one) and the VW Passat (photo two) share the same platform and many interior and exterior features. For that reason, the unlocking methods that I will describe in this article will unlock both the A4 and the Passat. The only real difference in unlocking the two vehicles is that the Passat will not necessarily be equipped with an alarm and the placement of the power door lock control is different.

The Audi A6 (photo three) is essentially a bigger and more luxurious version of the A4. The S4 and the S6 are simply sporty versions of the A4 and A6. The methods for unlocking the doors on the A4, S4, A6 and S6 are all the same. Entry to the vehicles can be gained relatively easily with the Tech-Train 1015 “Under Window” tool. Attempting to use a car-opening tool that goes into the interior of the door is futile because of the bicycle-style cables that are used inside the door in place of traditional linkage rods (photo four).



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Photo 4: The interior of the Audi A4 door, showing the bicycle-style cable that is used in place of traditional linkage rods.


Photo 5: The TT-1015 tool is inserted between two wedges near the front of the door.


The TT-1015 “Under-Window Tool” is used to manipulate the inside door handle from outside the vehicle. Like almost all vehicles of European origin, the door can be unlocked by pulling the inside door handle. This will only work on the front doors because the child-safety mechanism on the rear door prevents the handle from overriding the lock system.

Unlocking the Audi A4, A6 or a Passat that is equipped with a factory installed alarm system with the TT-1015 tool requires a different procedure than on most vehicles. The tip of the tool must be positioned behind the inside handle lever so that you can pull the lever out without slipping off. It will be necessary to pull the handle twice in most cases, so proper positioning of the tool is very important.
The first step in unlocking these vehicles is to wedge open the base of the window as far forward as possible on the front door (photo five). Because of the multi-layer weather-stripping that is used on the base of the window, you will have to use extra caution while wedging open and gap into the door and while inserting the tool. To protect the weather-stripping, I begin by inserting a small plastic card between the glass and the weather-stripping. I then insert the wedge between the plastic card and the glass, pulling the card out after the tip of the wedge is below the level of the deepest lip of the weather-stripping. If you do not take steps to protect the lower layer of weather-stripping it will roll under your wedge. This will restrict the movement of your tool and possibly damage the weather-stripping. You will also have to use the same technique as you insert the tool into the door to prevent the tool from rolling the weather-stripping (photo six).

The first step in unlocking these vehicles is to wedge open the base of the window as far forward as possible on the front door (photo five). Because of the multi-layer weather-stripping that is used on the base of the window, you will have to use extra caution while wedging open and gap into the door and while inserting the tool. To protect the weather-stripping, I begin by inserting a small plastic card between the glass and the weather-stripping. I then insert the wedge between the plastic card and the glass, pulling the card out after the tip of the wedge is below the level of the deepest lip of the weather-stripping. If you do not take steps to protect the lower layer of weather-stripping it will roll under your wedge. This will restrict the movement of your tool and possibly damage the weather-stripping. You will also have to use the same technique as you insert the tool into the door to prevent the tool from rolling the weather-stripping (photo six).

Once you have a suitable gap into the door cavity, insert the tool into the door with the tip of the tool pointed toward the front of the vehicle. When the upper bend of the tool is below the bottom of the window glass, flex and lift the tool so that the upper bend slides up the inner surface of the window glass. The exclusive flattened top edge of the TT-1015 tool helps to guide the tool into the proper position to slide past the weather-stripping. The tool can also be lubricated with a silicone lubricant or dishwashing liquid to help with the insertion.

As soon as you are sure that the tool is in position to be pulled up on the inside of the door, stop and remove the wedges from the door. It is very important to remove the wedges prior to pulling the tool up on the inside of the door. Failure to remove the wedges can result in breaking the window glass. Pull the tool up until the tip of the tool pops free of the weather-stripping inside the passenger compartment of the car. Next, manipulate the tip of the tool until you can slip it between the inside edge of the door handle and the trim around the handle (photo seven).

At this point, you will be ready to actually unlock the door. If the vehicle is a VW Passat that is not equipped with a factory installed alarm system, pulling the handle out (photo eight) will raise the vertical lock button located at the rear of the door (photo nine). Do not attempt to actually open the door with the tool; this requires too much force to be applied to the tool. If too much force is applied and the tool slips off the handle, the tool could damage the door trim or break the window glass. Once the button has come up, you can open the door by using the outside door handle.

If you are dealing with an Audi or a Passat that is equipped with a factory installed alarm system, you will have to pull the inside door handle twice. The first pull sets the vehicle up to be unlocked and the second pull actually unlocks the door. One problem with this method is that on Audi vehicles the power door lock control is located inside the forward portion of the handle trim. If you allow the door handle to come too far back after the first pull, your tool may contact the power door lock control and relock the door (photo 10). Once again, do not try to actually open the door with your tool. After the second pull on the inside door handle, operating the outside door handle will open the door. In most cases, this method will not even set off the alarm.

Attempting to unlock the car by using the tool to operate the power door lock control may work on some occasions. However, if the vehicle has been locked with the key or the remote, and the alarm system is active, the power door lock control will be disabled.

I do not recommend the use of the Jiffy-Jak Vehicle Entry System or other door wedging tools for the Audi vehicles because of the way the weather-stripping is attached to the inside edge of the door. The weather-stripping consists of a thick spongy pad that is glued directly to the outer lip of the door. Attempting to use a wedging tool may pinch or tear the weather-stripping. The VW Passat, on the other hand, can be unlocked easily with the Jiffy-Jak Vehicle Entry System.






Photo 6: A plastic card is used to help insert both the wedges and the tool into the door without rolling the lower layers of the weather-stripping.










Photo 8: Use the looped end of the tool to pull the inside door handle out to unlock the door.


Photo 7: Always remove the wedges before you pull the tool up into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Failure to remove the wedges may result in breaking the window glass.










Photo 9: On the Passat, pulling the handle will raise the vertical lock button at the rear of the door and unlock the door.



Photo 10: On the Audi vehicles you will have to pull the handle twice in order to unlock the door. Make sure that you do not allow the tool to contact the power door lock button (indicated by the red arrow) or you will relock the door.


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Steve Young is the founder of Tech-Train Productions, which merged with Lockmasters, Inc. in 2003. His company has been producing vehicle entry tools, training videos, and manuals for the automotive security industry since 1988. Tech-Train Productions and Lockmasters, Inc. markets vehicle entry tool sets and the original Jiffy-Jak Vehicle Entry System, as well as a full line of automotive locksmithing tools. Steve Young teaches hands-on seminars across the country in conjunction with Lockmasters PUREAuto (tm) Seminars. Steve can be reached by email at: steve@techtrainproductions.com.