Hacking modern cars and car locks

Testing is fun. Especially testing locks and tools. And it is even
more fun when people claim locks can not be opened and you show it can
be done. Without damaging the locks of course.


I received a mailing (PDF) from the Wendt lock tools company in Germany. As
far as I know they are the biggest and most complete lock opening tool
supplier in Europe (in the world?). I try to visit their yearly ‘open
house’ meeting as often as I can. Walking around there and looking at
all these magnificent tools is always a great pleasure. And their catalog (PDF) is a ‘must read’.

wendt case

They supplied tools and expertise for a big test on cars and car locks
for the famous Auto Bild magazine in Germany. My German is a little
rusty, but here is a rough translation from part of the mailing Wendt send
around a couple of days ago:

“together with us Auto Bild tested in what time modern cars could be
‘hacked open’. The challenge was to open the cars free of damage. We will
not give the exact details of the test but on ten tested models the
results where rather shocking.”

wendt deluxe

I do need to get my hand on this magazine of course. So stay tuned for
a scan. (update 17:00 the magazine was sold out, will try other ways)

An for the people in Europe: an item on German television about this test will be aired Sunday.
To be more precise: Sunday 20.08.06, RTL, SPIEGEL-TV Magazin 22:35

14 Responses to “Hacking modern cars and car locks”

  1. André says:


    The first set of tools looks like it is for attacking the door, not the lock itself. The decoder mentioned in the Wendt-Newsletter attacks the lock.

    Some french cars can be opened by hitting the door sill with a backstroke-free hammer. So the hammer is a lockpicking-tool?
    Also Airbags, shims, leverage and rods are not what I call lockpicking-tools.

    We will try to open these: http://www.gallery.matuschek.org/index.php?album=Lockpick%2F&pic=Autoschl%F6sser.jpg next month, right?


  2. Barry says:

    André: It is a test to show in what amount of time modern cars can be opened damage free. Not sure what you mean with not all tools being lockpick tools. I sure like the cleverness of most of them.

    I am looking forward picking the Opel locks with you in a couple of weeks!

  3. Bud Wiser says:

    First of all many thanks Barry! Glad you finally got around to producing a blog! I’m sure you must be very busy, but I look forward to any posts you make.

    Now as for Wendt, what can I say, the quality certainly looks like it’s there, but man they are very pricy! I’m in the US, so the US dollar is very close to a Euro, give or take a little.

    I don’t doubt the quality and effectiveness of their tools, but wonder how many hobbiests can touch them at those prices. Are there any other suppliers you can recommend for hobbiests with out breaking the piggy bank?

    Thx and keep up the GREAT work!
    Jim, aka Bud Wiser

  4. André says:

    Barry: I think some of these tools are more “car-opening-tools” rather than “lock-opening-tools” because they attach the mechanics of the door. Shure, some of them demand great skill, but they don’t operate the lock. Your block is more broadly about security, not only Lockpicking. It was not meant as criticism, your blog ist top!


  5. Barry says:

    Jim aka Bud Wiser: thanks for the compliment. As I said before, I hope I can keep up this work. Wendt is aiming for the professional market and not the hobby one. I understand there is room for negotiations at the price they ask.

    André: No harm done. Thanks again and lets have a beer in a couple of weeks in cologne.

  6. p1ckf1sh says:

    Well, I will be getting the magazine tomorrow. Barry, if you still do not have a copy I can send you one or something. Regarding the TV report, it was just a cursory mention of opening tools done. The focus of the report was on how lots of cars are (still) stolen from Germany by organized gangs from the east of Europe. Nowadays they are selling them as spare parts after disassembling the vehicles. Lots of cars are also opened on car dealers lots and just certain parts are removed, like seats, airbags, wheels, whatever.

    The thing about Wendt was maybe 90 seconds. They showed how they were using one of the Wendt products to open a pretty recent BMW X3 by decoding the lock and setting up a key with bits from the kit. The thing that shocked me badly was the opening of a recent MercedesBenzDaimlerChrysler (whatever they are now…). They opened that one with the traditional suction cap/airwedge/wire method. Comment “The only german car that still opens this way.”

    Anyone know why that manufacturer is not using deadlocking mechanisms?

  7. p1ckf1sh says:

    Oh, and Bud Wiser, Wendt is indeed aiming at the professional market. I think their prices are also meant to discourage the small time criminals from getting their stuff to steal stereos (although effect of that may be disputable).

    I can only suggest looking very closely at the tools. Get one of those locks they are made for and analyze the stuff. Also, Wendt is usually applying for patent protection. These three things together enabled me to build an ugly and crude copy of their Little Joe laser track lock tool by myself and successfully open my VW (pre2002, mind you). And I am by no means a crack or longtimer, I got into picking February this year.

  8. Barry says:

    p1ckf1sh: I would love to get a copy of the original paper. Does not matter if it is on paper or a .PDF, just would like to read it myself.

    Too bad I missed the item on TV. I had been on a conference call with some people in the US who are going to set up a serious Toool.us group.

    Hopefully some Toool or Ssdev members have made a digital recording of the item.

  9. Eric Baier says:

    Great web site! I was wondering if you know of any way to to find a Kurt Zuhlke reversable pick gun. I’m in the states and would die to get my hands on one.
    Thanks for your time.

    Eric Baier

  10. p1ckf1sh says:

    Gnaaah. Just got home with a copy of the Autobild. Too bad I did not look properly in the supplied link to the Wendt pdf. The issue we are interested in is #31/2006. As this is a weekly publication I got the #33. Glad those mags are just €1.30. I just emailed the publisher for back issues.

    Hope they can work something out…

  11. Barry says:

    p1ckf1sh: I had the same problem. The issue was long gone when I visited the shop. Hope they will send you one.

  12. Gallardo says:

    Lock picking is fine. It works. BUT on the newer cars such as Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes, they have transponders in the door locks. So if you pick the lock, AND OPEN the door, the alarm goes off, and the immobiliser goes active. I have all the latest Wendt toys, so I know.
    However there are softwares making it possible to open the door via a laptop-remote. And this way, the car alarm will be shut off, and the immobiliser will not be activated.
    I have also tools for starting any new BMW and Porsche Cayenne. It works.
    I am actively looking for a car door opening software.
    Does anybody have it ?
    Any tips ?

  13. Enzo says:

    Hi there Gallardo I can see that you have knowledge with car tools,maybe we can exchange expiriences I have found a software that could open a car doors Like BMW,Ferrari etc….it needs little hacks and tweaks on software and it could work perfectly.Leave your mail for contact.

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