How To Handle It When You Are Locked Out Of Your Car

Posted on: 27 July 2015

It can be an expensive and time-consuming inconvenience, but almost every driver seems to do it at least once. What is it? Locking your keys in the car. Knowing what to do if this happens to you can prevent it from becoming an even bigger hassle, which is why this guide is here to help.

#1: Safety First

It's not unheard of to lock the keys in the car with them in the ignition and with the car running. If this happens to you, make sure the car isn't in an enclosed space, such as your garage. If it is, open the garage door. Dangerous carbon monoxide can build up inside a garage with a running car, even leaking into the house. Keep the door open until a locksmith can arrive and retrieve your keys.

#2: Call for Help

Put in a call to a tow truck company, your roadside assistance provider, or to an automotive locksmith as soon as you realize your keys are locked inside and that you don't have a backup key accessible. It can take some time for these service providers to arrive, depending on their call backlog and your location. You can always cancel the call if you manage to retrieve the keys before they arrive.

#3: Skip the Hanger

A coat hanger or slim jim is unlikely to open your car door, unless you have an older car with a vertical push button lock. On these older cars, you could insert the hanger or slim jim between the window glass and the seal, then you would fish around until you found the rod inside the door that was attached to the lock. A quick tug upward unlocked the door. This doesn't work on newer cars and you may just end up damaging something inside the door or ruining the seal by the window. The only exception is if your window is cracked open – you may be able to insert a hanger to push the unlock button for the door.

#4: Stay With Your Car

It's a good idea to stay with your car until the locksmith arrives. You don't want to tempt a thief by leaving the car alone, especially if it's running or the keys are in a highly visible spot. The only time you should leave the car is if safety dictates, such as if you are parked in a dangerous area.

#5: Prevent Future Lock-Outs

Once you have regained access to your car, plan to prevent a lock-out from happening again. You can get a car key or key fob with a chip in it that won't allow the doors to lock if the key or fob is still inside the car. Another option is to get a temporary key. These keys are usually made of plastic and they are no thicker than a credit card. You can only use them to unlock the car, not to start the ignition. Their slender profile is perfect for sliding into your wallet.

For more information, contact A-Okay Lock & Key Inc. or a similar company.

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