What To Do When You Lock Your Keys Inside Your Car – A Step-By-Step Guide

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 It’s happened to everyone—you get out of your car, distracted and busy, only to realize that you’ve locked your keys inside. It’s natural to panic. With your keys locked in the car, you’re stuck—and if you’re not at home, you may feel trapped.

But if this should happen to you, keep calm. There are some very basic steps you should follow if you ever find yourself in this particular predicament. Before you know it, you’ll have your keys in hand and you’ll be ready to get back on the road.

When you get locked out of your car check windows and doors are locked.

Before you do anything, check that the windows and doors to your car are locked. Even if it seems obvious that you’ve accidently locked yourself out, it’s always best to double-check as this could save you time and hassle in the long run. You’ll also want to ensure you haven’t left any valuables in plain sight or accessible from the outside of the car.

If you are absolutely sure the car doors and windows to your car are locked, the next best step is to call a locksmith. A professional locksmith will be able to come out to wherever you are and unlock your vehicle for you. You can also access roadside assistance from many auto insurance companies. However it’s important to bear in mind that these services often tend to be expensive and may not be as quick or efficient as a true professional. Your best bet is usually to contact a reputable auto locksmith.

Depending on the vehicle you have, a locksmith can either pick your lock, or if it has an electronic one, they may be able to gain access using special tools and hardware. Once the locksmith has gained access to your car, they will be able to extract your car keys from inside with minimal damage caused to the vehicle itself. It is essential that you make sure that any locksmith you employ is experienced and qualified in their field. They should also provide identification for proof of their qualifications.

Locate a backup spare key.

If you have a spare key, now is the time to use it. Many drivers keep one in a nearby safe place, like with family or friends.  Even buried in their backyard. If you are unable to locate your spare consider contacting a locksmith. They can assist with making a new one. Make sure to check if they operate after-hours or on weekends. These services as this might be more convenient for you.
Locksmiths will usually be able to make a duplicate set of keys for around $50, depending on the type of car you have. If you don’t have a spare key and can’t afford a locksmith, try reaching out to your roadside assistance company or a local tow truck service. They might be able to open your doors for free or at a discounted rate. Whatever option you choose, please remember to keep your calm and take safe precautions when trying to enter your car.
Before going any further, check if responding to the situation on your own is even an option. Pulling on clothes hangers or using a slim jim style tool to enter a vehicle are useful options only in certain circumstances. For instance, they will often fail if you have a keyless entry system or electric locks. In these cases, you should look for other alternatives such as finding a competent capable locksmith in the area, calling a tow truck, or hiring an experienced roadside assistance company.

If you don’t have a spare car key, now is a good time to get one made in preparation for a potential emergency.

Don’t break the window — try coat hangers or air wedges instead!

Many people are tempted to break their windows as a last resort when they lock their car keys inside. However, using coat hangers or air wedges is a less expensive and less damaging way to get back inside your vehicle. To do this, you will have to insert the hanger or air wedge between the frame of the window and the door at an angle. Then, use it to pull up on the locking mechanism that holds the door shut.
Unless you have experience with tools and car locks, it’s best to call a professional locksmith who can guide you through the steps or even do it for you. Locksmiths carrying specialized tools can easily get into your car without damaging the window or doors. If your car is in an emergency situation, roadside services are available to help too. Additionally, many new cars come equipped with OnStar which enables you to contact a service representative who will open the door remotely if the keys are locked inside.
A couple of DIY options are also available. Long thin items like hangers or plastic wedges can be used to break into a car. With a coat hanger, you may be able to unlock the door directly by pushing and twisting it while positioning the hanger strategically through the window seal in order to reach certain locks and levers inside. Create a gap-spacer using air wedges. This successfully opens most cars doors within seconds when inserted under the door frame. Overall, these methods can help when your keys are locked in your car in an emergency situation. But cannot replace professional locksmith services if you don’t have access to specialized tools.

Call roadside assistance or a locksmith.

Without a spare key your next step should be to contact roadside assistance or a locksmith. Roadside services are convenient and typically charge per-mile. It might be the cheapest option if you happen to live close by a service provider. A locksmith is more costly but may save you money in the long run.  Specially made keys for your vehicle are better.nela locksmith residential commercial markets

If you choose to go with a roadside service or locksmith, be sure to do your research.  Find out what their rates are. And how long it’ll take them to get to you. You should also make sure that the locksmith is reputable and trustworthy by checking online reviews. If they have any bad reviews, it may be better to look for another option. Once the locksmith arrives, they’ll assess what type of keyless entry system your car has. As well as its model and year. They’ll then use special tools designed for unlocking cars to open the door without causing damage.

A good locksmith will be available 24/7 and ready to come to you. Experienced locksmiths also know how to work with a wide variety of vehicles. No matter what you drive, a professional should be able to help.  Locksmiths can provide other services as well.

Luckily you can always turn to NELA Locksmith when you lock your keys inside your car.  We are a licensed and insured professional mobile locksmith company, and we always arrive quickly.

Don’t let a car lockout ruin your day. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be driving away from the problem in no time.

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