keys locked in car 4

keys locked in car 4
graphic keys locked in car 4
photograph keys locked in car 4

The odds are you’ll lock your keys in the car sometime, and those odds are on the increase. The American Automobile Association reports that it gets calls from more than 4,000,000 locked-out motorists every year. That’s up from 500,000 or less just a few years ago. The culprits, according to AAA, are keyless ignition and increasingly sophisticated electronic anti-theft systems. With the harried holiday shopping season upon us, you might be even more likely to lock yourself out. Here’s what you can do to stay calm and get help on the way. Dial 911 Safety comes first; so don’t hesitate to call 911 if you think you’re in danger. In many cases, the police can unlock the car’s door. If they can’t, they will probably call a tow truck, which will be on your tab, of course. But at least you’ll be safe. Call for roadside assistance Here’s when those annual auto-club fees really pay off. AAA, Allstate, and other organizations that provide roadside service can quickly get you inside, though it could take a while for them to reach you. If you don’t subscribe to such a service, you might still be in luck. Most new cars come with roadside assistance during the basic warranty period. Your owner’s manual should have the details, but of course that’s locked in the car with the keys. The number to call might be posted on a window decal. If it isn’t, you can get the details by calling a dealership. To be prepared, you should store the number in your phone or write it down on paper and keep it in your wallet or purse. What if you don’t have a new car or you don’t belong to a service such as AAA? Ask about adding roadside assistance to your auto-insurance policy. Also, some major highways are patrolled by trucks offering emergency aid. Keep an eye out for one. Call a tow truck If you have no free options, most towing services provide lock-out service. Call 411 for services in your area. Get a temporary key A dealer might be able to make you an inexpensive key that will open the doors (but not start your car) so that you can retrieve your permanent keys. You’ll probably need your vehicle identification number (visible through the lower edge of the driver’s-side windshield) and to prove that you own the car. Of course, you’ll also need a ride to the dealership. Keep an extra key handy Stash a spare key in your purse, your wallet, or a well-hidden spot on the car. You can buy a small magnetic box that can hold a key and be placed on a car’s underside. Or leave a spare with someone who could rescue you. Buy a car with benefits Some cars won’t lock with the power-lock button if the key is in the ignition and a door is open. Also, many vehicles from Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury have a door-mounted keypad that lets you tap in a code to unlock the door. If you drive a vehicle with a telematics system such as GM’s OnStar, Hyundai’s Blue Link, or Mercedes-Benz’s Mbrace, you can call a toll-free number to have your car remotely unlocked. Those systems also offer free apps that let smart-phone owners unlock the doors. Check automaker websites for compatible phones and specifics. Keyless If you have lost the key, things get more complicated. You’re going to need a locksmith. Expect to pay $200 and up for a replacement key. Keys for some higher-end models can cost several hundred dollars and you can buy them only through a dealer, who will need to program the remote for you. And that means an expensive trip to the dealer on a flatbed. (Check out this cool tip for your keyless remote. It'll come in handy on a hot day.) Visit our guide to car maintenance and repair.


Many police officers are equipped for this situation. Depending on the department and the busyness of the area, they may not come. Certain areas require that the car be running to require police intervention. Because the car is running, you are placed at more risk. A thief will be able to easily spot that the car keys are inside. This means that you cannot walk away from your car. If you feel as though you might be in danger in your current area, then this is a very reasonable option. The reason that this is so high up on the list of options for assistance is because it is an emergency. You should try and use this service if there is a child or animal locked inside. If there is any other type of major complication where you must get back into your car out of fear of bodily harm then you should most certainly call the police. On the plus side, they are not only going to arrive to protect you, and be able to do it faster than any other service, they can also unlock your car. Willingness and availability of this type of service will vary. This may not be the fastest option to getting into your locked car if you can do any of the steps listed above.


1 Stay Calm and Try to Think About Your Options Ryan McVay / Getty Images Locking your keys in the car can happen to anyone. There are lots of ways to do it. I once put my dog in the car to take her to the veterinarian and had to run back in the house. When I got back outside she had jumped and hit the master lock locking all doors in the vehicle. Regardless of how your vehicle got locked with the keys inside, you need to be calm and think fast on how to get it unlocked. Are All the Doors Locked?  Panicking in a tough situation is common. I know it is obvious but checking all the doors is important. The last thing you want to do is call for help just to find out you had an unlocked door. Do yourself a favor and do a double check really quick. Know Where the Spare Key Is Located Do you know where the spare key is at? Maybe there is someone who could bring it to you. Often using the spare is not an option but it can save you both time and money if you can get it. Is It an Emergency? Emergencies should be handled a little differently for a standard lockout. For instance, if a baby is locked in the vehicle even on a semi-warm day it can certainly be important to get the vehicle unlocked as soon as possible. Waiting around for a tow truck or someone to deliver your spare key could be deadly. Hot cars pose huge threats against children and animals. Breaking a window may be your only option.


Ryan McVay / Getty Images Locking your keys in the car can happen to anyone. There are lots of ways to do it. I once put my dog in the car to take her to the veterinarian and had to run back in the house. When I got back outside she had jumped and hit the master lock locking all doors in the vehicle. Regardless of how your vehicle got locked with the keys inside, you need to be calm and think fast on how to get it unlocked. Are All the Doors Locked?  Panicking in a tough situation is common. I know it is obvious but checking all the doors is important. The last thing you want to do is call for help just to find out you had an unlocked door. Do yourself a favor and do a double check really quick. Know Where the Spare Key Is Located Do you know where the spare key is at? Maybe there is someone who could bring it to you. Often using the spare is not an option but it can save you both time and money if you can get it. Is It an Emergency? Emergencies should be handled a little differently for a standard lockout. For instance, if a baby is locked in the vehicle even on a semi-warm day it can certainly be important to get the vehicle unlocked as soon as possible. Waiting around for a tow truck or someone to deliver your spare key could be deadly. Hot cars pose huge threats against children and animals. Breaking a window may be your only option.


So you locked your keys in the car? That’s fine. Take a deep breath and relax. This post only exists to help you, and the many people like you, get back into their locked cars. This article goes over pretty much every way under the sun to get back into your car. These processes are in the order that you should try them. Although I cannot keep you from skipping around in the article, or beginning a process without reading it first, I would like to stress the importance of understanding the task before attempting it. There is a strong chance that I will miss those that skip around in articles, as this information is offered in the introduction (the most commonly skipped over part of any article). For those of you that have played by the rules, I will not litter the rest of the article with warnings, save the instances that something is so important it must be stressed through redundancy. I will say everything once now:

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