It’s the vehicular nightmare almost all of us face sooner than later: locking the car keys in the car. Let’s face it, exiting the car and locking it with a quick thumb push on the key fob has become so second nature, it’s probably the last thing on your mind as you head into the grocery store for some food.
But that’s where the real trouble begins. Not thinking about what you’re doing means you could get easily distracted and simply leave the keys in the ignition or accidently set them inside the console cup holder while engaging the door locks.
According to the professionals, you’re not going through early dementia. Locking your keys in the car, especially with an older model vehicle, happens to the very best of us. Perhaps you’re feeling drained and juggling a dozen different things in your brain. The keys are still in the car, you’ve locked the doors from the inside, and in ten minutes, you have a dentist’s appointment. It’s likely you’re going to miss your appointment, but there are several good solutions to your problem.
If you’re considering forcible entry, one good rule of thumb is to “try before you pry.” In other words, try some obvious solutions first before you go smashing a window, or prying the door open with a pry bar. That said, your specific circumstances will determine which route to choose when it comes to breaking into your own car.
In Case of Emergency
If you’re facing an emergency such as a small child and/or an animal locked inside the car, you need to do one thing and do it fast: dial 911. If help is taking too long to arrive, find a way to break a window as safely as possible.
Choose a window that’s far removed from the occupants. If you have access to some duct tape, cover the window with it to prevent the glass from shattering and spraying shards all about the vehicle interior.
Other Non-Emergency Solutions
Says Popularmechanics.com, if you’re not facing an emergency situation after locking your keys in the car, “the first things to try should be the ones with the highest potential for success and the lowest potential for damage.”
Check all the doors. Even if this seems like an obvious move, it works more often than you might assume. On occasion, a frantic driver will call a fireman for assistance, and upon arrival, they will check the passenger side door. Perhaps due to a faulty lock, they are able to gain access.
Opening a Locked Car Door Without a Key
But if all the doors are indeed locked, and no one close to you like a family member has access to a spare key, you need to call a professional for assistance. Carkeyspro.com, a locksmith in Chicago,says that your best bet is contacting an auto locksmith that operates 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Car locksmiths carry all the required equipment to open your car door, even if you own a keyless car. They can also reprogram transponder chipped keys and remote controls, roadside. They will replace jammed ignitions or door locks, and even change out a lock on-site.
But if you don’t have access to an auto locksmith or don’t have the funds to pay for one, you’ll need to call the fire or police department who can likely get you back into your vehicle relatively quickly. However, unlike usingan auto locksmith, you risk doing some damage to your car when going this route.
Perhaps you’re a member of a roadside assistance outfit like Good Sam or AAA. You might even have access to roadside assistance through your auto insurance. If that’s the case, you should place a call to them right away.
They might not get there right away, meaning you’ll likely have to wait your turn, but at least they will have the tools required to open your car door without doing too much damage. Also,you probably won’t be required to pay anything out of pocket.
If you’ve exhausted all your options and still find yourself locked out of your vehicle, forcible entry is likely your only choice. In a perfect world, you will be locked out near a hardware store since you might need a few items to assist you with your project, such as some plastic wedges, an air bladder that contains a bulb-style pump, a long metal rod, and a roll of duct tape.
In the end, getting your keys locked in the car, especially while it’s still running, is no fun. Luckily, you have a variety of options at your disposal for getting back into your car without doing too much damage. But if you have no choice but to break a window, make sure you do so as safely as humanly possible.
Article Submitted By Community Writer