While sometimes we learn the hard way, several handy tricks can save you in this dire situation. Before you admit to your partner or friends, “Yep, I locked my keys in my car again,” try these methods to regain access to your vehicle (without asking them for help).
Is Locking Your Keys In Your Car Common?
According to the American Automobile Association, four million Americans locked their keys in their cars in 2012. While it’s rare for drivers to lock their keys in their vehicles, it still happens been with electronic key fobs.
Many vehicles have keyless entry systems that remotely lock or unlock the doors. Some even let you start your car with a smartphone. Unfortunately, many of us are still driving older models that lack the luxuries that newer models offer.
It’s important to know how to respond in a situation like this, especially with certain circumstances varying in severity.
Can I Call The Police If I Locked My Keys In My Car?
Yes-but, most often, only in an emergency.
If a child or pet is locked in your vehicle, you should call 911 immediately. If you can, stay with the car until the authorities arrive. Police and firefighters are trained in extrication techniques and may be able to get the child or pet safely out of your vehicle.
If need be, the police department will break a window, and you will be responsible for paying for a replacement.
Some police departments have the tools to unlock your car for free-available human resources is usually a different story. You can call the non-emergency number of the local police department and ask if an officer can unlock your vehicle. But don’t be surprised if no officers are available, or it takes a very long time for a responding officer to arrive. In non-emergency situations, the police may (and do) refer people to locksmiths when they find themselves locked out of the car.
Can AAA Unlock My Car For Me?
When you have locked your keys inside your vehicle, roadside assistance providers such as AAA can be of considerable assistance. Unlike some local locksmiths, AAA is available 24/7. Additionally, AAA members also receive one free lockout per year, up to a determined cost, depending on membership type.
If you worry because you aren’t a member, don’t. It’s super simple to get a membership over the phone if the first time you call AAA is after locking your keys in the car. The cost is often comparable to what paying a locksmith would be anyway. Alternatively, if you don’t want a membership, you can pay just for the lockout service and get help all the same.
Roadside assistance usually provides lockout services and can be an added benefit of your insurance plan.
Other Roadside Assistance Companies with Lockout Service
There is no one best roadside assistance plan for every individual. Be sure to consider your needs and your budget before purchasing a plan. High-quality roadside assistance will be expensive, while extremely low-cost roadside assistance may not provide the service you require.
These insurance companies provide lockout service as part of their roadside assistance:
Rates vary with memberships ranging from $14-$164, depending on the services offered.
Should I Call a Locksmith?
Another viable option is as easily reached as a Google search. You can also expect a professional locksmith to respond promptly to your call as most are available 24/7. They will also possess the necessary tools to enter your car quickly without causing any damage. In some cases, they may even be able to cut and program keys on the spot.
Be sure only to contact legitimate locksmiths. If they don’t have a Google business listing, they may not be real.
I Locked My Keys In My Car: How Can I Unlock It Myself?
Want to avoid being charged for roadside assistance or a locksmith call? With patience and a little bit of knowledge, you can unlock your car without keys with several cheaper methods. Here are some tips for removing the keys from a locked car without the assistance of a locksmith.
How can I unlock a car with a cell phone?
Nowadays, you can unlock your car with a smartphone app without destroying your wallet or breaking your window. Apple and Android apps are readily available to control many new vehicles without keys. Users can lock and unlock their cars remotely with the apps and even start them using the smartphone as a second key fob.
You can install a manufacturer’s app for the following makes of vehicles:
How to unlock a car with a wedge tool
If you need to open a car door without keys, invest in a set of automotive toolkits with a curved or inflatable wedge. The door frame can be pulled out using a pry tool and held in place with a wedge. You can then gain access to push the unlock button with a long, thin rod (such as a coat hanger).
Be warned this may damage paint jobs, but it’s cheaper than paying for a locksmith and perfect for older vehicles.
How can I unlock a car with a coat hanger?
You probably have seen this method in various movies. However, it only works with older vehicles. You will need only a thin wire hanger and some pliers to accomplish this. By unscrewing the coat hanger with the pliers, you’ll have one hook and one straight side.
You should insert the coat hanger between the window and the weather stripping. When the hook is below the window, you can search for the control arm. Once you have located it and the hook catches, you will be able to open your door by pulling up with the hook.