Most people have locked their keys in their car at some point in time. While frustrating, there are several options to unlock vehicles in this situation, with the best being to call a professional for help. Even better, there are steps you can take ahead of time to be prepared and protect yourself and your vehicle. Follow these tips to minimize your risk, wait time, and stress.
Have a spare.
A spare key is the easiest way to unlock vehicles when you're stuck. You can leave it with a trusted friend or family member who would be easy to reach in this situation. Then, when you're locked out, you can call them to deliver the key and help with any further assistance.
Call a locksmith.
Some companies offer mobile locksmith services to unlock vehicles. They may even offer emergency hours for late-night and weekend lockouts. Look for companies with high ratings and good reviews for the best service, and call to see if a locksmith is available in your area.
Stay safe while waiting.
Standing by your car while you wait isn't always safe, especially if the area is isolated and poorly lit. Go to a nearby store or restaurant until your locksmith arrives or someone drops off a spare key. If possible, stay within sight of the car to keep an eye on it while waiting.
Keep your spare with the car.
A magnetic hide-a-key under your bumper may seem like a convenient solution to lockouts. However, thieves are aware of this possibility and may use your spare to get in. Some sources recommend keeping a spare in your wallet, but this can also be lost or stolen. Instead, use other prevention methods, or call for help from a professional.
Leave the car.
You may need to go indoors for safety reasons, but don't completely abandon the car if you can avoid it. Walking home or calling a taxi may leave your car vulnerable to a break-in, especially if someone saw you leave it. Depending on where you parked, you may also be ticketed, while an officer will often be understanding about a lockout.
Force the door open.
There are many DIY hacks online for getting a car door open. Some will encourage you to shape a coat hanger into a hook to pull up the lock, while others suggest using a wedge to force the door frame apart. These tips can cause both minor or severe damage to your car, so avoid them and use a safer, more reasonable method to unlock vehicles.
To unlock vehicles after a lockout, call Expert Lock and Key. This family-owned Franklin County locksmith is based in Columbus, OH, and offers emergency lockout services. They also provide lock repairs, broken key removal, rekeying, and master keys for commercial establishments and apartment complexes. To schedule service, call (614) 329-3899. You can also find out more about their auto lockout services online.