Are you reading this article because you’ve just been locked out of your car? Bummer.
You’re not alone. Millions of Americans find themselves locked out of their car each year, even with access to smart keys and other technology increasing. It seems that smart keys still can’t escape their owner’s human error.
While you might have the urge to panic, take a deep breath, and read this blog post instead.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have yourself back on the road in no time, and being locked out of your car will seem like a distant memory.
Read on for more information to help you take the steps you need to get your keys back in the ignition. Or, we’ll get your smart keys back where they belong.
1. Make Sure You’re Actually Locked Out of Your Car
This sounds silly. Yes, you can see your keys in your car, you know you’re locked out!
But are you really?
If you own smart keys, your car may not have locked at all. While you may be able to see your keys, many smart keys models have developed technology that won’t allow your car to lock if the keys aren’t outside of the car.
Check all of the doors and make sure that they’re actually locked. For good measure, you should also check your trunk. If your trunk isn’t locked, in many models, you can get into your car that way. Although you might get a few stares from onlookers, at least it will save you having to wait around for help.
2. Do You Have a Spare Key on You or Do You Actually Have Your Keys?
Maybe your car keys are on a separate key ring to the rest of your keys, or maybe you have spare floating around in your purse or wallet. Rummage through your things and make sure you do not have a spare with you.
Be sure to look everywhere, even if this entails taking everything you have out of the bag you have if you know that you’ve packed a spare key with you.
If you can’t see your keys in your car, look everywhere in your things. While you may have a designated spot to put your things, you may have absentmindedly put them somewhere else today. Perhaps you were in a rush to get somewhere and put them in a different spot. Or, maybe they’ve fallen into a nook or cranny somewhere in your things.
Parents of young children may particularly absentmindedly put things in a place they didn’t mean to. Check your child’s stroller or seat and make sure they haven’t slid in there or underneath your child.
You may have luck finding your keys or your spare, and you’ll be on your way.
3. Make Sure You Don’t Have an App for That
If you’ve locked smart keys in your car, there may be a way to unlock your car via an app. If you’re concerned that you’ve locked yourself out of your car, you probably don’t use the app all that often.
You may wish to look around online to see if there is an app that can help you remotely unlock your car. Or, you may have one and have totally forgotten about it. We’re all human; it happens.
If you have an app, you may be able to unlock your car and be on your merry way, but this may also only be if you have your smart keys in the car with you. Depending on your system, you may not be able to drive off if your keys aren’t actually in your car. If you’ve lost your keys somewhere between wherever you have been, and the last time you’ve seen your keys, you may be out of luck.
4. Retrace Your Steps
If you can see your keys, this one isn’t for you. But if you’re not sure where your keys are, you’ll need to go on a hunt for them. While this is decidedly not as fun as a treasure or scavenger hunt, that’s what you’ll need to do.
Go back to all of the places you’ve visited since you left your car. Be sure to check in bushes and plants and less obvious spots, as you may have accidentally flung them away from you as you got something out of your purse or pocket.
If you went into a restaurant or a store, check all of the places you went to inside the establishment. Ask a member of staff if they’ve seen any lost keys. If you were in a mall and went to several stores who have all said they haven’t seen your keys, ask at the information booth. There is often a lost and found there. You may be surprised by a Good Samaritan who has seen your keys and turned them in for you.
5. Call a Friend or Family Member for a Spare Key
Didn’t have any luck finding your keys or a spare? It’s not ideal, but don’t panic; there are still a few other things you can do.
Most people keep a spare car key somewhere in their home or with a friend or family member. If you’re married, it is likely your spouse has a set of car keys. This is especially the case if you share a car.
Call the individual who has a set of spare keys. Ask them if they can come bail you out wherever you are. If you share a car with your spouse and you have two cars, they may likely be able to come to find you and give you their car key.
If you don’t have an extra car, or you’re asking for someone to come who doesn’t have a car, they may need to take public transportation or a taxi. While that might be a total pain, it could be the solution to your woes.
6. Call Roadside Assistance (If You Have Coverage)
Do you have roadside assistance coverage? If so, now might be the time to utilize them.
If you don’t have coverage, you’ll need to see how much it will cost you versus how much it will cost to have a locksmith open the car for you. But if you already have coverage, roadside assistance may be your best bet, as you won’t need to pay any extra fees to have them come to rescue you.
A bonus for roadside assistance is that in some cases, they can arrange to get you to where you need to be, especially if you’ve lost your keys.
7. Call a Locksmith
If you don’t have roadside assistance and none of this advice has proved fruitful, it’s time to call a locksmith. While you may be dreading it because of the money, don’t worry. It is better to spend money on a locksmith who knows what they’re doing than to ruin your car while trying any heroic efforts to get your keys.
Locksmiths are used to people locking themselves out of their cars or their homes, so they know how stressful it is. They’ll be there as soon as possible to help get your car open for you and get you on your way.
A locksmith, however, will only work if you know your keys are in the car. Otherwise, all that will happen is that the locksmith will open the car and you won’t be able to go anywhere. So make sure you know for certain your keys are in the car before you call one up.
When You’re Lock Out of Your Car, Don’t Attempt to DIY
You may have found this article while perusing solutions to help you get back into your locked car. But we do not recommend that you DIY your way out of this situation.
Some solutions you read online, such as using a hanger or a shoelace, are old tactics and won’t work on newer car models. You can also risk damaging your car if you try to do something like this, and even worse: you may damage your car and still not be able to open your car door.
Breaking your car window is a solution some people also try but be aware that this can also cause significant damage. You should never break your own car window unless it is a true emergency.
Call Us to Get You Out of Trouble
If you’re locked out of your car in the McAllen area, call us! We can help save the day and get you back on the road. You can request service here, or give us a call at (956) 508-8090.