Picture it: it’s really hot (or cold), so you start your car while you load the groceries in the trunk. As you finish up and close the trunk, you realize the minute it closes and the doors automatically lock that you’ve locked your keys in there and you’re locked out of your car.
We’ve all been there. The good news is that it’s fixable if you know what to do. Keep reading to learn what to do so you can get in your car and get on your way.
1. Stay Calm and Review Your Options
It’s easy to freak out when you lock yourself out, but try to avoid that. Remain calm and think about the options that you have. Do you have a spare key somewhere? Is there someone who can bring it to you? Do you have any services that can come and unlock the door for you?
If you don’t have a spare car key, companies like Car Key Replacement LLC can make you a replacement key to have on hand.
2. Try to Unlock the Door Yourself
This is probably easier with older cars. We’ve all probably seen the old wire hanger trick but did you know that you can unlock your car with a shoestring? Or a tennis ball? A screwdriver? A slim jim (no, not the convenient store snack!).
There are plenty of tools and methods out there that might work to get you back in your vehicle, but of course, use these at your own risk. There’s always the risk of damaging your vehicle if you try to unlock it on your own.
3. Call Roadside Assistance
Many car companies offer roadside assistance for their vehicles. There’s often a sticker on your window with the contact information if you have it. Your car insurance might also offer this and even some credit cards provide roadside assistance.
Figure out whether you have any of this assistance before you start making calls because roadside assistance is typically free of charge.
4. Call a Tow Company or AAA
If you don’t have free roadside assistance, calling a tow company or locksmith on your own is an option. Be prepared to pay a premium price for this and wait awhile, especially if it’s a particularly busy time. AAA is another option. Your AAA membership typically offers a certain number of calls per year with no charge other than your yearly membership fee.
5. Break the Window
This should be used as a last resort and only in an emergency situation, such as a baby or a pet being locked in a hot car. Not only is it dangerous, but it can also be expensive to repair.
It’s not advisable to do it yourself either. If there is time, call 911 and emergency responders can safely break the window for you while keeping the occupants of the car safe.
If you do need to do it yourself, a hammer, screwdriver, or golf club could get the job done. The center of the glass is the strongest, so aim for the outer edges. You should also choose the window furthest away from the child or pet to minimize any glass getting on them.
Final Thoughts on Getting Locked Out of Your Car
A lot of times you can look back on getting locked out of your car and laugh, but it’s not so funny when you’re running late or it’s raining or cold out. Hopefully, you remember these tips and can stay calm and collected while you figure out how to get back in.
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