Locked Out of Your Car?

by Joe Ferguson on November 20, 2012

The perfect cherry atop the sundae of a terrible day is locking the car keys inside of the car itself. The vehicle ceases to be your transportation and instead takes on the form of a rather large and ineffective key holder. If you’re like me, this has happened more times than you care to admit.

Some people attempt to retrieve their keys themselves. In my experience having a professional locksmith to coax those rascally keys back into my hands usually yields the best results. Although not a complete novice when it comes to cars, I’ve never been able to get my keys out on my own without one of my windows left down.

Most have probably tried the old coat hanger trick. Sometimes this leads to success but this technique isn’t concrete and could actually end up causing damage to your car. Even if you manage to squeeze a coat hanger through the crack between car and door, most likely there won’t be enough weight behind the wire hanger to even push an unlock button.

With power locks, this is a difficult task to accomplish. I tried for an hour to extract the keys from my ‘96 Buick by attempting to push the power locks with a coat hanger wrapped in electrical tape for weight. This, however, only helped me extract much stress and some mild profanity from myself – no keys. I was lucky enough to be at home and even have the coat hanger to attempt this. Even if you plan ahead by trying to keep a coat hanger in your car at all times for just this situation, guess what, you would be locked out of your car and wouldn’t even be able to use the coat hanger you tried to plan ahead with.

You never know in advance when something like this is going to happen. No matter what DIY way of unlocking your car you wish to employ, you’ll have to carry those specific tools in your pockets every time you take a ride.

The best way to deal with this situation is to take the shot to your pride and have a professional assist you in getting your car unlocked before causing damage to your car.  Attempting to jam a coat hanger into your window could end up costing much more than a simple key retrieval that will literally take a locksmith mere minutes to accomplish. If you want to travel prepared, have a replacement key made to keep in your wallet or purse. That way, if you do get locked out of your car again, at least you had the foresight to prepare a back-up plan.

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