No one wants to lock their keys in their car, but it can be especially stressful when this occurs while the vehicle is running. The following tips will help you make the right decisions so that both you and your car remain safe until you can get back into the car.
Tip #1: Open the garage door
If the lockout occurs at home, make sure the car is in a well-ventilated area. You don't want to inadvertently fill the garage with dangerous carbon monoxide because it was left running in a closed room. Even if you don't plan to be in the garage, the fumes can leach into the house and cause illness – or worse – to those inside.
Tip #2: Consider all options
Take a few minutes to assess all the options before moving forward. Start with checking doors. For example, some hatchbacks may not automatically lock the hatch, so you may be able to gain access this way. If you have a newer vehicle, you may also have a trial membership to OnStar or a similar service, which can unlock your car remotely. Another option to consider is if you have an extra car remote laying around that no longer works. Late model remotes often have a manual door key hidden inside of them, so you may have an emergency key on hand.
Tip #3: Call a locksmith
If everything is locked up tight and there is no backup entrance keys, you will need to call a locksmith. Don't try to use a coat hanger or other DIY method if you don't know how, since this can lead to damage to the car. Explain that the car is running so that the locksmith knows this is an urgent situation. Most locksmiths, like those at LI Locksmiths Inc, can get into a car quickly, and you won't have to worry about damage.
Tip #4: Get some backup
You may not feel safe staying with your car, but your will be put at risk if you leave it alone. If you can't get a hold of a friend to wait with you, call the local non-emergency police line. Some departments may offer courtesy lockout services, especially if the car is running or if you feel like you are in danger. It's also a good idea to call the police first if there is another urgent matter due to the lockout, such as a small child still in the car. Even if they can't help you get into the car, they may be able to send a courtesy patrol by to check on your safety while you await the locksmith's arrival.