Can You Still Get Locked Out of Your Car?

Can You Still Get Locked Out of Your Car?

Remember the old days when it was super-easy and common to get locked out of a car? Maybe you put your keys down to scoop up your groceries, engaged the locks and slammed the door closed — only to realize your keys were still inside. That left you trying to shimmy the door open with a wire hanger — or giving in and calling a car locksmith. With advanced automotive technology, it's a lot more difficult to lock your keys in your car, but it's still possible. Find out how and what you can do about it.

Author: Shelley Frost

Can You Still Get Locked Out of Your Car?

Many newer vehicles integrate technology into the keys to prevent the doors and trunk from locking if the key is inside. Even if you try to lock the door manually, the car will unlock it. Other vehicles use keypads, unlock sensors or apps to unlock them. These features give you a backup option if your key somehow gets locked in your car.

Despite this technology, it's still possible to find yourself in a situation where you locked your keys in a car. This can happen if the technology fails. Some vehicles might not have advanced technology, so you might be able to flip the lock manually with the key inside. And if you're still rolling around in an older-model vehicle to get every possible mile out of it, the car probably lacks the lockout prevention technology that keeps you from getting locked out of a car.

What Can You Do If You Get Locked Out of Your Car?

Once you realize you locked the keys in the car, start troubleshooting the situation to see if you can find a way in without calling a car locksmith. The following tips may help you get back into your vehicle.

  • Check the other entrances: If you're lucky, you didn't lock all the doors, and you may be able to find another way into the car. Test all the doors to see if any of them are unlocked. If you have a hatchback or SUV, check the trunk, too. You might have to climb awkwardly through the vehicle, but it saves you the expense of calling a car locksmith.
  • Use technology: You may also be able to get it by using apps or services provided through your vehicle. Many vehicle manufacturers offer apps and remote services that could help you when you're locked out of your car.
  • Call someone with a spare: This could include your partner, parent, child, close friend or whoever you've entrusted with the coveted spare key. This option works best if your key holder is nearby.
  • Activate roadside assistance: Do you have AAA or roadside coverage through your auto insurance? You might be able to get help when you've locked keys in a car through these services. It's worth a call to your insurance company to see if roadside assistance is included in your coverage. If you don't have this coverage, look into adding it for future lockout situations.

The police used to help in some cases, but they often aren't allowed to help you unlock your car. That's especially true if you have a newer car with advanced technology. However, they might be able to help if you have a child or a pet locked in the vehicle.

At What Point Do You Need to Call a Locksmith?

If you've tried all the alternatives, it's time to admit defeat and call a locksmith. You don't want to try too many DIY methods of unlocking your car or you could cause serious damage to it. Waiting for a locksmith to respond and forking over your hard-earned money is never fun, but you'll know you're getting into your vehicle safely without causing costly damage.

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