Every day, people get locked out of cars and end up in some extremely frustrating situations which don’t always have to occur.
If you’ve ever worried about getting locked out of your car, or if you’ve ever been in that position, you already know how stressful it can be.
Before you panic, read on to discover some helpful tips that can help you avoid this overwhelming situation so you can stay in control.
1. Make Sure Your Key Fob Has an Actual Key Hidden Inside
Almost every modern vehicle uses remote, battery-operated key fobs to lock and unlock the doors. If the battery dies and you can’t seem to unlock the door, check to make sure there’s not a physical key hiding inside the fob itself.
Many vehicle manufacturers include a separate metal key for this very reason. Relying on a small battery alone is not always the best way to ensure you don’t get locked out. With a manual key, you can open the doors without having to rely on battery power.
Check the health of the battery in your key fob to make sure it has enough power. If it seems like your car door locks are slower to unlock and lock than usual, it could be time to switch out the old battery and replace it with a new one. Just by checking on your key fob, getting locked out of cars could be a thing of the past.
2. Bring a Spare Key Along
A very simple way to avoid the problem of getting locked out of your vehicle is to bring a spare key with you everywhere you go. You can slip a key in your wallet or keep it on a keyring and carry it in a purse or bag. When you have a spare on-hand at all times, getting locked out of cars won’t be an issue.
Carrying a spare is not something a lot of people think about doing, but it’s well worth the effort. If you happen to lock yourself out of your car but you have your wallet or purse on you, all you need to do is reach for the spare key and you’re good to go.
If you change bags, purses, or wallets, try to remember to move the spare key to the new bag. Even vehicles that use remote key fobs can be opened with a physical key in your time of need.
3. Give a Spare Key to a Trusted Friend or Family Member
If you don’t want to tote a spare car key with you all the time, consider giving one to a person you trust. Whether it’s a close friend or a family member, your spare key-holding companion can be a Godsend if you end up getting locked out. If they’re able to come and help you, you’ll be able to avoid paying for a locksmith or calling a roadside assistance company to unlock the car.
Make sure the person who has your spare is someone you can reach fairly quickly. Otherwise, calling them and waiting for a reply could end up being just as frustrating as the act of getting locked out itself!
When you have a reliable person you can count on to come and save you, the thought of being locked out won’t be as bad. Another way you can do this is to have everyone in your household including your spouse and kids hold onto a spare car key for each vehicle. That way, you can call each other if you’re locked out and get help quickly.
4. Lock Doors From the Outside to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Cars
In today’s modern world, most vehicle owners are accustomed to simply locking and unlocking their doors with a push of a button. One way to avoid the stress of being locked out is to start locking your doors from the outside. This is a surefire way to be sure your car is locked while you know the keys are there in your hand or pocket.
Wait until you’ve exited your vehicle and you know your keys are in your hand before you push that button. That way, you’ll already know that those keys are with you and you’re safe from an unexpected lockout.
Locking car doors this way might take some getting used to, but it’s one of the most effective ways you can be sure your keys are always close at hand. Get out of the car, then use your physical key to lock everything so that you don’t accidentally leave the keys on the seat or floor by accident.
5. Make Your Keys Highly Visible
It may seem a bit humorous at first, but one great way to avoid getting locked out is by making your keys stand out. One example is attaching your keychain to a neon-colored lanyard so you always see them whenever you’re getting ready to go in or out of your car.
A bright, highly visible keychain may be all it takes to help you avoid locking the keys inside your car. Something that pops out will be an instant reminder to grab that keychain before you even open the door.
If a neon pink lanyard isn’t your thing, consider a large keychain or another accessory that looks unique. Just by making your keychain a little larger, you can avoid the possibility (or at least lower the odds) of locking them in the car.
6. Hide a Spare Somewhere on the Vehicle
If you’re familiar with those key hideaways that look like rocks for your house, the same concept can apply to your car keys, too. There are many products available today that will securely attach a spare key to your car in an inconspicuous place.
Magnetic key hiders use strong magnets that you can use to stick under the car and access a spare in your time of need. Make sure the product you choose is inconspicuous and won’t be easily spotted by potential car thieves. Check the key hider every once in a while for signs of rust, and make sure it’s easy to open.
A spare key hideaway is an excellent option if you don’t have anyone near you who can hold onto the spare for you. These small devices are inexpensive and will save you a ton in terms of frustration or possible locksmith costs. When you use one, make a mental note of where you place the device so you can easily access it later if you need to.
7. Enroll in Roadside Assistance
If you don’t already have a membership with a roadside assistance service, it’s something you should consider if getting locked out of cars is a concern. These services are fairly affordable and can be invaluable for more than just rescuing you during a lockout.
A roadside assistance service can help you if you have a flat tire or a breakdown on the side of the road. Most will also help drivers out if they ended up locked out of their cars.
In terms of cost, most services either charge a low annual membership fee or a recurring monthly fee. The cost is worth it if it gives you peace of mind. Make sure you carry your membership card with you at all times or store the number in your phone in case you need to call them.
8. Stick to Using Your Key Fob Only
An electronic key fob makes it easy to lock your doors, so try to make this your first choice whenever you drive. Try to use the key fob only when you lock and unlock the doors, and check to make sure it’s with you before you exit the vehicle.
Only use the buttons on the key fob to lock your doors so you always know the unit is with you. The best way to avoid locking yourself out is to wait until you have everything, step out of the car, and then hit the button after you’re outside.
You should also always put your keys in your purse or pocket once you take them out of the ignition. If you stop the car and start chatting with someone and then exit it without the keys, it might lock itself automatically and leave you out in the cold.
9. Avoid Distractions
Your busy lifestyle can lead you to easy distractions, which can result in getting locked out of your car. Try not to answer phone calls and avoid chatting on your smartphone until your out of the car and have the keys in hand.
Just like you should avoid driving while distracted, you should also avoid getting out of your car while distracted, too. Talking to someone or working on a project on your tablet can easily become a lockout situation.
Make it a habit to use your key fob, keep it with you at all times, and lock the doors from the outside. Combine this with avoiding distractions, and getting locked out shouldn’t be a concern. If someone does happen to call you when you’re parked, make sure you pause or end the conversation before you get out to lock the doors.
10. Lubricate Your Locks in the Winter
If you live in a part of the country where temperatures freeze, your locks could freeze, too. Make sure your vehicle locks are properly lubricated during the winter to avoid the frustration of a frozen lock.
The best way to avoid frozen locks is to lubricate them thoroughly before winter hits. This simple step will ensure that you can easily get your key in the lock when the temperatures start to take a dive.
11. Choose a Reliable Locksmith (and Keep Them on Speed Dial)
Unfortunately, getting locked out of cars is sometimes just a fact of life. If you don’t have a spare or a friend who can rescue you, a reliable locksmith is your best bet. Locksmiths can reach you at almost any time, and they have the tools to get your doors unlocked fast.
Do your research and try to find a locksmith that offers fast service at a reasonable price. Store their emergency number on your smartphone so you can contact them whenever you need assistance. Make sure the 24-hour number is the same as their office phone number and if not, include both just in case.
Keep in mind that some locksmiths will charge you more for assistance during late or after normal business hours. It’s still worth the price if you’re stranded somewhere and need to get home in a hurry. Check the current customer reviews and pricing to find a locksmith you can count on if you do end up locked out of your car.
Don’t Be a Victim of a Lockout
While getting locked out of cars is something that you might endure, use these simple tips to help you prevent unnecessary stress. By keeping your key fob close by and locking your doors from the outside, you should be able to avoid a lockout situation.
Always keep a reliable locksmith’s phone number store in your phone so you can call them in your time of need. Give a spare key to every family member and make sure you can count on them if you ever need help in a pinch.
If you need a locksmith in the Dallas or Fort Worth area, visit our website and contact us today so we can help.