Don't Lock Yourself Out of Your Car

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated May 25, 2010)


You can avoid locking yourself out of your car by taking a few simple precautions. One obvious way to avoid being locked out is to carry a spare key with you in your wallet or purse.

You could also hide a spare key on the exterior of your car. Most auto supply stores carry magnetic key cases that you can use to hold the key. Exercise some creativity about where you hide the key, as you don't want to make it too easy for others to find. You could also tape a key on the back side of a car bumper, but you'll need to use some rather strong tape to do the job.

Another precaution is handy if you have a car with self-locking doors. (You know—you can push down the door lock from inside the car and then close the door so it is locked.) You can prevent lock-outs entirely by never locking the door locks from the inside. Instead, get into the habit of always using the key to lock the door from the outside. Obviously, if you left the key inside the car you won't be able to lock the door with the key in there.

If you have small toddlers in your car, never step out of the car and close the door with the keys in the ignition. If the kids are toddling about the interior, out of their car seats, then they might lock the car doors by mistake. You could end up with a locked car containing your child, with no way to get in. Take the keys with you, or don't close the car door.

If you do lock yourself out, there four places you can call. First, if you are a member of an automotive club, they might offer a free unlock service. Second, if you have a premium service such as OnStar, you can call them and they can remotely unlock the car. Third, you could call the local police department. Some departments will come and unlock your car for little or no cost. Finally, you can look in the phone book under automotive services for companies that specialize in getting car doors unlocked.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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What is 3 + 4?

2017-02-20 22:01:44

College Station/Bryan Towing Services

The problem of locking your keys in the car has become a bit less likely on the newer cars. Nissans, for instance, use a fob with no key necessary, you just always leave it in your purse or pocket. And if you leave it in the cupholder, the car will beep at you when you close the door. If you don't here it, well, there may be a lost car in your future.
Another answer is the keypad on Fords. No key necessary to get in the door. I used to put the keys in the seat pocket, lock the doors, and go to the gym. My young son really enjoyed putting the code in to get in the car before his parents. Kinda tough if you cant remember the number or button sequence.
I have seen brand new minivans with a back passenger side window busted out covered with plastic. I always wonder, did they lock their keys in the car?
That being said, I have locked my keys in the car few times. Never had to break a window, though.
Towing Service companies usually cannot open a locked car. The days of the simple "jimmy" are over. Your advice about the spare key is excellent advice. The magnetic key case is a good idea, of course, good thieves know that one. Better in your purse or wallet. If you lock your keys in the car, and its not running, then Towing may be a good way to go. They can tow it to your house, give you a ride, then you can go inside using the house key under the garden frog and get the spare car key. Hey, that may cost less than the locksmith.
If you are going on a trip, plan ahead. There are many ways to keep the second fob or key. Hope you don't need it. Steve

2015-07-13 19:15:03

margaret jackson

The Great Wall car manufacturer has a standard feature of auto-locking after 20 seconds. This doesn't leave much time to strap in your baby, put the shopping away and then open the driver's door, and could be a disaster if you key is inadvertently placed inside the vehicle whilst this autolocking happens. No factory reset available and I just hope the child isn't locked in the vehicle on a hot day in Australia!

2013-04-07 12:29:34


if you have a car rack you can buy a lockbox such as realtors do when they are leaving a key so a house can be shown. the lockbox may lock right onto the rack or you might need to buy a cable or have a short one made. you can put it somewhere it's not obvious or easy to see. even if someone sees it, what are they really going to do? the key is locked inside it. over time, if it rests on the top of the car, it may wear away the paint in the area under it, if it slides around. there's probably a way around that but i keep my cars forever and a little missing paint is a minor problem when i sell it or trade it in. obviously, the rack should be one that locks to the car, though, even if it doesn't, what is the thief going to do with a locked lockbox attached to a rack? i have never seen this idea anywhere else; why, i don't know.