What's the worst thing you can do as a car owner? This is a pretty subjective question, but our topic is definitely on a list of top-5 car owner don'ts. Some other don'ts? Don't use anything other than oil when you need an oil change (this actually happens). Don't drive with the parking brake engaged. Here, we'll focus on a massive don't: Locking yourself out of the car.
Car keys can be pretty easy to lose. Losing your car key is almost as bad as losing something like a credit card. Why? Chances are you know exactly where the car key is and can't get to it because you made the mistake of locking it inside your vehicle. So, what do you do when you're experiencing a car lockout?
What to Do If You're Locked Out of Your Car
Your first instinct is probably to attack the locking mechanism if you don't have a convenient spare key. People have used coat hangers and all sorts of materials to attempt what trained locksmiths do professionally. Opening your car door can be extremely complicated if you locked your keys inside, and it should often be left to the professionals. Many locksmiths offer lockout services for exactly this scenario.
Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to get free or reduced-price AAA roadside assistance (almost makes car insurance worth it). This will save you from a lot of stress if you don't know how you're going to get back into your car. Getting a tow truck to drop your vehicle off at the nearest local locksmith is also an option, but this can be extremely costly.
There are several DIY methods to opening locked car doors, depending on the type of lock. Materials range from metal objects, like screwdrivers and wire coat hangers, to shoelaces. You may be compelled to try out different methods to save some cash, but remember, messing with your car's door handle and locking mechanism could have serious consequences.
The dealership you bought the car from could also be of assistance, especially if your vehicle is a new car. The bottom line is that door locks are extremely delicate, and those extra dollars on auto insurance could help avoid situations like this. Locksmith services cater specifically to this unfortunate situation, so never fear, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny. I've been locked out of my car before, thanks to a bad habit with an unlock button and a trunk mishap.
Whether it's saving some money for locksmiths or paying a little extra on your insurance policy, having some preventative measure against being helplessly locked out of your ride can be extremely beneficial. There are few occurrences more embarrassing in the automotive world than being the person that locked their key in the car (trust me, I know). The cheapest method of all? Holding on to your key or key fob for dear life every time you exit your vehicle.