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Locked Out of Your Car? Here's What to Do Next

Updated: Apr 29



Key Highlights

  • Understanding the common reasons for car lockouts

  • Preventive measures avoid locking yourself out

  • Immediate steps to take when locked out of your car

  • DIY methods to unlock your car

  • When to call professional help

  • Preparing for future lockouts


Introduction

We at American RTS knows that getting locked out of your car can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Whether you've lost your keys, have a faulty door handle, or are facing a keyless entry malfunction, finding yourself locked out of your vehicle can disrupt your day. However, there's no need to panic. In this blog, we will guide you through the steps to take when locked out of your car. From understanding the common reasons for car lockouts to learning preventive measures, immediate steps, and DIY methods to unlock your car, we have got you covered. We will also discuss when to call for professional help and how to prepare for future lockouts. So, if you find yourself in this situation, read on to discover what to do next and regain access to your car.


Understanding Vehicle Lockouts

A car lockout occurs when you are unable to gain access to your vehicle due to various reasons. It can happen to anyone, regardless of how careful they are with their keys. Common causes of car lockouts include losing your keys, a faulty door handle, or a keyless entry malfunction. When faced with a car lockout, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. By understanding the underlying reasons for lockouts, you can take preventive measures to avoid such situations in the future.


Common Reasons for Car Lockouts

Losing your car keys is one of the most common reasons for car lockouts. It can happen in various situations, such as misplacing them or accidentally leaving them inside the car. Another reason for a lockout is a faulty door handle. If the door handle is damaged or not functioning properly, it may prevent you from opening the car door. Additionally, keyless entry systems can also malfunction, leading to a lockout situation. These systems rely on electronic signals to unlock the car, and if there is a glitch or a dead battery, you may find yourself locked out. Understanding these common reasons for car lockouts can help you take preventive measures to avoid such situations.


Preventive Measures to Avoid Locking Yourself Out

To avoid getting locked out of your car, there are several preventive measures you can take. One of the most effective ways is to have a spare key. Keeping a spare key with a trusted friend or family member can come in handy during emergencies. You can also consider using smart locks or keyless entry systems that allow you to unlock your car using a mobile app or a code. These advanced technologies provide convenience and reduce the chances of lockouts. Additionally, always double-checking before closing the car door and making it a habit to keep your keys in a designated place can help prevent lockouts. By taking these preventive measures, you can save yourself the hassle and stress of being locked out of your car.


Immediate Steps to Take When Locked Out

When faced with a car lockout, it's important to take immediate steps to regain access to your vehicle. The first and most crucial step is to stay calm and assess the situation. Panicking will only make the situation more stressful. The next step is to check for any unlocked doors or open windows that may provide an entry point. If all else fails, you can consider calling for roadside assistance or a locksmith service. These professionals have the expertise and tools to safely unlock your car and get you back on the road with peace of mind.


Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

In a car lockout situation, it's natural to feel frustrated and anxious. However, it's important to stay calm and assess the situation. Take a deep breath and try to think clearly. Check if there are any other entry points available, such as unlocked doors or open windows. Assessing the situation will help you determine the best course of action. If you're unable to find a solution on your own, it's time to consider calling for professional help. Remember, staying calm and composed will make the process of resolving the lockout much smoother.


Check for Unlocked Doors or Open Windows

When faced with a car lockout, it's essential to check if there are any unlocked doors or open windows that can provide access to your vehicle. Sometimes, in a hurry or due to distraction, we may forget to fully close a door or window. Carefully inspect all the doors and windows of your car to see if any of them are unlocked or partially open. If you find an unlocked door or an open window, you can simply reach inside and unlock the remaining doors. This can save you the trouble of calling for professional help or using DIY methods to unlock your car.


DIY Methods to Unlock Your Car

If you find yourself locked out of your car and don't have immediate access to professional help, there are some DIY methods you can try to unlock your car. These methods involve using makeshift tools like a string or a coat hanger to manipulate the door locks. While these methods can be effective, they require caution and patience. It's important to note that attempting these methods may pose a risk of damaging your car's door or lock mechanisms. If you're not confident or comfortable with DIY methods, it's best to seek professional help.


Using a String or Shoelace

One DIY method to unlock your car involves using a string or a shoelace. This method is suitable for cars with traditional, post-type door locks with a small knob at the top. Here's how it works:

  1. Tie a slipknot in the middle of the string or shoelace.

  2. Gently pry open a space between the top of the front door's window frame and the vehicle body, using a doorstop or a thin piece of wood.

  3. Lower the slipknot into the car's cabin through the opening.

  4. Position the slipknot around the door lock's post, beneath the knobby upper end.

  5. Tighten the slipknot around the post by pulling both ends of the string.

  6. Once the knot is secure, pull the post upward to unlock the car.

  7.  Remember, this method requires patience and precision. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it's best to seek professional assistance.


The Coat Hanger Method

Another DIY method to unlock your car involves using a wire coat hanger. This method is suitable for cars with power door locks and their lock buttons located on the armrest. Here's how it works:

  1. Gently pry open a space between the top of one of the car's front-door window frames and its body, using a doorstop or a thin piece of wood.

  2. Slide the straightened coat hanger into the opening.

  3. Use the coat hanger to slide or depress the car's door-lock flipper or button, and open the car door.

  4.  It's important to note that using a coat hanger requires finesse and patience. It may take several attempts to successfully unlock the car. If you're uncomfortable or unsure about the process, it's best to seek professional help.


When to Call Professional Help

While DIY methods can be helpful in certain situations, there are times when it's best to call for professional like American RTS for help. If you're unable to unlock your car using DIY methods or if you're concerned about causing damage to your car's door or lock mechanisms, it's time to seek professional assistance. Calling a locksmith service or utilizing roadside assistance can provide you with the expertise and tools required to safely unlock your car. Professional help ensures a stress-free and damage-free resolution to your car lockout situation.


Benefits of Contacting a Locksmith

When faced with a car lockout, contacting a locksmith service offers several benefits. Locksmiths have the knowledge and experience to handle various types of car locks. They also possess the right tools to unlock your car without causing any damage. Additionally, locksmiths can provide you with new keys if necessary, saving you the hassle of going to a dealership or waiting for key programming services. By contacting a locksmith, you can ensure a quick and efficient resolution to your car lockout situation, giving you peace of mind.


American RTS's Lockout Services

American RTS offers reliable and professional lockout services to help you regain access to your car. With a team of skilled locksmiths, American RTS provides quick and damage-free solutions to car lockouts. They have the right tools and expertise to unlock your car without causing any harm to your vehicle. By choosing American RTS for your lockout needs, you can trust that you will receive efficient and professional service that prioritizes your peace of mind.


Quick and Damage-Free Solutions

American RTS is known for providing quick and damage-free solutions to car lockouts. Their team of skilled locksmiths understands the urgency and stress that comes with being locked out of your car. They utilize the right tools and techniques to safely unlock your car without causing any damage to the door or lock mechanisms. With their expertise and efficiency, American RTS ensures a quick resolution to your car lockout situation, allowing you to get back on the road with peace of mind.


Why Choose American RTS for Your Lockout Needs

There are several reasons to choose American RTS for your lockout needs. Firstly, their team of locksmiths is highly skilled and experienced, ensuring that you receive professional and reliable service. Secondly, American RTS offers member benefits, such as discounts and priority service, for added convenience and customer satisfaction. Additionally, American RTS provides a warranty for their lockout services, giving you further assurance of their commitment to quality and customer care. By choosing American RTS, you can trust that you will receive top-notch service for all your lockout needs.


Preparing for Future Lockouts

While getting locked out of your car can be a frustrating experience, it's important to learn from the situation and take steps to prepare for future lockouts. By being proactive, you can save yourself from the hassle and stress of being locked out. One of the key preparations is to have spare keys and keep them in a safe place, such as your wallet or with a trusted friend or family member. Additionally, considering smart locks and keyless entry systems can provide convenience and reduce the chances of lockouts.


Spare Keys and Where to Keep Them

Having spare keys is a crucial step in preparing for future lockouts. Keeping a spare key in a safe place can save you from the hassle and stress of being locked out. One convenient option is to keep a spare key in your wallet. This way, you will always have a backup with you wherever you go. Alternatively, you can give a spare key to a trusted friend or family member who can assist you in case of a lockout. By having spare keys and keeping them in a safe place, you can ensure peace of mind and be well-prepared for any future lockout situations.


Smart Locks and Keyless Entry Systems

Smart locks and keyless entry systems offer advanced technology to enhance the security and convenience of your car. These systems allow you to unlock your car using a mobile app or a code, eliminating the need for traditional keys. Here's a comparison of smart locks and keyless entry systems:

Smart Locks

Keyless Entry Systems

Use mobile apps or codes to unlock the car

Use key fobs or codes to unlock the car

Provide convenience and ease of access

Offer convenience and keyless entry

Can be integrated with other smart devices

Can be integrated with other car features

Require installation and setup

Require installation and programming

Provide enhanced security features

Offer advanced security features

By considering smart locks or keyless entry systems, you can enjoy the convenience and security they offer, reducing the chances of lockouts and ensuring peace of mind.


Conclusion

Always be prepared for unexpected car lockouts by implementing preventive measures and knowing how to handle the situation calmly. While DIY methods might work in some scenarios, professional locksmith services like American RTS can provide quick and damage-free solutions. Consider joining a roadside assistance program for added peace of mind during emergencies. Remember, staying proactive with spare keys and modern keyless entry systems can save you from future lockout frustrations. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay stress-free on the road.


Frequently Asked Questions

What to Do If Your Key Fob Battery Dies?

Don't panic if your key fob battery dies! Look for a physical key within the fob or a hidden key slot in the door handle. Some vehicles allow manual entry or ignition. Refer to your car manual for specific instructions on emergency access methods.


Is It Possible to Unlock a Car with a Mobile Phone?

Unlocking a car with a mobile phone is possible in some cases. Some car manufacturers offer smartphone apps that allow you to remotely unlock your car. However, this feature may depend on the specific make and model of your car.

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