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You’ll want to try these genius tricks the next time you accidentally lock your keys in your car.
Do You Have The Key To The Car In Spanish
Millions of drivers lock their keys in their cars every year, and now you’re one of them. Fortunately, newer cars make this more difficult, but if you find yourself standing outside a locked car with your keys in the cup holder, these tricks can be a lifesaver. Before you send the “Keys locked in car” SOS text, learn how to open car doors without a key using these simple (and cheap!) methods. Stay safe on the road with these in-car safety features, secret uses for your key fob, how to change your key fob battery, and car gadgets that improve your driving skills.
Automotive Key Replacement Protection: Is It Worth It?
Rest assured, “it’s more difficult for consumers to get out of their cars because most transponder keys don’t allow it,” said Edmunds senior review editor Mark Takahashi. Autotrader managing editor Brian Moody agrees: “The idea of locking keys in cars is becoming a thing of the past.” If you get out, calling a locksmith, emergency services, or the police may be your best bet. Moody notes depending on the urgency of the situation.
In a high-risk scenario, such as when a child or pet is locked in your vehicle, call 911 immediately and tell them the make and model of your vehicle and where you are. Emergency services like the police and fire brigade will arrive faster than a locksmith or an ambulance. Moody says police often break a window or use a thin metal device that can open the door without a key. Although they don’t charge you for the service, you should only call them in an emergency and you’ll have to foot the bill to repair the broken window.
Moody says roadside assistance providers like AAA can help when you lock your keys in the car. Not only are AAA services available 24/7, but AAA members get one free block per year, up to a fixed price, depending on their membership level. If you find yourself in this situation, call AAA and tell them your location, the make and model of your vehicle, and your membership number. However, keep in mind that it can take half an hour or more for a professional to arrive, and if you don’t have a membership or get blocked more than once, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
Want to avoid an expensive call to a locksmith or emergency service? Fortunately, if you’re patient and handy with tools, there are cheaper tricks to unlocking your car without a key. How to get your keys out of a locked car – no locksmith required. Try these simple tricks to never lose your keys (or anything else) in the future.
Why Do Your Keys Get Stuck In The Ignition?
With a growing number of car apps for your smartphone, you can unlock your car without breaking the bank or the window. Many new cars offer free Apple and Android apps that allow drivers to control their cars without the key. The app turns smartphones into second key fobs, so users can remotely lock, unlock, and even start. “The key is to pair [the car key] with the app before you lock yourself out,” says Takahashi. If you have a newer model car from Hyundai, GM/Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Fo or Honda, install the manufacturer’s software the next time you lock your keys in the car. Here are some other hidden car features you may not have noticed.
The good news: If you have an older car with manual locks and tie-down shoes, you may not need to call roadside assistance. Tie a knot in the middle of the shoelace, making a loop the size of your index finger. Then slide the string around the right corner of the driver’s side door until the knot is inside the door seam. Now hold the floss with both hands and move it back and forth like you are brushing a giant tooth. Doing so will raise the sliding knob up the window and pull the lock on the car door. Carefully maneuver the loop through the lock, then pull the ends of the cord to tighten the loop. If you think you have a firm grip on the lock, gently pull it to open the car door. Da-da! You don’t exist! You can also use a string instead of a shoelace. Never leave home without one of these items—or other must-haves on your travel essentials list.
The suspension method is classic; you’ve probably seen it in a few movies. Like the shoelace trick, this method only works on older cars with manual locks. All you need is a thin wire hanger and pliers. “Using the pliers, open the hanger so that one side is hooked and the other side is flat,” says Laura Gonzalez, marketing manager at Audi Bellevue. “You put the hanger between the window and the tape. Once the hook is under the window, you can start fishing around the shoulder. Once you find it, pull the hook and your door will open.” You know, that’s not the only secret your locksmith won’t tell you.
For drivers with nothing but badges and time, it can’t hurt to try this old textbook car lock trick. Bend the first pin at an angle of 90 degrees and draw the second pin by slightly bending one of the ends. Place the bent side of the first pin into the lock and slide the second pin directly into the lock. While holding the first pin still, move the second wheel inside the lock until it clicks open. However, this trick can damage your car if it goes wrong. If you are worried about damage, you can always leave it to the professionals and get someone to help you.
Lexus Key Fob Remote Start
Invest in a car tool kit with a curved or inflated window wedge to unlock your car without a key like a pro. Just be aware that using a wedge to unlock your car can be a little tricky, warns Bill Evans, manager of J&E Auto Body in Clark, New Jersey. Start by prying out the top of the door frame and pushing a wedge in to hold the door frame out. Then, using a long thin stick (this can also be a hanger), press the unlock button. “That’s how Triple A drivers and tow truck drivers usually do it, and that’s how we do it,” says Evans. This trick works on both old and new car models.
But it also has a negative side. “Even experienced people will scratch the paint or tear the tape during this process,” says Evans. “You might have to go to a body shop to have the top of the door frame redone because sometimes they stick to the body after using a wedge.” Before using a wedge to get out of a “locked keys in car” disaster, make sure the repair costs are worth it.
Drivers who regularly lock their keys in their cars can take some precautions to save time, money and worry in the future. Takahashi suggests downloading the automaker’s software, while Moody suggests buying a roadside assistance plan. Moody says you can also store the spare key in a convenient location, such as a small magnetic safe under the car. While some people keep extra keys in easily accessible places in their cars, your car can become an easy target for car thieves. And the magnetic key safe protects your key with a code so that only you can access it. Caution: These mistakes can make your car vulnerable to thieves.
If you have a habit of losing your keys, check out this key finder that makes it easy to find them.
Your Key Fob Can Do More Than Unlock Your Car
Brooke is a tech and consumer product writer covering the latest digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features.
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