There are times when you are in a rush and end up forgetting little things here and there. You leave your house only to realize just outside the door that you forgot your wallet. You can’t help but feel like things are kind of blurry and realize that you never took off your glasses.
Maybe you had an important errand to run and left it unfinished because it wasn’t part of your usual hectic schedule. These little moments of forgetfulness can happen to anyone, and few are more distressing than getting locked out of your own car.
Even today in a world where most cars have fully electronic locks there’s still a real possibility that something can happen that makes you the unfortunate victim of circumstance.
There doesn’t need to be a reason or any grand plot here. It’s not something that is meant to be intentional, but it’s still a possibility. At Car Locksmith New York we know the this harmless accident can cause delays in your schedule from painfully slow minutes to actual full days depending on how you get it fixed.
Even if it’s just an accident, knowing everything about the event can help you gain control over it if it ever happens. Having something unpredictable occur should not be grounds for panic.
When you don’t know why something happened it can be easy to rush to a solution or do something drastic. So even before your call car locksmith it’s important to know how to face the unexpected hurdles of life with a calm, collected reasoning ability.
But wait, eve car locksmiths better know in advance what they are about to find out. So first, it’s important to understand how or why this might have happened. There are as many factors that go into causing an accident like this as there are tiny forgettable moments throughout the day that could lead to it before you even know it.
● Lost Key
You may have just misplaced your key, and without it you can’t get into the car. In this case it’s helpful to have an extra key prepared and ready somewhere at home that never moves around. Items that go in and out of pockets or purses can get lost from time to time and there’s no easy fix for it.
The whole point of it being on your person that close is that it won’t get lost in the first place, but not all pockets are proofed against spilling their contents out, and not all purses are necessarily easy to organize.
● Key In Car
If you were in a rush you might have left your key inside the car itself and let the doors lock after you left. This method is becoming less common as many cars now have the technology to detect when the key is within close enough proximity to the car that it should remain unlocked.
Some even automatically unlock as you approach with the key in hand. Older cars with less thorough electronic systems will still have this problem, though, but at least knowing where the key is solves half the problem.
● Broken Key
This one is hard to accept. We see keys as so vital and necessary we rarely think that they could break. Why would they? Nearly all car keys are made of metal. But if one breaks - especially if it breaks off in the ignition - that’s basically it for its usage. Keys can break in other ways as well. Even something like a slip and fall can bend or break the metal of a key.
● Broken Fob
The bit that dangles off your key ring which handles most of the actual locking and unlocking duties is the “key fob”. It’s usually just a few easy to press buttons with symbols indicating their usage of locking, unlocking or signaling an alarm to scare off possible criminals.
If that goes you’ll have to rely on your physical key to manually undo the locks on doors. However, if the key itself is also lost or broken and the key fob has been rendered useless by water or electrical damage, you’re stuck.
● Broken Door
Sometimes it’s not even your key that is the problem. You could have your key at the ready but the car still won’t unlock, not even using it to manually undo the lock. Car doors have more than just a latch and hinge, there are essential electronics and mechanisms running through the frame. Something as minor looking as a dent or scrape can potentially disturb the sensitive materials inside, causing the door to break and the internal locks to stop functioning properly.
For any of the reasons above, Car Locksmith NYC know that being in a lockout situation is tough. There’s never a good time for it because once you realize you are locked it is when you are going to your car to try and use it.
Your schedule will flash before your eyes as you lose precious minutes trying to figure out what to do. Minutes can blend together, take time out of your day, turn into hours. You need a list of solutions to work through quickly to get this problem solved even before you call a nearby car locksmith service.
Fixing a Car Lockout is highly dependent on the tools that are at your immediate disposal. Most professionals who handle car locksmith issues carry the necessary tools with them. There are all kinds of situations where a lockout might occur, all of them are unfortunate, but depending on the severity you may be able to fix the problem in time to carry on with your day.
● Use a Spare
We keep spare tires for emergencies just in case one breaks down. We have spare keys for the same reason. People usually keep their spare keys at home somewhere static where they won’t be moving around a lot.
The whole point of a spare key is to remain in one place just in case it’s needed, or to give someone else the freedom of using the same car without needing to borrow the main set of keys every time. Most cars will come with at least one spare set of keys, and they can be made at the request of a manufacturer or seller.
● Find the Keys
If you are completely sure that you had your keys between when you left and when you got to your car it will be worth retracing your steps to find them. It could just be an innocent mistake, or someone could have found and properly turned in your keys with some kind of authority figure nearby.
The worst case scenario of losing your keys is that someone might have found them and will want to use them. If you’re locked out in a strange area or neighborhood that you don’t feel safe in, staying near your car is advised, as anyone with the keys could walk up and take your car for a ride.
More than once we've sent a car locksmith to a job and by then the car owner found his keys, try looking hards and think hard you may find your keys in a place where you normally don't live them.
● Test the Doors
This may seem crazy, but have you tried all the doors? Even the trunk? Depending on the situation you may only have one bad lock ruining your day. If any of the other doors still work and are unlocked, use them as an entry point and crawl through the vehicle to get to the driver’s seat.
If you left your key in the car, this is where you can take control. If the key is still missing you can at least control the locks from the front and keep yourself from getting totally locked out again until you can get a spare.
● Call a Friend
The most important tip Car Locksmith NYC can give you, is keeping a set of spare keys with a trusted friend or family. If you’re not close enough to a spare key to feel safe leaving your car alone, give a trusted friend a call to bring a spare key to you. You should be okay with them enough to let them in your house while you aren’t there and guide them through the home with your instructions to find the spare key wherever it’s hidden. Once they arrive your troubles will be over.
● Call a Car Locksmith
If you’re out of options and no one is around, try to look up any local car locksmith or car repair shops in the area. If you explain the situation they may be able to swing by and help you out.
A car locksmith definitely will, and car locks happen to be an area of special expertise that many have knowledge on how to work around. It may seem intimidating to have a stranger work on your car to get it open but these are the professionals whose jobs exist entirely because sometimes locks work too well and need to be opened.
With these solutions on hand and always the option the get a car locksmith opening your vehicle quickly, you should be able to get out of most situations with a little bit of time and patience and some trust in others. But what if you have none of the above?
If the situation is dire and requires you to act immediately, what can you do to get into your car as an emergency? If a storm is coming and you need to be indoors, or if you’re needed at a hospital, if the situation cannot be delayed by even a minute or, one of the worst cases possible, if you locked your phone in the car as well and can’t call an emergency service. Here are some tips from Car Locksmith NYC on how to unlock your locked-out car yourself.
Only do this if you know what you are doing, be careful not to cause damage to yourself and your car.
We know here at Car Locksmith NY dispatch that this is where the panic may feel the strongest, but try and resist the urge to act rash. There are rational steps that can be taken and a lot of them before panicking. Try and collect yourself and work through a guideline of DIY car locksmith solutions. These may require more than one try or a little practice, but you only need to succeed once.
● Shoe String
This only applies to cars that have a pop-up post lock, which many older and less-electronically inclined models do. Undo your whole shoestring and tie it into a slipknot or a loose lasso-type knot on one end.
Then, carefully get the door pried open, or the window pushed down, just enough to let the string through without damaging the rest of the car. Work it toward the pushed-down lock, loop around it, tighten and hoist up. The lock should pop up, unlocking the door.
● Coat Hanger
This will take some clever maneuvering to get it to work. Also, you’ll need a spare coat hanger from somewhere. It should be metal, that way you can reshape and rebend it as necessary. Find or make a small gap in the door or window and fit the hanger through it to reach the locking device.
If the car unlocks with buttons on the door handle, try to apply enough pressure or get a good enough grip under them to force the unlock. A metal hanger will have enough rigidity to push and pull without bending back out of shape easily. For doors with horizontal locks, slide the rod down between the window and the outer door frame and search around until you find the lever that controls the lock.
● Prying the Door
No matter how tight a door is shut there’s always just enough space that you can fit something in there to jar it open. You can’t get it open the whole way while the door is locked, but even just a clearance of an inch can be enough to get something inside to help open the door. You can do this with a flat metal object like a paint scraper or even a blood pressure cuff that inflates over time. Just don’t go overboard and break or bend the door frame.
● Lock Picking Kit
Maybe you saw this coming. It always helps to be prepared in case of an emergency. Manual door locks are just that: locks. They have specific mechanical mechanisms that force them to shut and can be unlocked by the same key that turns the ignition. So, if you can force the tumblers inside the door the same way the key does with a long, thin metal jammer you can open the door without doing much damage. Different lockpicking kits will have different results as far as speed, workability and potential damages left behind.
● The Window
Most of the methods above are meant to avoid doing damage to the car. Even in an emergency it’s not usually worth the cost of repairs to break open or bust down a window to get inside of a car.
It is worth it, though, if a life is in danger. If it’s dangerously hot outside, it’ll be even hotter inside, and if there’s a living being - a child or animal - trapped in the car that can’t reach the door themselves you may need to eat that cost to save a life. The window is weaker around the edges.
Pick one far away from the trapped passenger and use something sharp and and narrow - a screwdriver works - to chip a break into the glass.
If all else fails, and you can't even get a car locksmith you can leave it to the pros. Your emergency will pass and your car will get fixed in whatever way it needs to be. In the meantime, call an Uber or a Lyft or a regular Cab and hope that their car doors will work without any issue.
Even with every solution at our disposal and readily available right next to, or built into, our car keys these little accidents can build up to become big incidents. Prevention is the best way to get out of a lockout. Like Car Locksmith NYC's tip, keep a spare set of keys on hand or make sure you always know where your main set is.
You can even crack a window, weather permitting, just to give you one extra little chance to get your car in your own control if it’s going to stay parked for a long period of time.
Here is what Car Locksmith NYC recommends: Next time you get your car inspected or just drive it in for an oil change, see if they can check to make sure there are no problems with any of the locks. If your car door has gotten stuck in the past for no clear reason it could be a lockout waiting to happen. Get those problems solved by experts before they have to fix an even bigger mess.
If for any reason you need to contact NY City officials.
At Car Locksmith New York we know that your cars are extremely important to you. For some they’re just tools, a means to commute from one place to another freely. Some people love their cars and would never imagine taking something as crude and scratch-creating as a coat hanger to fish into the complex circuitry and mechanical systems to pry open a lock from the outside-in.
We need our cars to be safe so they can keep us safe. That’s why locks exist in the first place, to keep other people out and to put them through as many hurdles as possible before they can get in. But when your locks keep you out, you need to master them to regain control of your car.