What to do when you lock your car keys in the car | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

What to do when you lock your car keys in the car | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

The odds of you locking your car keys in your car will happen more often than not. The culprits are keyless ignition and increasingly sophisticated electronic anti-theft systems. Stay calm and here's how you can get help.

Dial 911
Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you think you’re in danger. In many cases, the police can unlock your door. If they can’t, they will call a tow truck, which you will have to pay for.

Call for Roadside Assistance
BCAA, Roadside Plus, and other organizations that provide roadside service can quickly get you inside, though it could take a while for them to reach you. If you don’t subscribe to such a service, most new cars come with roadside assistance during the basic warranty period. The number to call might be posted on a window decal. If it isn’t, you can get the details by calling a dealership. If you don’t have a new car or you don’t belong to a service such as BCAA, ask about adding roadside assistance to your auto-insurance policy. Also, some major highways are patrolled by tow trucks offering emergency aid. Keep an eye out for one.

Call a Tow Truck
If you have no free options, most towing services provide lock-out service. Call 411 for services in your area.

Get a Temporary Key
A dealer might be able to make you an inexpensive key that will open the doors (but not start your car) so that you can retrieve your permanent keys. You’ll probably need your vehicle identification number (visible through the lower edge of the driver’s-side windshield) and to prove that you own the car. You’ll also need a ride to the dealership.

Keep an Extra Key Handy
Stash a spare key in your bag, your wallet, or a well-hidden spot on the car. You can buy a small magnetic box that can hold a key and be placed on a car’s underside. Or leave a spare with someone you trust and who could rescue you.

Buy a Car With Benefits
Some cars won’t lock with the power-lock button if the key is in the ignition and a door is open. Also, many vehicles have a door-mounted keypad that lets you punch in a code to unlock the door. If you drive a vehicle with a telematics system, you can call a toll-free number to have your car remotely unlocked. Those systems also offer free apps that let smart-phone owners unlock the doors.

If you have lost the key, things get more complicated. You’re going to need a locksmith. Expect to pay $200 and up for a replacement key. Keys for some higher-end models can cost several hundred dollars and you can buy them only through a dealer, who will need to program the remote for you. And that means an expensive trip to the dealer.

Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.


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