Locked Keys in Car
One of the most sickening feelings comes in the moments just after you realize you have inadvertently locked keys in car. The modern vehicle is designed to protect its contents and the locks work efficiently even when employed inadvertently. Still, there are things that can be done by the vehicle owner to gain access to the vehicle.
Check the simple things first. Check all the doors. Most cars with electric locks automatically lock all doors, but the doors lock individually on older cars or those without electric locks. It is a long shot, but the solution may be as near as the backseat door to the car.
Does someone nearby have a spare set of keys for the car? In some cases, a spouse can be called to bring the extra keys and unlock the car. It may be a little embarrassing to admit a lapse in judgment, but enduring bad jokes about your memory is less expensive than calling a professional.
Act Like a Thief
A coat hanger or other flexible wire can be fashioned into a loop or hook and employed in an attempt to open the lock. Slide the wire through the space where the car window glass meets the doorframe and attempt to catch and open the lock mechanism or press the switch of an electric lock system. This method does carry some risks. The wire can damage the weather stripping between the window and frame. Most car lock mechanisms are designed to not offer simple surfaces to catch with the wire loop.
Another option is the slim jim. This tool resembles a flat metal plate with a hook on one end. The slim jim is slid into the car door alongside the base of the window where the tool can reach the door latch mechanism. The slim jim is often considered a burglar tool and few people will carry one with them.
Call a Professional
Ultimately, many locked car situations are going to require the assistance of a professional. Car owners may have some options when looking for assistance. In many cases, you will need to furnish proof of ownership before the locks are opened.
Some wrecker services do offer lock services. In some cases, these companies have a slim jim and the knowledge to use them. Confirm that the company provides locked car services before the wrecker is dispatched.
Call the car dealer. You probably need to call a dealer affiliated with the manufacturer of the locked cars. Depending on the situation, the dealer may have a master key or other tool for opening their cars. Dealerships may also have the ability to make a duplicate key for the vehicle based on the records associated with the car. If locking your keys in the car is a common problem, a duplicate set kept with family or friends may be a prudent investment.
Locksmiths specialize in locked keys in car. Most will have access to a slim jim or they may choose to pick the lock to gain access to the car. Look for an experienced and bonded locksmith who is willing to make a service call on the parking lot where the car is located.