Keys Locked in Car in LA? Follow These 6 Tips to Get Back on the Road
Updated: Mar 13
In a single year, more than 4 million Americans lock their keys in the car. The vehicle industry’s trend toward smart keys has made this problem even more prevalent.
At first, only luxury car manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes provided drivers with smart keys. Now, virtually all major vehicles are sold with a smart key.
With the ability to remote start the engine, many people are unwittingly locking their keys in the car. Are your keys locked in car in the Los Angeles area? If so, do not panic and follow these suggestions to get back on the road.
Do Not Panic and Assess Your Options
Many people react with frustration and anger upon discovering keys locked in car. The first step is to cast those negative emotions aside and evaluate the situation.
Start off by checking all the doors to see if one is unlocked. You should also check the trunk in the event it provides access to the main cabin.
Another thing to consider is the location of your spare key. Can a friend or family member bring a spare key to you?
Roadside Assistance Programs
Once you have exhausted all of your options, it is time to enlist the help of others. Many people are unaware that they belong to roadside assistance programs.
For example, many car insurance companies have roadside assistance programs. Included in these programs are locksmith services in the event your keys are locked in the car. Start off by contacting your insurance company to see if roadside assistance is covered by your policy.
There are a number of other sources for roadside assistance. Many people are surprised to find out that their credit card company carries this service.
Two other sources of roadside assistance are vehicle manufacturers and automobile clubs. In some cases, your car dealership may provide locksmith services.
Some drivers have an AAA membership that covers this scenario. Lastly, companies like OnStar may be able to remotely unlock the vehicle for a fee.
Even if the locksmith or membership is not completely covered, you may be eligible for a discounted rate. The main takeaway here is to reach out to each source before paying full price for a locksmith. Also, if you do happen to have roadside assistance, record the program’s information and store in a safe place.
Unlock the Vehicle Yourself
In some cases, you can unlock the vehicle yourself. The key to unlocking your own car is having the right set of tools. In addition, you are accepting a risk of causing minor damage to your car.
Your best odds of success are if a window is cracked. This way, you can insert a wire hanger into the vehicle and try to manually unlock it. Depending on the design of your vehicle, it is possible to insert the hangar between the rubber molding and side window.
There are a number of other tools that can manually open a door. Some people use a deflated blood pressure cuff to pop the door open a crack. Then, you can insert a wire hanger into the vehicle to unlock it.
Also, there are several lockout kits available for purchase. They are relatively affordable and can be bought at a local retail store. The bottom line is that unlocking the door yourself is possible. However, it carries the risk of damaging the vehicle’s frame, window or triggering the security system.
Call a Towing Services Company
Perhaps the most effective option for keys locked in car is to call a towing services company. This option brings in a professional with vast experience unlocking cars.
The greatest advantage to this option is significantly reducing the risk of damage. A professional towing company has worked thousands of locked vehicles. A trained specialist is unlikely to damage the vehicle’s windows or door.
A towing services company has all the required tools on hand to get the job done. They are also certain to get you back on the road in the shortest period of time.
Professionals know which tools are most effective depending on the vehicle’s make and model. In addition, considerations are also made for the vehicle’s security system. Depending on these variables, a trained employee uses tools like picks, levers, and others to unlock the car.
Another advantage of calling a towing services company is the efficiency at which they work. There are trained professionals ready to reply to a service call at a moment’s notice. In addition, their training and experience will get you back on the road in the fastest period of time.
Discounts for Calling a Towing Services Company
Some people are hesitant to call a professional towing company for cost reasons. They believe that this is the most expensive option out there.
However, this belief is often a misconception. The truth is that towing service companies work with insurance companies and auto memberships alike.
Do you really believe that your car insurance agent or AAA is going to retrieve your keys from inside the car? Instead, the process works by the insurance company deploying a towing company to your location.
You can opt to skip using the insurance company as an intermediate. The fastest way to get back on the road is by calling a towing company directly.
In this case, you pay out of pocket and collect a receipt from the towing company. Then you file a reimbursement claim with your insurance company to get paid back.
Also, an honest service professional will ask if you belong to an automobile club or possess roadside assistance. Each employee is happy to give you any associated discounts as these groups steer business their way.
A Recap of What To Do With Keys Locked in Car
While certainly a frustrating problem, you can find some comfort in knowing that millions of Americans have keys locked in car. The best advice for you is to stay calm and call for help. Whether that help comes in the form of a friend or a towing company, you will get back on the road.
If you have keys locked in car and require towing services near Los Angeles, please contact us immediately to get back on the road.