As drivers living in the desert climate of Phoenix, Arizona, one of our biggest fears is being locked out of our vehicles. Especially if we left something, or maybe even someone important inside. If you are worried about the possibility of becoming locked out of your vehicle or find yourself in that exact situation, there are things you can do to resolve the situation quickly and safely.
Prevent a Lockout from Happening
You can plan ahead to prevent a lockout from happening in the first place, or make it easier on yourself if you are. Here are some ways to do just that:
Hide a Key
Some people will hide an extra house key under a fake rock or in a flowerpot for the times they find themselves locked out of their house. You can do the same with a spare car key. It may be a little more challenging, but it can be done. There are magnetic key cases that you can attach to the underside of your vehicle. Just remember that there is a possibility of the key holder falling off when you hit a bump, so make sure the key holder you get has a strong magnet. This is one instance when you really don’t want to buy the cheaper model. You may want to even consider one with a powerful rare earth magnet and combination lock. Make sure you attach it to a flat, clean surface and that it opens up and not down (to avoid the chance of it falling open and losing the key). Avoid obvious places to hide a key, like under the wheel well or the bumper- get creative. You could also tape a key to the vehicle behind the license plate. Some people like to carry a spare key in their wallet or pocketbook, which is a good option, as long as you don’t leave it in the car too.
Subscribe to OnStar
OnStar offers remote door unlocking services. If you subscribe to OnStar, all you need to do is call their customer service number and give the OnStar Advisor your account number and PIN. Then they will send a signal to your vehicle that unlocks the door. Visit their website for more detailed information.
All of the plans provided by AAA come with Roadside Assistance- which helps with lockouts. There are three AAA memberships available ranging from $56-120 a year. There are other maintenance benefits as well as towing services and discounts at hotels available.
Leave a Spare with a Trusted Friend or Family Member
Keep a spare with someone you trust who you can call if needed to help you get into your car.
What to Do If You Get Locked Out
What do you do if you have not yet gotten around to ordering a service like AAA or OnStar, or have not yet hidden a spare? These are some options:
Call Your Friend or Family Member with a Spare
If you have given anyone a spare key to your vehicle, call them and see if they are available to bring it to you.
Call the Police
If a child or pet is locked in the vehicle, or you are locked out of your car in an unsafe place or situation, you can call the police and ask for help. Police have the proper tools to help you enter your vehicle. However, if there is no immediate risk involved, the police would rather you call up a locksmith or tow truck so that they can focus their attention on more urgent tasks.
Call a Tow Truck or Locksmith
It can cost a bit to call a locksmith or tow truck, usually around $100, but you will at least be able to get into your vehicle. If a child or pet is locked in the car, some locksmiths have been known to do it for free.
At Virginia Auto Service, we like to help people with their vehicles and road safety in any way that we can. The best way to prevent a lockout is by preparing for it in advance with one or more of the recommendations we have given you above. We are your go-to in Phoenix, AZ for reliable, high-quality auto repair services. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
Note: If there is a child locked in the vehicle, especially in the Arizona heat, call the police immediately. You need to remember to stay calm for your child. If they begin screaming in reaction to you, they can heat up more quickly. Do what you can to keep them calm until help arrives. If it is summer and extremely hot, you are far from help, you don’t have access to a phone, or the child is in distress, you may have to break a window. A small price to pay for the child’s life. If you need to break in, wrap your arm in a shirt or towel to keep the glass from cutting you, then find a large rock or something that will break the window. Do it as far from the child as possible to avoid cutting them.