2024 Guide To Getting Locked Out of Your Vehicle — and How to Get Back In

Getting locked out of your car or truck — whether you're in your driveway or stranded away from home — always brings a sense of dread. It can happen for many different reasons: lost keys, keys inadvertently locked inside the vehicle, or even electronic key-entry failures. Once you come to grips with what's happened, the next step is figuring out how to get back into your vehicle and on your way.

Curbside SOS can help by connecting you with car and auto locksmith services, whether you're home or elsewhere. With a network of more than 4000 roadside assistance service providers, you're never far from local help. In an ideal world, you could prevent a car lockout from ever happening to you, and this guide offers information, tips, and advice for how to do just that. It also covers what to do if you do get locked out of your vehicle, and how to get the professional help you need.

In this article:

Different Causes of Car Lockouts

Car lockouts can occur due to several reasons, each requiring a specific approach to resolve:

  • Lost Keys.

    If your keys are lost and not inside the vehicle, roadside assistance can help by unlocking your vehicle, in case the keys are actually inside without your knowledge. However, if the keys are indeed lost, their services are limited to unlocking the vehicle or towing it to a safe location. In such situations, contacting a mobile locksmith or taking your vehicle to a place where a new key can be made is necessary.

  • Keys Locked Inside the Vehicle.

    This is often a result of human error, leading to the keys being accidentally locked inside the car. Roadside assistance can effectively and safely unlock your vehicle, allowing you to retrieve your keys.

  • Electronic Key or Lock Malfunction.

    With modern vehicles that rely on electronic keys and locks, a malfunction can prevent access. While roadside assistance might offer some initial help, they may also recommend or facilitate towing your vehicle to a certified service center for specialized repairs.

Remember, safety is paramount during a lockout, especially if you find yourself stranded in an unfamiliar or hazardous location. Roadside assistance can be a crucial ally in such instances, offering immediate help and guidance to ensure your safety and resolve the issue efficiently.

What to Do When You're Locked Out of Your Vehicle

Modern vehicle security systems, designed to deter unauthorized access, can occasionally complicate lockout situations. These advanced systems, such as keyless entry and electronic locks, often require specialized tools and expertise that the average car owner lacks. DIY methods, like using coat hangers or slim jims, to unlock your vehicle can result in costly damages, making the wait for professional help a more sensible choice.

Roadside assistance providers are equipped to handle such lockout scenarios efficiently and safely. Choosing a provider who is familiar with your vehicle's technology is crucial, as unlocking methods can vary significantly between different models and makes. Service providers may specialize in various types of lockouts. For keys locked inside the vehicle, a professional can gain entry without causing damage, such as avoiding broken windows. When dealing with malfunctions in key fobs or digital key systems, specialized services for electronic key issues are needed.

While modern car security systems offer robust protection, they also require skilled handling during lockouts. Roadside assistance services, with their expertise and appropriate tools, are the reliable solution to these intricate situations.

What to Do When You're Locked Out of Your Vehicle

If you find yourself locked out of your car or truck, follow these immediate steps:

  • Determine the Cause of the Lockout.

    First, identify why you can't access your vehicle. Have you lost your keys, or are they locked inside your car? Is there an issue with your key fob?

  • Contact Curbside SOS.

    Submit a request for assistance through Curbside SOS. You'll be connected with nearby service providers equipped to help with your specific lockout situation. Make sure you can provide your exact location and details about your vehicle, such as make, model, and color.

  • Stay Safe While Waiting.

    While waiting for help, ensure your safety. If you're in a parking lot, stay near your vehicle but in a safe spot like a sidewalk, away from the flow of traffic. If it's dark, try to wait in a well-lit area or inside a nearby open business, if possible.

Taking these steps will help you manage a lockout efficiently and safely, ensuring you get the assistance you need as soon as possible.

How to Avoid Future Lockouts

To minimize the risk of future vehicle lockouts, consider adopting both no-tech and high-tech solutions:

  • Use a Key Finder.

    Attach a Bluetooth-enabled key finder to your keychain. These devices can emit a sound to help locate your keys or track them using a smartphone app, much like luggage trackers.

  • Get Spare Keys Made.

    Having at least one set of spare keys is always a good idea. You can have them made by an auto locksmith or your local automotive dealer. Keep a set at home, with a trusted friend, or in a securely hidden magnetic lockbox attached to your vehicle.

  • Use a Keyless Entry Smartphone App.

    Modern technology offers solutions like keyless entry apps, reducing your dependence on physical keys and lowering the risk of lockouts. However, ensure you keep your phone safe and charged.

Even with these preventive measures in place, getting locked out can still happen. If you do find yourself locked out, remember that it's a common occurrence and not something to blame yourself for. Simply assess the situation and reach out for help. Curbside SOS is there to connect you with expert roadside assistance providers, ready to solve your lockout issue promptly and get you back on the road safely.

About Curbside SOS

Curbside SOS is an open marketplace for motorists who require roadside assistance & towing help but don't want all of the costs & complications that come with road club memberships. We connect motorists in need with emergency assistance professionals to allow them to directly quote how much they would charge for the job in real time with more transparency and tracking than alternatives, getting you back on the road as quickly as possible, for less than you'd think.

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