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locked out of the car

3 things you should do if you lock your keys in your car — 2021 edition

Rundown: Do these 3 things the next time you or someone you know gets locked out of the car.

If you’ve ever locked your keys in the car, you know the turmoil of wondering what to do next. Should you call a locksmith? Try to get the keys out from the car yourself? Squeeze your arm through the small crack in the window… or a hanger? What about Mom and Dad — they’re real adults so surely they know what to do… right?

locked out of the car

The reality is that people lock themselves out of cars, houses, and even their own phones these days and it causes panic because it’s never expected. What’s even more frustrating is when you can see the key staring at you from the seat, on top of the armrest, or even on the floor.

No one wants to get locked out of their car (at least we’d hope not) but sometimes it happens. If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate situation of locking yourself out of your car, these 3 simple things can help you for next time.

1 Use a blood pressure cuff to try to unlock the door yourself

Tow companies are professionals, which means they have the proper tools to do the job. For a DIY door unlock, you’re going to need a few tools. Most tow service companies use an inflatable device called a pump wedge to open the door. A handy hack would be to use a blood pressure cuff. Unique? Yes. But it’s strong enough to withstand the pressure without ripping. It’s also a household item for many so it’s possible you or someone you know has one at home.

  1. Slide a deflated blood pressure cuff into the top corner of the driver’s side door.

  2. Blow the cuff up until there is a small gap creating an opening in the vehicle.

  3. Don’t overexpand the cuff because it could damage the door.

  4. Use a wire coat hanger or other long, skinny object that will fit in the gap created.

  5. Squeeze the coat hanger into the opening and hit the unlock button.

2 Use a magnetic box to "store" a spare key

If you lock your keys in the car fairly often, you might be tempted to hide an extra key somewhere on the vehicle rather than inside it. This means you have to very clever about how and where you hide it. There are little magnetic boxes that stick to the metal surface of the body or frame of a vehicle.

Place your box in an obscure and hard-to-reach area where it can’t jiggle loose and fall out. Struggling a little to reach that extra key is better than giving the car away easily. And don’t hide your extra house key with it. You don’t want to give everything away, do you?

TIP: Keep an extra key handy on you. Stash a spare key in your purse or wallet. Or leave a spare with someone who could rescue you.

3 Roadside assistance is your bestfriend — just call AAA

If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little help. AAA is probably the most well-known car assistance provider in the nation. If you have the service already, you can call and have someone come and help you within half an hour. Even if you don’t have the service, you can call in, become a member, and have someone at your car that same day.

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