Locked Keys in Car in Los Angeles? 6 Tips To Unlock Your Car

by Daniel on

If you have a locked key in your car, you will need to unlock your car in order to get back to driving. Many of these tips can be used no matter where you find yourself, and more specific information could be used in many large cities, but these are largely tips for what to do when you have locked your keys in the car in Los Angeles.

1. Do A Double Check

Before you do anything, just check one more time to see if you are truly locked out of your car. Just because it seems your car keys are locked in the car it doesn’t mean they are. One of the doors or even the trunk could have failed to lock. Calmly and methodically, check all of the doors and the trunk.

There are many cars that have one or more locks that do not lock reliably. Even if this is not something you know about your car, this would be the perfect time to find out that your rear passenger side door has not been locked when you think the car is secure.

And if you cannot see the keys, check your pockets one last time. A pocket can sometimes fold to make it feel like you have reached the bottom when the car key has just been tucked away. You could have also put the key somewhere else on your person. Maybe in a purse, a backpack, an unusual pocket in a jacket you don’t usually wear, inside a wallet, etc. Check everywhere.

2. Don’t Break Anything

This tip has two parts. The first has to do with avoiding violent entry for opening your locked car. A lot of desperate people are tempted to break out a window with a rock, brick, wrapped fist, etc. This is incredibly dangerous. You can hurt yourself and you can damage the car more than you expect.

The brick could bounce off the window and hit you, or roll off and dent your door. Your arm could go through the glass and you could end up needing stitches, or immediate medical attention. If you are doing this because a child or pet is locked inside, you might end up harming them. The rock could sail into them. Broken glass could spray all over whoever is inside.

The second part of this tip has to do with using the other methods on this list. There is always a danger presented to your property when you attempt to do anything untrained. When it comes to keys locked in a car, this is no different. 

What you are going to do to get back in will pose a danger to your vehicle when the process is done incorrectly. Without training, oversight, and the proper tools, there is an overwhelming possibility that a mistake will be made.

3. Take Inventory Of Your Supplies

There are certain everyday items that you can use to unlock your door when you have locked your keys in the car. The easiest tool to use, and the most likely one that you will have on your person, is a shoelace. Using a shoelace is the least dangerous way to open your locked car and it is a simple process. You will need upright locks (aka post locks) for this to work.

  1. Tie your shoelace in a slip knot, so the knot is in the middle of the lace.
  2. Hold the lace on either end so it is taut, without constricting the slip knot.
  3. Finesse the shoelace into the doorframe and the car door.
  4. Attempt to hook the loop of the slip knot around the post lock.
  5. Once the knot is around the post, constrict the knot.
  6. Pull up and towards the side so the lock will be lifted without the loop coming off.
  7. The post lock will audibly click, and the upright lock will stay extended when your car door is open.

For other types of locks, it will help to wedge the door open and use a long, thin, tool to manipulate the buttons on the inside of the door. Such tools for probing include wire coat hangers, metal rods, sturdy and thin branches, etc. These supplies are much less likely to have on your person, and finding them near you is not always possible.

As long as you can fit the tool between the door and the door jam, and it is sturdy enough to manipulate the door locks, this will be perfect. When the tool is not slender enough to fit in the door jam, you can use something like a rubber doorstop or wedge to widen the gap. Be very careful with this, as you can damage your car.

4. Stop By The Store 

With your keys locked in the car, you need some tools even when you don’t already have them on your person. If you don’t have any of the supplies recommended in the previous section, you can purchase them. Most of the time when you have locked keys in the car in Los Angeles, you will not be too far from a store.

Auto parts stores may even have specific car unlocking tools either for sale or that they can lend to you. You can shop around for something that will help you. Hopefully, your wallet is not with your keys locked in the car. There is a good chance you can find supplies near you in Los Angeles.

5. Get Amateur Assistance

Living in Los Angeles means that you need a car. This is why it is so tragic to have your keys locked in your car, but it means that the people you know can likely come to you. This type of amateur assistance is perfect if you have given anyone in your life a spare key to your car. 

The person coming to your aid will need to drive to you, which means that you have to know where you are and be able to communicate your location and need to your friend/family member. Most people in Los Angeles have smartphones, but if your phone has died, or you have locked your keys and your phone in the car, this will be an issue.

There are many kind-hearted and accommodating people in Los Angeles, so business owners and pedestrians may be able to help you. Alternatively, you can call AAA if you are a member, and they have technicians that are somewhat trained for this type of work. These individuals are almost never locksmiths, so they are technically amateurs. Calling the police is not acceptable unless there is an emergency centered around your keys locked in the car.

6. Call A Locksmith

Calling a locksmith is always the best option. You will be able to get your locked keys out of your car and get back on the road quickly without the risk of damage to your vehicle. Also with your locked keys in the car, you might not be able to use any of the methods above, depending on your situation.

The best plan you can have is to call a locksmith when you have locked keys in your car in Los Angeles. There is always a locksmith near you in Los Angeles. The service can be done quickly and there will be no risk to your personal property, as long as you have hired the best locksmith in Los Angeles.

Special Considerations 

Besides the main tips, there are also some tips to be offered for dealing with particular types of car lockout scenarios. With your keys locked in the car, there may be additional considerations. These affect the options that are open to you, what your mental attitude should be like going into unlocked your car, and any risks you should be aware of.

  • Locked Keys In Car Trunk – If you have locked keys in your car, that is one thing, but if your car keys are in your trunk, the problems can seem more hopeless. Firstly, you might not be able to see your keys. This could lead you to wonder as to whether or not your keys are in fact in the trunk. This line of thinking can cause you to periodically lose focus and direct your attention to the countless hypothetical resting places of your keys.

Go ahead and check the other places your keys could be. This should be a relatively quick process. Where did you use them last? Go there, look on the floor. Look on nearby surfaces where someone may have picked the keys up and placed them at eye level. If you cannot think of places to look, or you run out of places to look, give up until you open the trunk of your car and know for certain that your keys are not there.

The tip for this consideration is that you should maintain your focus on opening your car’s trunk regardless of your shifting mood as to the likelihood of the key’s position in the trunk. 

You do not need to cast off your doubt. Instead, you must realize that you do not know where your keys are, and the only way to know for certain is to open your car. If you have a hatchback, you might be able to see into the trunk space, but if not, get the trunk open and stop worrying about the chances of your keys being somewhere else.

  • Locked Keys In Car With The Engine Running – You cannot walk away from your car when the keys are locked in the car and the engine is running. There is nothing to stop a criminal from coming along, breaking a window, and driving off with your car. In fact, the car is calling out to be stolen because unless you have an electric car (electric cars have a motor, not an engine), it is going to be obvious that the engine is running. 

If you must leave the car for whatever reason, it is important that the car is not left entirely unattended. This means that someone (at least one person) should stay with the car. Make sure that the person staying behind is very cautious. The keys inside the car with the engine running can attract very brazen criminals.

There are a lot of good people in Los Angeles that can help you out when your keys are locked in the car, but there are still bad people out there. You are too vulnerable in this particular instance to be too trusting. As long as someone remains by the car and stays alert, you are doing the best you can.

  • Locked Keys In Car In the Middle Of Nowhere – Despite popular belief, there are places in Los Angeles where you are in the middle of nowhere. Usually, you cannot escape people in this city, but every once in a while you find the perfect location at the right time of day, and it feels like you are the last person on Earth. Hopefully, you have a working phone that has GPS and cell reception.

You need to call someone and give them your exact location. Google Maps allows you to find your coordinates, and anyone with internet access (including a locksmith) can come directly to where you are. If you cannot call out or do not know where you are, it is going to be time to take a walk.

When keys are visible (or when the engine is running), you want to leave someone by the car. But in the middle of nowhere, unless you know the way back to civilization it is not a good idea to wander away. Don’t get more lost, and leave someone by the car just in case help arrives before you can get back.

  • Deadlock With Locked Keys In Car – Deadlocking is a special security feature that select car models will have. There are several variations of deadlocking, but most will at least prevent the car from being opened from the inside. Essentially, without the key, you cannot manipulate the locks. When something like this happens you need a locksmith, or there is a very probable chance that you are going to ruin your car.

With keys locked in the car and the car being deadlocked, your options are very limited. This changes everything about the tips. I would hesitate to say that you only have one option, but you mainly have a single option. The only thing that can be recommended in good conscience is to call a professional car locksmith.

Closing Advice

The universal solution to any type of locked car with keys inside is to call a locksmith. This will cover all of your bases. No matter the special considerations that have to be made for your current predicament, a trained car locksmith can help. Don’t slow down your busy day in Los Angeles. Get the work you need to be done fast, efficiently, and safely.

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