Sometimes auto lockouts are unavoidable. Newer cars have built in convenience features that will not allow power door locks to engage when the key is in the ignition. However, this can be circumvented if the key is removed from the ignition and placed on the seat or dropped onto the floor before the driver exits the vehicle.
Children left in cars can lock the doors and either refuse to unlock them, or in the case of younger children, unable to comprehend what they have done. If the vehicle is left running, this can lead to a desperate race to get the doors unlocked before children accidentally put the vehicle in motion.
How can you help to prevent auto lockouts?
There are different options for preventing auto lockouts, or handling them should they occur despite all precautions. These options include:
- A wallet key
This limited use key is available at auto dealership parts departments. It is essentially a flat emergency key that fits comfortably inside a wallet. You just need to provide your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), which is located on your vehicle's dashboard. You can also buy duplicate full service keys in the same way.
- A hidden spare key
Magnetized boxes for hiding spare keys behind vehicle bumpers or other obscure places can be found online or in auto parts stores. Of course, there is the remote chance of someone else finding the key and entering your vehicle.
- Onboard security system
Some newer vehicles come with a security system as a standard installation. They can also be bought and installed as an option on any vehicle. Although they require a monthly service charge, they are able to solve problems such as auto lockouts with a simple phone call. Door locks can be opened remotely from their facility.
Although it should be obvious, it is never a good idea to leave children in a vehicle unattended with keys in the ignition, especially with the vehicle running. Busy lives sometimes play a part in making unwise choices, but this is one decision that is too important to leave to chance.
If you do experience an auto lockout, it is best left to a professional from a company like ARC Locksmith Service to unlock your car. Although there are inexpensive devices that can be used to trip the locking mechanism inside your vehicle's door, if it is not done correctly, expensive damage can be done to your vehicle. Most auto clubs provide this service as part of a package deal.