How to Prevent Car Lockouts in Winter
In winters, car lockouts are exhausting. Of course, nobody likes to be stranded outside in the cold. Getting locked out of the car in summer and spring can be manageable, but in winter months, this situation can turn dangerous. Car lockouts are quite common, and can happen for a number of reasons, such as you losing or breaking the keys, leaving the keys inside the car or broken door locks. To save you from the frustration that comes with a vehicle lockout situation, we have come up with 7 handy prevention tips that you can follow to avoid getting locked out of the car.
1. Never leave your keys inside the car
The golden rule of being a car owner is to never leave the keys in your vehicle unless there is a trustworthy person inside. Leaving your car keys in the ignition while you quickly run outside to grab something can be tempting, but it can pose a great risk of being locked out. You may accidentally close the door and your car locks automatically, or someone can get inside the car and steal it – anything can happen. Therefore, make it a habit of immediately removing the keys from the ignition and put them in your pocket whenever you leave your car. This will save you from plenty of headaches later on.
2. Be very well aware of your car lock system
Often people find themselves in the lockout situation because they are not well-aware of their car locking mechanism. Car manufacturing companies strive to come up with the best security systems that make difficult for the burglars to make a forced access, and prevent theft. If you are not very well aware about how the locking mechanism works, you may find yourself stranded outside. Learn how the locking system in your car works. Some vehicle doors lock automatically when the engine is running. Always turn off the ignition and remove the key before you step out of the car.
3. Replace damaged keys
No matter how carefully you carry and use the keys, they develop wear and tear over time. Using too much force while unlocking the door can also break off the key in the lock. You may get in the car if the door is unlocked, but since the key has been broken, you won’t be able to start the ignition. Hence, as soon as you see your car keys bent out of shape, consider replacing right away. Ignoring a damaged key can bring troublesome consequences. It is strongly advised to replace the damaged keys because you would never know when your key would break apart and leave you in a lockout situation.
4. Replace old fob batteries
If you notice that your key fob doesn’t unlock the car in a single tap, it is possible that your fob batteries are running low. Fob batteries drain out over time, and therefore, it is essential to replace them as soon as possible in order to avoid any unfortunate situation in the future. If your car door unlocks solely with a fob, a dying battery will leave you freezing in the cold. Hence, always keep an eye on the health of the fob batteries and get them replaced whenever needed.
5. Create a spare key
Having a spare key is the foolproof plan for vehicle lockout situations. This way you will have a backup in case you lose or break the original key. Hence, always have a spare key in your purse or jacket you wear every day when you head out. If you have an extra set, you can also give it to your trusted friend, neighbor or relative. However, while making a duplicate key, make sure you contact only a professional automotive locksmith that you can rely on.
6. Keep your locks lubricated
Lubricating the locks is particularly useful in the colder months. Low temperatures in winter can cause the locks to freeze, which makes difficult and sometimes nearly impossible to unlock the door and get inside the car. There are specialized spray lubricants available that you can use to lubricate the locks before winter, which will prevent the door locks from freezing. If you are locked out because of the frozen lock, you can use a blow dryer or lighter to warm up the lock to grant access.
7. Have a locksmith number handy
Always have a reliable locksmith number in your phone, so you can know whom to call when there is an issue with the lock and key. While they may not prevent the car lockout situation, they can certainly help you in unlocking the door and get inside the car. Some locksmiths offer 24/7 emergency services, meaning regardless of the time of the day, they can arrive at your location immediately and help you unlock the door. With the cold winter months going on, it is best to be prepared while on the road.
What Do You Do If You Get Locked Out of Your Car?
If you find yourself locked out of the car because the lock is frozen and you don’t have a spare key, do not panic. Just call an emergency locksmith service provider nearby and he will reach out to you. Some locksmiths offer around the clock service, so no matter where and when you are faced with a lockout situation, they will help you get back in your car as quickly as possible.
Final Thoughts Getting locked out of the car in the harsh winter is frustrating. But, with these tips in mind and by taking early precautions, you can easily avoid falling victim to a vehicle lockout situation. Don’t be tempted to try DIY methods or forced entry when you are locked out. You will only end up causing more damage that will cause cost you more than repair. The best and the fastest solution is to call a locksmith in Raleigh NC who is certified and trained to deal with all types of vehicle locks with safety.