Even Pop Stars Get Locked Out of Their Cars: How To Handle Car Lockouts

It might come as a surprise, but car lockouts are more common than you might think, and they don’t discriminate – even stars like Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes have had their share. The famous duo experienced this in 2021 in Los Angeles, finding themselves locked out post-lunch date, a situation many can relate to after misplacing their keys.

Car lockouts often occur when least expected, so it’s important to know what steps to take if you ever find yourself stuck outside your locked vehicle. While modern vehicles come equipped with advanced systems like remote sensors, apps, and key fobs to help avert these issues, older cars with standard locks don’t have these luxuries.

For those with the latter type of vehicle, this guide is for you. We’ll discuss being locked out without attracting unwarranted attention as you circle your car. While reaching out to nearby car lockout services is a surefire way to resolve the issue without much fuss, there are a few things to consider before you make that emergency call.

Conduct a Comprehensive Car Door Check

The first thing to do when you find yourself locked out is to conduct a thorough check of all the car doors. It’s common to focus only on the driver’s side door, but don’t assume all the others are locked. Sometimes, due to a faulty mechanism or simply by chance, one of the doors might not be securely locked. You might just get lucky and find that one is open, saving you a lot of trouble. Make sure to test each door to confirm their status methodically. If this approach doesn’t work, then you can move on to exploring other solutions.

Try to Enter the Car Using the Trunk

If, by chance, you find that your car’s trunk is unlocked while the other doors remain locked and the keys are in the ignition, there’s a potential workaround. Open the trunk and look for the emergency trunk release cord, which is typically located on the trunk’s roof or door. Once you locate it, pull the cord to see if it unlocks the back passenger seats, a feature common in some sedan models. If the seats fall forward, you’re in luck. Now, all you need to do is push these seats forward, climb into the vehicle, and manually unlock the back passenger door.

Considering a DIY Approach to Car Lockout

If you’re stranded and have access to tools like a doorstop, a putty knife, a wire hanger, pliers, or even your car’s antenna, a DIY method might be worth a try. The main objective here is to gain entry into your car with automatic locks without causing any damage.
You can create a small gap in the door using a doorstop or a putty knife, similar to how professional locksmiths use air wedge pumps. Then, use a long, slim tool to reach the lock button. This could be anything from a straightened coat hanger to your car’s antenna (which you’ll need to unscrew and straighten using pliers). Ensure you cover the wedge with a cloth or a felted surface to protect the paint. Remember, this method should be cautiously approached to avoid any unintentional damage to your vehicle.

Use A Spare Key

Having a spare key can be a real lifesaver in a lockout situation. If you were provided with one when you purchased your car from a dealership, now is the time to use it. However, if you only received one key and haven’t yet had a chance to get a duplicate made, then consider trying the other suggestions listed here.

To prevent future lockouts, it’s a good idea to have a locksmith make a duplicate key for you. This process is usually quick and affordable and can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Keep your spare key in a secure place, like a magnetic box at home or work, or with someone you trust, so it’s easily accessible if you ever need it again.

Mobile Car Unlocking Apps

For those with newer vehicles, a mobile app might be designed to unlock your car. Download and install it on your smartphone, then sign in and link your car to your account. These apps often come with additional features, like starting and stopping the engine remotely, making them quite useful.

Seeking Professional Help

If all else fails, your next step should be to call a nearby car locksmith. They offer professional and affordable services, 24/7, regardless of location. It’s wise to have the number of a trusted locksmith service saved in your emergency contacts so you’re always prepared for situations like these.