On a day when keys are left in the car, a key breaks, or an electronic key fob simply malfunctions, car lockout services are a lifesaver. A quick call to a locksmith helps restore access and get motorists back on the road in no time. 

Popping a lock

The classic locksmith service is restoring access to a locked vehicle via a lock-triggering process using a tool commonly referred to as a slim jim. The slim jim slides down between the window and weather sealant strips to physically manipulate components of the locking mechanism. The locksmith places the device, pulls up, and triggers the release of the lock. This method still works for older vehicles with keyed entry and newer models with a combination key fob and traditional lock system. When keys are locked in the car in a parking lot or in the driveway before work, this service is invaluable for allowing the driver to start or continue the day without added stress.

Restoring keyless access

For vehicles without keyed entry, restoring access requires specialty locksmith skills. Many keyless entry systems have sensors that help prevent locking keys in the car or provide remote access to the car via other means. However, fobs can fail. A contemporary locksmith is often skilled well beyond mechanical locks and has the expertise to reprogram key fobs, replace batteries and troubleshoot a variety of other issues keyless entry and ignition can present. 

Repairing lock problems

Car lockout problems aren't always due to lost or temporarily misplaced keys. Turning a key too forcefully or a bit of bad luck can lead to a broken car key. For vehicles with both keyed and fob access, entry to the car is still possible, but starting the ignition is dicey, so a locksmith's services are necessary to restore full capacity as soon as possible. A locksmith can take a broken key and craft a new match and is also able to repair any damage caused if the key broke off within a door lock or the ignition. Locksmiths also typically provide these services at a lower rate than a car dealership.

Troubleshooting other locks

Car keys aren't just for turning over the ignition and opening doors. Trunk keys and glove compartment keys on older vehicles can also be misplaced or broken, limiting access to important cargo space. A locksmith can craft a new key for these components when necessary, replace a lock or duplicate existing keys to ensure ongoing access is possible.

For more information on what to do during a car lockout, contact a professional near you.