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Never Lock Your Keys in the Car Again with These 5 Steps

In an age when we rely on technology to keep everything in our lives running smoothly, sometimes the best strategy is still a little effort on our parts. Use these tips to create a plan that will keep you and your car keys on the same side of the locked door!

Even in this day and age of tremendous technology, we still have some of those same problems we have always had, and that includes one of the most age-old irritations of being a car owner: Locking your keys in the car.

Nowadays, most of us “click” to lock our cars. We have our “old-fashioned” keyless clickers that come with our vehicles, and for those more advanced among us, yep, there is an app for that. But, even with what may seem to be the ultimate car convenience technology, accidents happen and we can find ourselves locked out of our autos. Most of the time, it’s just an inconvenience. On occasion, locking ourselves out of our car can be a big problem, depending on what we may have locked INSIDE the car, including our children!

If you are prone to locking yourself out of your car, having a keyless combination lock is one way to go but, if you are like me, you already have too many numbers to remember in your life! Perhaps one of these suggestions can help you and your keys stay on the same side of the door from now on without having to go to that extreme:

  • Create an exit strategy. In other words, dedicate yourself to one way of gathering yourself together, exiting the car and getting the doors locked. When you have multiple ways of securing your keys and locking the door, you are bound to get yourself crossed up and, before you know it, everything that will unlock your car is INSIDE the locked car while you fume on the outside! If you decide, however, that you are always going to use the same pattern to gather your keys and always lock the door the same way, you get yourself into a routine that you are less-likely to screw up when you get out of the car—even when you are in a hurry. Creating such a routine is key--pun intended!
  • Use a lanyard. Sometimes people accidentally lock themselves out of the car because they have too many things and not enough hands! With the lanyard, when the keys come out of the ignition, they can go right around your neck before you even get out of the seat, keeping you and your keys together.
  • Try a carabiner. You know, one of those oblong metal rings with one spring-hinged side. They are often used in mountain climbing, but they are great for just clipping things together, like your keys to a purse strap or belt loop. Make it a habit to just go from the ignition to the designated clipping place, and keep you and your keys together.
  • Keep a wristband on your keychain. This will also allow you to go from the ignition to that designated place for your keys. You can also add a wristband to your carabiner, if you want to have that additional option in some situations but, regardless, choose one “exit” strategy and stick with it!
  • Make a copy of your key and keep one in your wallet or purse. A good option for those who just cannot seem to break that habit of locking the key inside the car—but be sure your wallet or purse stays with you!

For me, my consistent exit strategy is this: I never lock the door with anything but the clicker, which is on my keychain, which I take out of the ignition and put right into my pocket upon stopping. After gathering my things and getting out of the car, I shut the door, grab my keys from my pocket, and click the car locked. It works for me and that is the key: Whatever works for you is the best option!

In addition to locking yourself out of your car, there are all kinds of emergencies that can pop up while out on the road; learn how to create your own emergency car care kit right here on TorqueNews and be prepared!

Image: Wikimedia Commons


shirl (not verified)    March 27, 2014 - 6:09PM

EXCELLENT....and timely! people will be getting out and going more w/spring here. and not everyone has on-star :) and it does not work everywhere! so like you said, routine! key to keeping your key w/you :) and make multiple copies of that key! keep one at home, one in your purse, and make sure you and your spouse have keys for each of your vehicles....boy, that can save some trouble :) usually women never leave their purses in the least they should not! so, she should at least have a key w/her, even if hubby locks his inside :) GREAT ARTICLE!

Jamey (not verified)    April 6, 2016 - 7:32AM

Great idea, get my wife a zip top car, I love it! I have tried (or attempted to) all five of these tips to the greatest extent possible with no positive results. If your special someone does not do things habitually, or worse, refuses to do things in a routine manner, when you say the should have a door locking routine, or keep their keys in the same place, you are in for a rough time. You can't change people, married 30 years and no, you can't. I carry a spare with me all the time now. I wish I could install some kind of keypad, next car will definitely have a keypad, or a soft top!