Finishing Your Basement

What To Do When You Lose Your Car Keys

Most everyone has had moments when they temporarily forget where they placed their car keys. Usually they turn up somewhere. But what do you do when you've looked everywhere, contacted every place you visited the past few days, and called friends and family, only to realize your keys are lost for good? Don't panic. The solution is simple when you follow these three steps to solving the problem.

1) Call a Locksmith

If you're actually locked out of your car, it's easy to get frustrated and try some tricks for unlocking it yourself. But unless you're skilled at this or know exactly what you're doing and can pull it off without damaging the window molding or the handle of the vehicle, it's best to leave these little tricks for someone else. Besides, there's not much point in forcing your car open if you don't have the keys to drive it away.

Calling a professional locksmith can help in several ways. First, they can get your car unlocked safely without damaging your vehicle. They have several methods they employ, depending on the age of your vehicle and how effective their initial methods are. Second, they can make a spare set of keys for your car, even if you have a newer model with a transponder key. This type of key has a chip inside that is unique to your car and allows it to start, thus helping to prevent auto theft.

Many people are under the false impression that they have to contact their local dealership once they lose their keys, then pay to have it towed there, followed by forking out upwards of $200 for a replacement key. But this isn't always the case. Most locksmiths have the equipment necessary to not only make a new key for your car or truck, but also program a new transponder key, and usually much cheaper than the dealership. And if you need a new key fob—that nifty little device that remotely unlocks the doors and opens the trunk—the locksmith can assist you with programming one of those as well.

Before calling the locksmith, be sure you have the year, make, model, and VIN number for your car. They will need this to make a new key. You're also generally required to show some form of identification. But don't worry if it's locked in the car. Most locksmiths are understanding that, in some cases, they will have to check your ID after the fact.

2) Remove Certain Items From Your Car

When you lose your car keys, there is always a possibility that someone could find them and have access to your vehicle. That's why it's recommended to clear your car of any valuables or items that, if stolen, could further threaten your safety. This includes any information or paperwork that reveals personal identification as well as garage remotes that could allow a thief to access your home.

3) Tell a Neighbor

Many people shy away from giving the neighbors too much personal information. But having at least one trusted neighbor you can call upon in situations like this is vital.

When you lose your car keys, chances are they are attached to other keys like the keys to your home or your storage shed. Alert your neighbor of the situation, and ask them to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity around your property. When you have extra keys made, consider leaving them a spare set so they can be called upon in the future if you get locked out or lose them. Even the National Crime Prevention Council recommends leaving a spare set of keys with a neighbor. Leaving them under a rock or a plant has become so cliche that many thieves know to look in these places. 

Having a good neighbor is like having an extra set of eyes and ears when you're not around. And you can feel good about returning the favor for them if needed. For more info, check out sites like