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The Best Places in Your Car to Store Valuables

White SUV on a dirt road in front of mountains.

You’ve heard the rule before: don’t leave anything that you value in your car unattended, especially in plain sight. For anyone with nefarious intentions, getting their hands on precious items is as easy as peeking through the window of a car and seeing a laptop, phone, wallet, jewelry, or other valuables lying around. Luckily, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to leave your items in the car, there are ways to conceal them, keeping them out of sight for burglars and car thieves.

The inside of a car showing the front seat from the back.

Glove Box

The obvious option for hiding things you want to keep out of sight is your car’s glove box. The issue lies in the fact that glove compartments more often simply conceal your belongings, rather than protecting them. If a thief is already rooting around inside your vehicle, the first area they choose to check will more often than not be the glove box.

Unfortunately, locking the glove compartment is also not always a viable option, as it can draw unwanted attention to that area of your car, and burglars will assume that it is locked specifically to protect something of great value.

That being said, glove compartments are a handy option for stowing away documents, phones, and wallets in specific situations. If you are in an area where your parked car is not left for extended periods of time, and where it will be protected in the case of a break-in, glove boxes will do the trick. This can be somewhere like a parking lot or garage, or in the driveway of your home. Your belongings are usually safe in a glove compartment when there are cameras around to watch for criminal activity.

Center Console

Every car has a center console between the driver and passenger seats that can hold anywhere from a few small items to an entire purse or backpack! Stashing away items that are of importance to you (or items that may draw the attention of criminals) at the bottom of this compartment can protect you, your vehicle, and your belongings in the event of a break-in.

The downside to utilizing this compartment is that, just like the glove box, the center console is one of the very first places that are searched by individuals looking to take your things. Because of this, using the center console should also be limited to small amounts of time in well-lit, well-guarded areas.

Small TV screens on the backs of the front seats in a car.

Special Compartments

It is not uncommon for your car to have one or several secret hiding spots, often in places that cannot be seen from outside of the vehicle. Reading your driver’s manual can clue you in to where these spots are located, and help you stash away those priceless items when you’re leaving your car unattended.

Some examples of compartments that most vehicles are likely to have include things like the pockets on the backs of the passenger and driver’s seats, as well as underneath floor mats and inside the center console in the back row.

An open book with sticky note tabs sticking off the pages.

No Secret Hiding Spots? Make Your Own!

If your vehicle does not come equipped with clever places to stash valuables, the good news is that it’s very simple to find your own! These are a few locations that most cars have that make for great undercover safes for when you have to leave a valuable item behind:

  • Empty (or not so empty) containers: Boxes from things like tissues and sanitary products and containers such as first aid kits are typically avoided by burglars as they are not expecting to find your items there.
  • Hollowed-out books or manuals: Cutting a hole in a thick book or driver’s manual allows you to safely stash your phone or wallet in the glove compartment without worrying about anyone snooping around. Just one thing: make sure to avoid cutting a hole in your actual driver’s manual! You never know when you may need it. Use a fake one instead.

Extra Tip: Be Smart When You’re Hiding Your Things

If you know you will need to leave items in your car, it is recommended that you stash them before parking or exiting the vehicle. You never know when someone might be watching you put your smartphone in a book, or your wallet in your first aid kit.

Pop-A-Lock’s top priority is your safety. So when traveling by car and leaving valuables inside, use these tips, and remember: Pop-A-Lock provides car door unlocking services for when you accidentally hide your car keys along with your wallet or phone!

The 7 Things You Should Never Leave in Your Car

Person driving a car.

Never Leave These 7 Items In Your Vehicle

Innocent mistakes often turn out to cause the most disastrous accidents. Extreme temperatures can do much more damage than spoil wine or groceries. When items are left in the car at low or high temperatures, they are at a significant risk. Studies have shown that the temperature inside of cars can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes.  Here’s what you should never leave in your car to avoid putting your precious items and loved ones at risk.

A black pug looking out the open window of a red car.

Children and Pets

No matter how long an errand will take, you should never leave young children and pets alone in a car. Even if your car’s windows are cracked, the internal temperature of your car can reach dangerous levels in just 10 minutes. After an hour, temperatures can jump 45 degrees. Every year, an average of 38 unattended children, and hundreds of pets die from heatstroke in locked cars. Avoid a preventable tragedy and never leave your children and pets in a locked vehicle.

Black can of spray paint.

Aerosol Cans

Those labels on aerosol cans are there for good reason. As the temperature rises, the pressure inside an aerosol cans rises too. If stored in temperatures above 120°F, aerosol cans can reach dangerously high internal pressure levels. When left in the heat and/or direct sunlight, aerosol cans explode. This can cause serious injuries or damage to your vehicle.

An open pill bottle.

Medication

Did you know that most medications should be stored at room temperature? That’s because many active ingredients in prescription meds actually spoil or lose their effectiveness when exposed to high heat. A parked car never remains at room temperature, so avoid wasting medication and money by taking your medicine with you.

Apple laptop.

Valuable Goods

While extreme heat does not pose a high risk for most valuables, leaving them in your car presents a different kind of risk – thievery.  Leaving goods such as a purse, wallet, or electronics instantly puts a target on your vehicle for thieves. Even if you store these items out of view, be sure to hide charging cords and other less valuable items out as these signal to burglars there are more valuables out of sight.

Plastic water bottle.

Plastic Water Bottles

Many studies have found harmful chemicals such as BPA and phthalates in plastic water bottles. When left at high temperatures, these chemicals are leached into water from their plastic containers. Also, bottled water has a shelf life. If left for too long in a hot environment, bacteria and microorganisms can grow in the water posing a health risk for those who drink it.

Glass of white wine with the bottle next to it.

Wine

Picking up a bottle of wine after a long day at work is a treat most of us can appreciate. Just be sure to take your bottle of red, white, or rosé with you after you park your car for the evening. Leaving a bottle of wine in a hot car can alter the flavor and even spoil the wine. And if the liquid is left to heat up, it can expand and seep around the sides of the cork, resulting in spilled wine and a contaminated bottle.

Two full paper bags of groceries.

Groceries

Keep grocery shopping at the end of your to-do list to keep perishable items from spoiling in your car. Fresh produce, meat, dairy, and other goods should be stored in the refrigerator no later than two hours after leaving the store. In the summer months, however, food should be put away in the refrigerator no more than one hour after being purchased to avoid spoilage. Removing perishable items from your car promptly will also reduce the chance of leaving an unpleasant smell in your car.

Call Pop-A-Lock

If you find yourself locked out of your car, call Pop-A-Lock and we’ll assist you right away. Our locksmithing experts can unlock any vehicle in a flash. We’re here to help!

How To Stay Protected When Locked Out of Your Car at Night

A car with the lights on parked in darkness.

Whether you’re out partying with friends or on a frantic last-minute errand run, it’s easy to lose your car keys in the whirl of events — or even lock them inside. This is a stressful situation even in daytime circumstances but, at night, it can be cause for panic. But before you allow fear to cloud your judgment, it’s imperative that you look out for your wellbeing first — then consider employing the help of a locksmith.

Evaluate Your Surroundings

As soon as you notice your keys are missing, take a moment to stifle any feelings of panic, take a deep breath, and focus on your surroundings. Don’t pull out your phone until you’ve taken note of the nearby area — this could leave you vulnerable to unseen threats. If you’re in a safe, well-lit area, and if your keys don’t appear to be locked in your car, it might be worth doing a quick search: check every pocket, your bags, and the immediate area in case the keys were simply dropped nearby. If you can, try to think back to possible locations you may have left your keys, and contact any friends and family in the nearby area to see if they can help you retrieve them.

A city street at night.

Get Somewhere Safe

If it’s clear you won’t be able to access your keys, or if you’re alone in a parking lot or enclosed area, it’s imperative to prioritize your safety. Before taking any further steps, try returning to your previous location. Most businesses stay open at least an hour after closing, and the employees would likely allow you to stay inside until you can find a ride home. Even if the last place you visited is fully closed, it might be worth looking for other nearby businesses that are still open, as long as you’re aware of your surroundings.

However, depending on the location or time of night, you might not find a safe space, or feel secure moving from your car. If this is the case, contact your friends and family immediately, let them know your location, and see if you can find someone trusted to give you a lift home. If no one is available, consider using a ride-share service.

In the case that no one is available to assist you, or if your car is stuck in a location where it’s likely to be removed, you can also call a 24/hr tow service, roadside assistance, or an auto locksmith like Pop-A-Lock. Though people associate towing with car removal, many tow companies offer emergency roadside assistance, providing a great fallback option should all your other contacts fall through.

No matter which option you choose, however, you should still find someone to call while you wait for help. Talking with someone on the phone makes you less of a target, in addition to freeing your eyes to be aware of your surroundings.

A lit bus stop next to the road at night.

The Next Steps

After your car is back in your possession, or once you’ve found a safe location to pass the night, it’s time to consider your next course of action. If you recovered your keys, consider getting a spare ignition key or a duplicate smart key — a great way to avoid any future predicaments. But if your keys are lost for good, it’s probably necessary to have your car rekeyed or your locks replaced so you can be reunited with your ride as soon as possible.

Person standing near an information desk at night.

We’re Here for You

Being locked out of your car at night is incredibly stressful, but we’ll do all we can to help. No matter the hour, if you call Pop-A-Lock’s 24/7 roadside locksmith service, we’ll dispatch a technician to help open your car. And if you need us to rekey your car or create a key duplicate, we’re here for that too. Check out these services and more on our website.

PAL Safety: Locking Your Child in a Car

PAL Safety: Locking Your Child in a Car

Accidentally locking your child in a vehicle can be one of the most traumatic and guilt-inducing experiences for a parent — but it happens more than you would think. Between work, errands, and tending for their kid’s needs, adults have a whirlwind of obligations to keep track of. So much so, it’s easy to lose track of the child themselves. 

That said, being trapped in a car poses serious risks to young children, especially during hot summer months. Read on to mitigate the risk of locking your child in a car, and the immediate steps you should take if this unfortunate event happens to you.

Risks of Locking Children in Cars

You’re rushing to the grocery store — the eggs went bad again. Of course, there’s not much time. Allison has her dance recital at 7, after all, and the cupcakes for the should have been in the oven 30 minutes ago. Yes! A parking spot near the entrance opened up. Grabbing your purse and keys, you leap out of the car and rush into the store. It’s only when you’re on the dairy aisle that you stop dead in your tracks. Where’s Allison

The vast majority of car-related deaths for children aren’t due to malicious intent or neglect: they happen when parents become absentminded due to adult demands, like in the hypothetical presented above. According to KidsandCars.org, an organization that tracks car-related child deaths, more than 900 children have died in hot cars since 1990. On average, 38 kids perish in cars yearly — that’s one every ninety days.

Though no parent desires to leave their child in a car unsupervised, leaving a young child in a car for 5 minutes or so seems like an innocent mistake, when it could in fact be a fatal one. The average ages of children who die from vehicular heatstroke range from 5 days — 14 years old, with more than half the deaths occurring in children under 2 years of age; a child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. This means that when a kid is left in a hot car their temperature could shoot up rapidly, and they could die within minutes. Being in Texas, where summer temperatures can rise to the triple digits, it’s also important to note that heatstroke begins when the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees, while a core temp of 107 is lethal. 

Avoiding a Crisis

Of course, the best way to handle a car lockout situation is to avoid it entirely. KidsandCars.org recommends taking the following precautions: 

  • Make a habit of opening the back door when parked (this can be aided by placing a valuable like a phone or purse in the backseat) 
  • Keep your car doors locked at all times so kids can’t enter on their own
  • Never leave keys within a child’s reach
  • Teach your kids to honk the car horn if they happen to be locked in

Your kid is stuck in your car. Here’s what to do.

If — heaven forbid — your child ever becomes stuck in a locked car due to a door jamb or another malfunction, or if you happen to notice a child trapped in a car push aside feelings of panic and follow these steps:

Call 911

Before anything else, get a 911 operator on the phone. Once you detail the situation, police and fire personnel will be immediately dispatched to your location. If your phone is missing, find someone nearby or run into a nearby store to get help.

Call a 24/7 Emergency Locksmith

While you wait for emergency personnel to arrive, call the nearest or the first emergency locksmith service you can think of. Often, emergency locksmiths will arrive before police or firemen, but even if they don’t, it never hurts to have a backup plan in a crisis.

Block Direct Sunlight

Using any resources at your disposal, such as blankets, towels, or tarps, try to cover the windows of the car in order to block out as much direct sunlight as you can. This will help prevent the car’s internal temperature from rising any further.

Keep Track of the Time

The locksmith or emergency personnel may want to know this information. Additionally, time can be a good indicator of your child’s internal temperature. If you think too much time is passing, it might be time to break in a window.

Remain Calm

Though this might seem impossible given the circumstances, it’s important that you extend yourself some grace: you’re only human after all, and none of this was intentional. Additionally, remaining calm will help you keep a clearer head, allowing you to make quick, rational decisions in this emergency situation.

5 Reasons Why People Lock Themselves Out of Their Car and How to Prevent It

5 Reasons Why People Lock Themselves Out of Their Car and How to Prevent It

Getting locked out of your car can be a stressful and frightening experience, especially in situations where you do not know the area you’re in well, or when it is late at night. If you find yourself getting locked out frequently, don’t worry! Pop-A-Lock is here to help with some reasons why this might happen, as well as some useful tips on how to prevent locking yourself out of your car.

Why Do People Lock Themselves Out?

Locking yourself out of your car is usually an accidental mistake. Though technical issues can play into it, misplacing car keys or simply forgetting them inside the car is more common than you would think. Here are some reasons why someone might lock themselves out of their vehicle:

1: Force of Habit

If you’re one to keep your keys in a pocket or purse at all times, taking them out and placing them in the car can cause you to forget them when you’re exiting the vehicle. Since you’re so used to already having them on your person when you leave the car, it can be difficult to remember to take them with you otherwise.

How to prevent this: If you do have to take your keys out of your pocket or bag, be sure to place them somewhere visible within the car. This will make it easier for you to see them, preventing you from forgetting to grab them before you get out.

2: Your Car is Keyless

Not having to worry about putting the key into the ignition and taking it out to turn your car off can also cause you to forget to take your keys when you leave the car. Having a keyless car means you rarely find yourself using the key, making it easy to forget to grab a set of physical keys on your way out.

How to prevent this: Be mindful of grabbing your keys before you leave your car, even if they are on your person. If you remind yourself to check and make sure you have them every time before getting out, it will become a subconscious, automatic process in no time!

3: Your Key Fob Died

Having a keyless car also means that your key fob battery is destined to die at some point. If you get so unlucky as to have it die when you are not in your car or close to someone who can help, you may find yourself in a sticky situation.

How to prevent this: Making sure your key fob has a sufficient amount of battery life left can seem complicated, but in fact, most keyless cars have a notification or warning light that will appear on the dashboard if your key fob battery is running low. From there, changing the battery in your key fob is an easy task.

4: Your Keys are Easy to Misplace

Having keys that are not noticeable enough to catch your attention when you are looking for them can cause you to forget them when exiting the vehicle. If your car keys are on a simple ring with nothing to help you find them, it is possible to frequently misplace them, and not even just in your car.

How to prevent this: Put your keys on something that is bright, colorful, or otherwise noticeable. This can be a lanyard, a carabiner, or even a fun keychain. Having something that helps you see your keys clearly will serve as a reminder to grab them before exiting the car.

5: Being in a Hurry

Maybe you’re late for an appointment, a soccer game, or a family dinner. Rushing to get somewhere is a normal part of the human experience. The fact is, rushing can also cause forgetfulness. And when you’re rushing out of the car to get wherever you need to go, grabbing your car keys can easily slip your mind.

How to prevent this: This is where being mindful, even in moments of stress, comes into play. To avoid locking yourself out due to being in a rush, take a second before getting out of the car and ask yourself if you have everything you need. This can prevent you from forgetting your keys, thereby causing you extra stress later on.

How We Can Help

In the unfortunate event that you do end up locking yourself out of your car, Pop-A-Lock’s automotive locksmiths will be there to help! To speak with one of our expert locksmiths, call or visit our website to learn more about our automotive locksmithing services!

The Best Safety Items Every Rideshare Driver Should Have

The Best Safety Items Every Rideshare Driver Should Have

ride share

In recent years, ridesharing has exploded as a popular transportation option, bolstered by easy-to-use apps like Lyft and Uber. Just as ridesharing has become a simple fix for pedestrians in a pinch, it’s also an easy way for everyday drivers to make some extra bucks with their vehicles. 

But everyday people transporting strangers to and fro raises important safety concerns. As a rideshare driver, you should look out for your rider’s safety, as well as your own. Luckily, several must-have gadgets can prepare you for any situation that arises. 

Must-have safety items

  • Hands-free phone mount: Since rideshare drivers rely on GPS navigation to map to new locations and provide the fastest routes, phone mounts are a safety essential. These nifty devices contain an adjustable clasp that latches onto your smartphone, leaving just enough room for your charging port so you can hook up to your aux as needed. Attached to the clasp is a suction that  holds the rig in place on your dashboard or windshield. The whole setup allows for a worry-free navigation, where your hands can remain on the wheel at all times and you need only glance at an eye-level map to keep on-course. You can find a variety of hands-free phone mouns online, with Amazon and WeatherTech being the most popular sellers. 
  • Dash cam: As most rideshare veterans can attest, dash cameras can be a lifesaver in cases where you need to dispute a customer claim or, heaven forbid, provide evidence of unruly customer conduct. Like phone mounts, dash cameras easily attach to dashboards or windshields through a suction device, and contain a surveillance camera that records all in-car activity.  
  • First-aid kit: We all know humans can be messy, especially if they’re hauling luggage into a car or squeezing between other passengers. Since cars are confined and roads are often bumpy, it’s always possible riders could get injured on their route or fall victim to motion sickness. Keeping a small, well-stocked first-aid kit within your glovebox or tucked into a backseat pocket can help customers tend to their injuries in a flash, and prevent your car from looking like  a crime scene. The same goes for sickness bags, which customers can use if they’re feeling nauseous. Even if the malady is only a paper-cut, your rider would certainly appreciate being offered a band-aid — and may give you an extra tip as a result!
  • Spare tire or flat kit: You never know what could happen on the open road. In the case a tire goes flat while completing your routes (or during any drive!), you’ll want to keep a spare tire and car jack in your trunk so you can remove the flat, attach the spare, and get back on the road in a jiffy. 
  • Battery jump kit: Similar to spare kits, battery jump kits help re-start your car if your battery dies, and can be easily stored in the car itself. In the past, these kits would include jumper two jumper cables: one that attaches to the dead battery, and one that attaches to a running car battery. Things are a little different these days. Online, you can sort through an array of battery jump kits that hook to a rechargeable high-voltage battery, no second car required.  It’s an insanely quick fix that’ll save you from ever being stranded on a roadside again. 
  • Location tracker: We often hear location tracking apps advertised to customers of rideshare services since they’re hopping into cars with  complete strangers, but we forget that drivers experience the reverse of this scenario. Though they trust their passengers, there’s always the possibility that the stranger in their backseat could be using a substance, concealing a weapon, or intending to rob the driver. For these reasons, it’s a good idea for drivers to use a location tracker like FindFriends or Life360, and share their whereabouts with friends and family. Your safety matters, and if you happen to get stuck or are forced to drive to an unintended location,  your circle would be able to locate you through these apps and get help. 
ride share driver

Pop-A-Lock can fix up your ride

Despite the convenience, cars can be a big hassle. They break down, keys get lost, doors get jammed. We may not be able to fix up your engine, but Pop-A-Lock is here for all your car’s lock related needs. We offer car-fob copying, re-keying, and 24/7 roadside locksmith services. Hop on over to popalock.com to learn more, and add our roadside assistance number to your contacts. You never know when you’ll need a smithy to save the day!

How A Key Gets Stuck In The Ignition and What This Means for You

How A Key Gets Stuck In The Ignition and What This Means for You

Key stress

Cars  are our main mode of transportation, which makes it that much more stressful when something is wrong with our precious vehicles. This is particularly true when you run into a problem, such as your key getting stuck in the ignition, and don’t know who to call, let alone how to fix it yourself.

key stress phone call

Turn Your Car Off Properly

Oftentimes, especially when you’re in a hurry, it’s very easy to miss crucial steps to turn your car off. Many automatic transmission vehicles come with a safety feature that prevents the driver from removing the key from the ignition when the car is not in park or neutral. Before trying anything else, make sure to check that your shifter  is in one of these two positions.

Another reason your key might be stuck in the ignition is because you did not properly turn the car itself off. In order to turn the vehicle off, the key must be turned all the way into the lock position (in most cars, this means all the way down). If your key is not coming out of the ignition, try turning the car on again and turning it off properly before attempting to forcefully yank the key out.

stuck key in ignition

Keyhole Obstructions

Once you have ascertained that your car is in the proper gear, it’s time to move onto the next reason why your key may be stuck: dirt, dust, or other particles blocking your key from being removed from the keyhole. It is very possible that debris has gotten into the keyhole, but it is not something to worry about. To get your key out, you have 3 options:

  • Spray WD40 into the keyhole to loosen up the dirt that may be obstructing the hole.
  • Gently wiggle the key back and forth, which should also loosen up any debris that may be blocking the keyway.
  • Call a locksmith for professional help if neither of the above options are possible or working.
cleaning your dashboard

Steering Wheel Locked

If your key is stuck in the ignition and you find that your car’s steering wheel is also locked in place, it is possible that you  have inserted the wrong key. Locking the steering wheel is a safety feature on most vehicles that is present in case the incorrect key is inserted. Fixing this is the simple process of turning the steering wheel slowly to the left and then to the right while applying slight pressure to the key. Once you have enough pressure, you should be able to unlock the steering wheel and remove the key from the slot.

A Broken Key

The worst case scenario in a situation like this is that your key has broken, causing it to be stuck in the ignition. This may happen more often with duplicate keys, as they are weaker than the originals. You have two options when it comes to a broken key:

  •  Use a key extractor tool and attempt to remove the piece of broken key that is stuck in the keyway. If this tool is not available to you in the moment, or if this solution is not working, your best option is to:
  • Call a locksmith. Having an experienced, professional set of hands on the job will be the best bet for you if the key breaks off inside the ignition.

Additionally,  it is always important to pay attention to the general state of your car key before putting it into the ignition. If the key already looks damaged, prone to damage, or is flimsy in any way, it has a higher chance of breaking off inside of the ignition.

A Dead Car Battery

A final reason why you may not be able to remove the key from the ignition is a dead car battery. The fix for this is fairly simple: to check if your battery is in fact dead, try turning on your headlights or turn signals. If these are not working, your car battery is most likely dead. Once you have ascertained that this is the case, simply jump-starting your car will allow you to remove the key from the ignition keyway.

Conclusion

Though having a key lodged in the ignition is not an ideal situation, it is important to remember that there is always someone or something out there that can help you. Whether it be a friend jump-starting your car for you, a key extractor tool, or WD40, you will find a way out of this situation. And if you find yourself needing extra help, Pop-A-Lock’s trusted, certified locksmiths are here for you and ready to do so.

The Dangers of Proximity Keys and Push to Start Cars

The remote proximity key – also known as “keyless entry” – allows you to open your vehicle and start it without touching the electronic key fob, a small device that transmits a code to a computer in the car when in close range. In vehicles with keyless, push-button ignition, the fob is recognized by the vehicle to authorize its operation. The fob can stay in the driver’s pocket or purse, as the ignition switch is a button on the dash. This increasingly common technology has become a part of everyday cars, not just luxury models as it once was. Some car manufacturers even have smartphone apps, whose functions include remote starting.

While keyless entry and push-button ignition technology is convenient, it is not without dangers. In fact, a recent New York Times report found proximity keys could be partially responsible for dozens of fatalities in the United States. The article tells the story of a Florida man who drove his SUV into his home garage and entered his house with the key fob, believing that the car was turned off. About 30 hours later, the man was found dead, having been killed by the carbon monoxide that engulfed his home while he was asleep. According to the Times, the man was among at least 25 people who were killed by carbon monoxide in the  United States since 2006, after a keyless-ignition vehicle was accidentally left running in a garage.

 

Safety watchdog groups have documented instances of drivers pushing the button to stop the engine before putting the vehicle in park, allowing their vehicle to roll away. Many car systems emit warnings or even shut down after the driver exits the car, and the fob is detected leaving with them. You could leave the fob in the car’s cup holder, for example, then after you exit, the vehicle doesn’t know to turn off.

 

Hybrid cars pose problems as well. They are very quiet when in electric mode – which they are often in when sitting still after parking. A driver can assume the car is shut down because the engine isn’t running. However, the vehicle may not be truly off. The engine could restart itself, to adjust the climate control, for instance, and therefore send carbon monoxide into the home. Make sure that whenever you enter your home, any car parked in the garage is shut off. Being extra careful about this can prevent a tragedy.

Allow the Experts to Duplicate or Replace Your Fob or Key

If you need a new key or fob for your vehicle, you need a highly skilled and trained professional to ensure it will start your vehicle. At Pop-A-Lock, our key replacement services are affordable and reliable. We can get the job done much quicker – and cheaper – than the dealership. Call Pop-A-Lock today for help with:

 

  • transponder keys
  • fobs
  • keyless remotes
  • dealer chip keys programmed on-site
  • remotes programmed
  • electronic keys
  • key replacements
  • VATS keys

 

We are available 24/7 to meet your automobile key needs. Pop-A-Lock technicians can create the key you need on the spot. Our technicians are trained to program transponder, VAT, and smart keys for any vehicle. Our work is of the highest quality – guaranteed!

What Are Transponder Keys and How Do They Work?

Over the last 20 years, we’ve witnessed the rapid adoption of the transponder key. Most car manufacturers today use some type of transponder key for their vehicles. The core purpose of transponder keys is to eliminate auto theft, and they have become a central part of many modern cars’ anti-theft systems. Transponder keys have continuously evolved over time to better serve that purpose.

How Transponder Keys Work

A transponder (a blend of the words “transmitter” and “responder”) is programmed to start a particular vehicle, which is key in reducing the possibility of auto-theft. Transponder keys contain a small computer chip that transmits a low-level radio signal. The microchip has a unique digital serial number, which authenticates the original car key and the duplicate car key. The signals activate the chip only when the key is near the dashboard or when it is inserted into the ignition.

When you plug a transponder key into the ignition, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) will send a coded message to the key. The original key will receive the coded message and respond back to the ECU. Once the messages are authenticated by the car, the car will start. The range of a transponder key is limited to about seven inches, and they do not require batteries.

Transponder keys are an incredibly effective means of preventing cars from being hot-wired. A vehicle with a transponder key will not start if the device at the switch does not detect the signal from the key. The car will not start if a copied key is used without the proper signal. If someone attempts to hot wire a vehicle that uses a transponder key, it won’t start because there is no signal from the key.

Since vehicles with transponder keys require them in order to start, many people believe that the dealerships for their particular vehicles are the only places they can go for copies. Getting a copy of a transponder key at a dealership is often expensive and inconvenient. Professional locksmiths are a great cost-effective alternative. A professional locksmith will have the expertise necessary to replace, copy, and program new transponder keys.

Contact Pop-A-Lock

If you’ve lost your transponder key, or just want to make a copy for your peace of mind, Pop-A-Lock is here to help. Pop-A-Lock technicians are trained to program all types of transponder keys, for any model or make of vehicle. We guarantee the work we do for you will be top quality.

Replacing a transponder is more complicated than getting a key cut to fit your ignition. This process has to be carried out by a trained specialist to make sure the transponder will function properly and start your car. Not only are Pop-A-Lock’s car key and transponder replacement services cost-effective, but we can get the job done much quicker than the dealership and our competitors. Call the location nearest you today to have a Pop-A-Lock specialist help with all your transponder key needs.

Pop-A-Lock’s Free Emergency Car Unlocking Service

PAL Saves Kids is a free service from Pop-A-Lock. Our ultimate goal is to decrease the number of children injured or killed in hot vehicles through education and awareness. We know that life happens and that even a slight change in one’s daily routine can result in forgetfulness. We want to be there for you if that happens.

Our professional technicians are available 24/7 to rescue children locked in vehicles, and with Pal Saves Kids, we aim to educate instead of judge.

A parent’s goal is to keep their children safe at all costs, but accidents happen, that’s just life. According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts page on hot car deaths, an average of 38 children die in hot cars each year, and nine have died in hot cars already in 2019. Of the total number of children that have died in hot vehicles since 1998, it is estimated that over half were forgotten by a parent or caregiver in the vehicle.

Though we may assume that heatstroke deaths are only possible in the sweltering temperatures in the southern and western states, heatstroke in vehicles can happen anywhere. The National Safety Council reports that hot car deaths are a danger in every state, in every month, not just the summer months. Research has shown that vehicles can heat up much quicker than you might think, even when the outside temperature is what we would consider comfortable. At an outside temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, the temperature inside a vehicle can increase to 117 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.

When the temperature inside a vehicle can increase this rapidly, children left in hot cars do not have much time before they overheat. We never think this will happen to us, but we are only human and we’ll inevitably make mistakes sometimes. The last thing a mistake should cost is a child’s life, so it is important to be aware of these statistics and what your options are to avoid this scary situation.

Here are a few tips to avoid leaving your child locked your vehicle:

  • Keep your focus on driving and avoid distractions (talking on the phone, eating or drinking, daydreaming, etc.) that can cause you to forget what you were doing.
  • Open your child’s door as soon as you arrive at your destination
  • Put an important item (such as your phone, purse, briefcase, backpack, etc.) under your child’s seat so you will remember to retrieve it
  • Have your daycare call your office if your child doesn’t arrive
  • Write down schedule changes in a planner so that they’re fresh in your mind.

Accidents happen all the time, even when you take every possible precaution. Fortunately, Pop-A-Lock’s PAL Saves Kids Program exists to help you if you ever encounter an emergency lock-in situation.

Contact Your Local Pop-A-Lock

Visit Pop-A-Lock’s PAL Saves Kids  page for more tips and for more information on what to do if your child is accidentally locked in the car. We’ll be here to help you and make sure your little ones are safe and secure, no matter where you are!