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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!

Tips to Prevent Accidentally Locking A Child in A Car

Pop-A-Lock Technician Opening Door for Child in Car

Did you know that according to KidsandCars.org, an average of 38 children die heat-related deaths each year after being trapped inside a vehicle?

As a parent, your days are understandably hectic. With all of the responsibilities and distractions that come with everyday life, even the best parents could discover that they’ve accidentally locked their child in the car. While most of us assume that this will never happen to us, it’s always wise to consider how to avoid a mental blunder like this, and what to do if it accidentally happens to you.

That’s why we’ve provided the following tips that will help you avoid accidentally locking your child in the car.

 

  1.   Always take your kids with you. 

Even if you’re making a brief stop, bring your kids with you into the store. In some states, it’s even illegal to leave your child unattended in a vehicle. Make a habit of bringing your child with you, no matter how busy you are or how short you expect the stop to be.

  1.   Don’t leave your keys within an arm’s reach of your child.

No matter where you are, your keys need to be kept away from your child. The auto lock on your keyless entry remote allows a child to lock themselves in the car. It’s a good idea to carry a spare key with you at all times. Typically, a locksmith service can duplicate your key for less than what an auto dealership will charge. If your keys are locked in the vehicle with your child, Pop-A-Lock’s Pal Saves Kid’s program can help you get into your vehicle immediately to retrieve your child and your keys.

  1.   Communicate with your child’s caregiver.

Stay in contact with your child’s caregiver so that the caregiver will call you if your child doesn’t show up at daycare. It’s not unheard of for parents to be in such a rush that they accidentally forget that their children are still in the car and head to work. Use a smartphone app that requires you to check-in so you will receive an alert on your phone if your child is not dropped off at daycare.

  1.   Always check the car seat. 

Every time you exit your vehicle, check the backseat for your child. Place a reminder on your dashboard, or put one of your child’s belongings, such as a toy, in the front seat to serve as a visual reminder. Or, put something you’ll need when you get out of the car -like a phone, wallet or purse – in the backseat with your child.

  1.   Situate your child’s car seat so that they are visible to you.

Position your child’s car seat to the right or in the middle of the backseat, so it is easier to see them in your rearview mirror than if they were directly behind you.

  1.   Limit talking on the phone. 

Try to avoid talking on the phone during your drive. Carrying on a conversation, particularly one that is deep or involving, could be distracting and divert your attention from your child.

  1.   Be careful if your daily routine changes.

The risk of accidentally leaving your child in the car increases with a change in routine. If you decide to run an errand before work or if you need to adjust your daily schedule for any reason, be sure to put your child’s new drop off time on your calendar in advance, and try to set phone reminders to alert you that they need to be taken to school or daycare. If your child will be with you all day, make a mental note to always take them with you on whatever special errands you need to run.

  1.   Save a locksmith’s number in your phone. 

Be prepared in the event the unthinkable happens and you accidentally lock your child in the car. If it’s a warm summer day or a cold winter day, and your child is in the car, take immediate action to get them out. Call 911 and attempt to break a window to gain entry into the vehicle.

However, if the weather is mild, calling 911 and breaking a window might not be necessary. Just be sure to call a locksmith or utilize Pop-A-Lock’s PAL Saves Kids program to get your child out of the vehicle immediately. Locksmiths are available 24/7 and will be able to pop the lock as soon as they arrive. Always be careful in this consideration, though, because inside of cars can heat up or cool off quickly, even if the temperature outside is mild. When in doubt, always call 911.

Pop-A-Lock is Committed to Saving Kids

Pop-A-Lock developed the PAL Saves Kids program, which rescues children in locked vehicles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since law enforcement officers introduced the program in 1991, thousands of kids have been rescued throughout the United States at no charge to parents or caregivers. If your child is locked in your vehicle or you see someone else’s child locked in another vehicle, take advantage of this free program right away.

We hope you found these tips to be helpful, and if you need assistance with a locked vehicle, contact your local Pop-A-Lock professionals today.

Remember, always look before you lock!

Pop-A-Lock Mascot hugging child

How To Save Money On Automotive Key Duplication Services

How To Save Money On Automotive Key Duplication Services

While there’s never a “good” time to lose your car keys, it always seems like they get lost at the most inconvenient time possible. This often leads to extreme stress and frustration for countless people across the country every day. 

As anyone who has had to replace a car key before knows, it can be a time consuming and expensive ordeal if you have them replaced at the dealership. Fortunately, there are faster and cheaper options available to you, such as using a locksmith – specifically, Pop-A-Lock – for key duplication. If you have a duplicate key, it’s not as big of a nuisance if you lose one. 

 Want to know more? Here are four reasons why you should hire a locksmith for a duplicate key instead of going to a dealership: 

  1.   Quick Response Time. A locksmith specializes in key replacement. They’ll be ready to help you right away because that’s what they do for a living! A dealership, on the other hand, is more focused on car sales. Dealerships don’t deal with key replacements as regularly as a locksmith does, and they don’t typically have an efficient process in place to make duplicate keys like a locksmith does. Many locksmiths offer emergency services 24/7, so you can get the key you need no matter what time of day it is.
  2.   Convenience. A locksmith will come to wherever you are and help get you back on the road, whereas dealerships typically do not offer this convenient service. This is a plus, as in a case where you are locked out of your vehicle, you won’t be able to drive to a dealership.
  3.   Help with Other Lock and Key Issues. A lost car key is just one example of the many issues a locksmith can help with. Another common problem is when a physical key gets stuck in the ignition. Instead of paying a mechanic to fix it, a locksmith can remove the key for a much lower price. Another common problem we encounter is when the ignition is damaged or has worn out, however a locksmith is usually able to repair the ignition switch on site. Locksmiths are experts in car keys and locks, affordably and promptly helping you with a range of issues related to accessing and starting your vehicle.
  4.   Quality Matches the Dealership. Locksmiths can duplicate 99% of all car keys on the market. Car dealerships will say that you have to go to a dealer to get a duplicate car key because they want you to go through them. There are a very small percentage of late model car keys that a locksmith cannot duplicate only because the carmaker has not released the key codes to locksmiths yet. 

Pop-A-Lock can duplicate virtually every make and model of key – and for a far lower price than what the dealership will charge. Our highly skilled Pop-A-Lock technicians can meet you wherever you and your car are,  creating your smart key on the spot. All technicians are trained to perform programming of transponder, VAT, and smart keys for all vehicle makes and models. The work we do will be very high quality – guaranteed every time.

Replacing Modern Car Keys

Why are car keys so expensive these days? The main reason is that vehicle security has become more sophisticated over the last few decades. Most newer vehicles are equipped with transponders, (a type of anti-theft system), and keys use an electronic fob, which is essentially a remote control. To program these types of key/fobs, locksmiths need proper training and equipment. 

Replacing a newer, high-tech transponder key is not as easy as getting a new key cut to match your ignition. This needs to be performed by a trained technician to ensure the key will start your car and function properly. Not only is Pop-A-Lock much cheaper than a dealership, we’re much quicker as well. Pop-A-Lock can assist with the following key duplication services: 

  • Key replacements
  • Keyless remotes
  • VATS keys
  • Laser cut keys
  • Transponder keys
  • Dealer chip keys programmed on-site
  • Remote programming
  • Electronic keys

Lost Your Car Keys? Call Pop-A-Lock For Help

We’re available 24/7, so call Pop-A-Lock whenever and wherever you need us, and our technician will promptly arrive on the scene to help! If you need a duplicate key, all you have to do is contact a Pop-A-Lock near you and provide the following information:

  • The type of keys that have been lost
  • Make and model of your vehicle
  • VIN#
  • Personal identification

After you’ve placed your call, a skilled Pop-A-Lock technician will come to where you are and duplicate your key on site. This way, you will not have to pay for towing. If you have AAA or roadside assistance through your car insurance, you may have benefits that will pay a percentage of the key duplication cost. Lastly, Pop-A-Lock will provide a similar warranty that you would get from a dealership.

Don’t overpay for key duplication, and say “no thanks” to the time and hassle that comes with getting a new key from the dealership. Instead, contact your local Pop-A-Lock to get a trained technician to save you time and money, getting you back out on the road fast!

I’m Locked Out Of My Car, What Do I Do Now?

I’m Locked Out Of My Car, What Do I Do Now?

We all know how it feels when that sudden realization hits you: you don’t know where your keys are. It is remarkably easy to lock your keys in your vehicle by accident. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life and all the things we have to remember, it’s a wonder we don’t all do it once a week. If you don’t drive a vehicle with a push-to-unlock button or keycode access, it’s likely you’ve done it more than once. Don’t be too hard on yourself—it happens, and Pop-A-Lock is here to help. Take the following course of action when it happens to you:

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Don’t Panic

The first step is pretty self-explanatory. Again, life happens. Stay calm and collected, and remember that we are all only human. Unnecessary panic will put undue stress on you in an already stressful situation. There are ways to remedy this situation safely and efficiently.

Make Sure There are No Children or Pets in the Car

Accidents happen, and if your keys are locked in your car, that means any children or pets you had in the car with you may be as well. Kids and pets can overheat in vehicles very quickly, especially on hot summer days, so proper precautions should always be taken to ensure that they aren’t left in the car unattended. 

Locate the Nearest Phone

If your cellphone is on you, great! You can use it to contact someone to help, and in many cases, you can use your insurance company app to see what kind of roadside assistance you have available to you. If it’s locked in your car, however, you should head into the nearest business and ask to borrow a phone. Let them know you need your car door unlocked. If you know where your spare key is located in your home and you have someone that could bring it to you promptly, get in touch with them!

Call Your Local Pop-A-Lock

If you don’t have access to your spare, we will take care of you. We are here when life happens. Pop-A-Lock has been providing locksmith services since its founding in 1991, and we specialize in emergency car door unlocking services. We will send one of our talented and experienced locksmiths to your location as soon as possible to have you back in your vehicle quickly, efficiently, and safely. 

Our trained technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you. While car door locks are constantly evolving and are becoming more complicated, our team has the experience and knowhow to help you get into your vehicle in an emergency.  Contact your local Pop-A-Lock professional by phone at 1-(800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online.