It’s early in the morning — and it’s cold. You run out of the house to start your car so your engine will warm up and you can get safely to work. While you’re getting dressed, you ask your husband to run out to your car to turn it off so you don’t waste gas. He does, throws the keys in the driver’s seat and shuts the door — obliviously to the fact that the car doors are locked.

A few minutes later, you return to your car — dressed and ready to go. Your car is locked — and your keys are inside. You’re going to be late to work unless you try to pop your car door’s lock to get your keys.

Or should you? Locksmiths will tell you that you’re better off calling one instead of trying to open your car door yourself. You’ll save time and money by calling a pro because you can damage your car by trying to trigger open the lock with a coat hanger or like object. Read on to read the top ways you can damage your car by trying to do it yourself:

Tip #1: Don’t let your alarm go off.

It’s super easy to trip your car’s alarm if you begin sticking an object like a coat hanger down through the wind and into the door panel. Think having your keys locked into your car is annoying? How about having an alarm blaring in your ear with no way to shut it off? Do you and your neighbors that early-morning favor, and call a pro to meet you in your driveway.

Tip #2: Don’t damage the door or window.

A common consequence of trying to pop your car door’s lock on your own is actual damage to the window and internal door panel. You can scratch the door, you can crack the glass in the window, and you can create separation between the window and door that will let moisture seep in the next time it rains.

You actually don’t know all the damage you potentially could do to your car because you are sticking an object inside the door panel and the damage you do could be internal. What’s more, you could get the hanger stuck in door panel, and then you’ll have to take it into an auto repair shop to be taken apart.

Tip #3: Don’t ruin your car’s electronic panel.

One of the most expensive consequences of trying to pop a lock on your own is going to be if you damage your car’s electronic panel. If you have automatic locks, then your doors operate via an electronic system.

It often is a very sensitive system that can be tripped easily. If you do enough damage, the entire panel could need to be replaced. In the process of trying to pop the lock, you could damage other parts of the panel that are connected to lighting up other parts of your car. Replacing an electronic panel and troubleshooting it can really add up, so it’s always better to call a professional who has the right tools that will not damage your car.

In conclusion, no one wants the annoyance of being locked out of a car — especially when you have somewhere you need to be, but this is something that you really can’t do on your own. How many times have car owners tried to pop a lock and found that they are in a worse situation than when they began because of the damage they do to their vehicles?

If you want to avoid the hassles of damaging your car — and having to pay a lot more money in the long run — then call a pro to pop your lock. Yes, you’ll be late to work either way — but you’ll get there quicker if you don’t also have to take your car into the shop to get its alarm, door or electrical panel fixed! Professional locksmiths are ready to meet you where you are and to get you back into your car as soon as possible.