Steps to Take Before You Call a Locksmith
If you accidentally lock yourself out of your car, first you’ll probably want to try solving the problem yourself. Before calling anyone for help, you might want to examine your key visually. If the key is bent, it probably won’t fit into the lock properly. In that case, you may be able to solve your lock-out problem easily by using a hammer to flatten out the key. Alternatively, you might want to try putting some lubricant in the lock to see if that helps resolve the situation. However, you should not try opening your car with a coat hanger – you may damage the paint, the weatherproofing, or even wiring inside the door. Trying to force the key to turn using pliers is also a bad idea, as you might break or deform the key.
If you’ve planned ahead, you may be able to have your car unlocked by a family member or friend who you’ve entrusted with an extra copy of your key. However, if you don’t have any back-up key holders – or if your back-up key holders are not available – you may have to try opening the lock yourself or calling a professional Locksmith in Upper East side NYC.
Selecting a reputable automotive locksmith can be tricky, so you will probably want to look for reliable referrals. Call roadside assistance, if you have it. In some situations they may even be able to take care of the car unlocking for you. If not, they should at least be able to refer you to a reputable locksmith in your area. If you don’t have roadside assistance, you should call family or friends for recommendations.
If you have to resort to choosing a locksmith from the phone book or the internet, take care to ascertain that you get a smithing business that is actually local to your area. Some locksmith companies falsely list local addresses. Then, when you call the phone number listed, your call is routed to a national call center. The call center then dispatches an untrained “locksmith” who may overcharge you and damage your vehicle. Thus, when you see a locksmith listing with a local address, you may want to go online to verify that the address listed actually houses a locksmith business.
When you call a locksmith, be wary of businesses that answer the phone using general terms like “locksmith services” instead of mentioning the specific business name. Ask for a price estimate while you are on the phone, and make sure that the price includes any service or mileage fees. Ask whether the locksmith you are calling is insured, licensed, and a member of Associate Locksmiths of America. (Not all states, however, requires locksmiths to be licensed.)
When calling a locksmith to help with a car unlocking, make sure that you give them the make and model of the car they will be working on and also inform them as to what anti-theft systems your vehicle has. If you have a key code, it will be helpful if you can provide that information in advance as well. Finally, when help arrives on scene, make sure that you have proof of ownership and identification ready to present.