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Lost or Damaged Car Key - Action and Solutions

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Many people are totally dependent on their car for essential journeys, and locking your car keys inside your car, losing them altogether, or finding that your keys suddenly won't unlock your car door can present you with a major hassle.  Fortunately, a good locksmith will be able to help you out in case of dire emergency, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself out of a sticky situation.  Read on to find out more.

New model cars

If your car is a recent model, the manufacturer's dealership may be able to help you relatively easily in the event that you lose your keys.  Take a taxi or get a friend to drive you to the dealer, remembering to take the car's VIN number and logbook with you as proof of ownership.  The dealership should be able to make a new key for your car for a small charge.

You should always insist that you are supplied with a spare key when you buy a secondhand car, so that you have a fallback in case one key is lost or damaged.  However, in the absence of a spare key, always have one cut for you by the dealer and keep it somewhere safe.

Older cars

In the case of older vehicles, it's important to note that keys do wear out over time.  If you find that suddenly your car door won't unlock or your steering lock is jammed so that you can't start the car's engine, it's probably the key that's at fault, rather than the lock. 

The most important thing to remember here is not to try to force the key to turn, as you could damage the lock mechanism itself.  A good locksmith will be able to make you a new key, provided you have the original.

It's a good idea to pre-empt problems such as this by keeping an eye on your key.  When the key begins to look worn, or if you start to experience problems activating your door or steering locks, have a new key made from the master.  Throw away the old key, put the new one on your key ring for daily use, label the master clearly and put it away somewhere secure for future use.

Make a calendar note every six months or so to spray some proprietary lubricant into your car door locks.  This will help to keep them running smoothly.  It's also a good idea to lubricate the key and slide it into the locks to clean and oil the mechanism.

In conclusion

If you find yourself locked out of your car, a locksmith can really be a big help.  Always ensure that you have a spare, working car key stored somewhere accessible and secure, and keep a note of your locksmith's number with it, just in case.