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Lost Your Car Keys and Locked Out?

It can happen to even the most conscientious drivers. And it usually happens at the worst possible time, like a cold winter’s day or when you’re running behind. We’re talking about one of life’s most frustrating events—losing your keys and locking yourself out of your car. If you have the unfortunate luck of losing your keys and your car is locked, stay calm and resist the urge to panic. Once you’ve settled down, you’ll wonder, “What do I do if I lose my car key!” Wonder no more because we’ve got you covered.

What to Do If You Lost Your Car Keys

When you’ve lost your car keys, what to do first should be obvious. You’ll need to conduct a thorough search to make sure those keys are really missing. If they are, you’ll want to know what type of key your car takes. You may also need documentation about your vehicle if you need a new car key made. Here’s what to do if your car keys are lost. 

Retrace Your Steps

Retracing your steps to locate lost car keys is an ideal first step. Going back through your recent activities in your mind can jiggle your memory, and you may have a eureka moment. If nothing comes to mind, you will physically retrace your steps. If you’ve lost your keys and you’re at home, check the pockets of the clothes you wore the last time you drove and your wallet or pocketbook. 

Check where you usually leave your keys, too. They may have fallen behind something or are covered by mail or other things. If you’re away from home, check your pockets and bags and under and around the car. When you have no luck finding the keys, the next step is determining what kind of replacement you need. 

I.D. Your Key

The kind of key you need will determine how to get it replaced. The most common are traditional, switchblade, transponder, and smart keys. If you’re unsure what type of key your car uses, you can search online, call a dealership, or call a locksmith for help.

Traditional Car Keys

These are standard car keys that operate by inserting them into the ignition and starting the car. If you have a traditional key, a locksmith can figure out how to get a replacement key without the original.

Switchblade Key

A remote fob with a switchblade key that is tucked into the fob is convenient, but losing one can be very inconvenient. Because the key is still required to start the car, getting a car key replacement means going to a dealership.

Transponder Key

Transponder keys connect to cars wirelessly and are still required to be in the ignition to operate. Transponder keys are ideal for theft prevention, but replacing one requires a trip to a dealership.

Smart Key

Smart keys use a proximity sensor for keyless entry and keyless ignition. Smart keys are becoming more common, and they are super convenient. But only a dealership can replace your smart key.

Knowing what to do if you lost your car keys can save you plenty of frustration, time, and money. If you have to get a car key replacement at a dealership, you may have to tow the car to their location. You’ll need proof of ownership, like a registration, your VIN, and the year, make, and model of your car to get the correct replacement. 

Preventing Future Lockouts

Now that you know what to do if your car keys are lost, a little prevention can keep you out of another sticky situation down the road. Here are a few ways to ensure you don’t get stranded because you’ve lost your car keys. 

Keep a Spare Key

If you have to get a replacement car key because you’ve lost the only one you have, it’s wise to go ahead and get two keys. Many drivers keep their spare car key in their pocketbooks or at home in case they get stranded. 

Check Your Pockets

Get in the habit of cleaning out your coat, pants, and other pockets when you get home after driving. That way, you won’t have to search those areas if you lose your car key. It’s also a good idea to keep your keys in the same place at home.

Get a Tracker

Bluetooth trackers are small and affordable, so putting one on your keychain is an easy way to keep up with your keys. You can use your Android or Apple smartphone app to easily find the tracker and your keys. 

Most of the time, you’ll figure out what to do if you lose your car keys without much trouble. Many times, those keys aren’t actually lost; they’re just not where they should be! But when your keys are really gone, you can be prepared with a backup key. 

Car Time Supercenter—Your Key to a Better Driving Experience

From our handy guides for drivers to an extensive inventory of quality used cars, Car Time Supercenter is committed to creating better driving experiences. Serving the Tucson area since 1989, our dealership is a family-owned local business known for integrity, fairness, and flexible financing.

Shane Vossough

There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I'm proud to be a part of our continued success. Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father's passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I've learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources. Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.