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Three Tricks to Try When You’re Locked Out of Your Car Due to a Dead Key Fob

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If your vehicle comes with a handy dandy key fob to access all its working parts, you’ve probably feared the day your fob goes kaput (probably in inclement weather, far from home, or when your arms are full of grocery bags containing ice cream on a hot day). For such a diminutive tool, it does wield a lot of power! Fear not, key fob reliant drivers, because according to Ray Magliozzi, Car Talk writer for the Dayton Daily News, there are emergency measures you can take when your key fob fails you.


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The first thing to try is to examine your key fob for a pull-out key that is located in the case of the key fob, explains Magliozzi. If your fob has one, look for your car’s camouflaged keyhole.

“A number of cars hide a keyhole in the driver’s door handle. There’s often a cap that you can pop off with the key, and then use the key to unlock the door,” he advises.

If your key fob is missing an emergency key and your vehicle affords you “remote services,” Magliozzi says now is the time to call for help via your manufacturer’s roadside assistance number.

“No remote services? Try holding the key fob right up against the door near the handle and pulling. Sometimes there’s just enough juice in the battery to allow you to unlock it from a close distance,” he adds.


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To prevent getting locked out of your car due to a faulty or battery-dying key fob, YourMechanic writer Timothy Charlet recommends paying attention to warning signals such as a noticeable dip in signal strength, more than one (or 10!) clicks to make it work, and inconsistent service.

News Source: Dayton Daily News, YourMechanic