Losing your car keys is one of the most dreaded experiences for car owners everywhere. It is not unusual to get angry and frustrated when you can no longer access your vehicle, let alone move it to a safe location or the mechanic’s shop. Fortunately, there is a positive way to respond to the unfortunate loss of your car keys. In this article, we look at how to move a parked car if you can’t find your keys.
Regardless of how you lost your keys, it will soon become necessary for you to move your car. But what do you do when getting a spare key isn’t an option? Auto mechanics have been dealing with such dilemmas for years, and the solution lies in putting your vehicle in neutral. If this isn’t a skill you possess, the following guide should help you.
What to do When You Lose Your Car Keys
When you lose your key, the first thing you should do is to check your surroundings to ensure it didn’t fall off your pocket. You should also consider asking people with who you live; they might have borrowed them. If you still can’t find your keys, your next step will depend on the type of key you lost. Your options are as follows:
- Traditional Key
If you lose a traditional car key, you should contact a locksmith who can make you a copy right away. Please note that this may not be possible for unique or old car models, and you may have to purchase a new ignition lock cylinder and key from a car dealer.
- Transponder Key
A transponder key is a tad more challenging to replace than a traditional car key. If you lose this key and don’t have a backup, you will need to call a towing service and have your car towed to the dealership. The dealer will require proof of ownership before selling you a new key.
- Smart Key
Replacing a smart key will require much the same steps as replacing a transponder key. You will need to get your vehicle towed to the dealership, where you will get another key and pair it with your car.
- Key Fob
Even if you lose your key fob, you should still be able to unlock and run your car using your key. You may then purchase a new fob (they are sold as aftermarket products) and program it.
- Key Fob and Switchblade Key
If you lose your key fob and switchblade key, you can have them made, cut, and programmed at a car dealership. Even better, you can buy new ones online and program them.
Replacing your key may be far from your mind if your vehicle is parked in an unsafe location and you cannot move it. The good news is, you can move your vehicle without the key and worry about replacements once your vehicle is safe.
Moving a Parked Car by Putting it in Neutral
When you disconnect the transmission linkage on your car, you effectively put it in neutral, making it easier for you to move. The specific process will vary from brand to brand as each model’s transmission levers will be located in different areas. As such, it is best to refer to your car’s manual while working through this procedure.
Step 1: Position the Wheel Blocks
Refer to your manual for the proper way to place wheel blocks and start by positioning them in front and behind your car’s wheels to ensure it remains stationary during the process. A car moving or rolling backward and forward while you are under it may result in serious, even life-threatening injuries, especially if you are unable to stop it fast enough.
Step 2: Find the Vehicle’s Transmission
Once the wheel blocks are in place you can jack up the car and place jack stands as support. Find a working flashlight, turn it on, and proceed with this step. While under your vehicle, look near the engine and find your car’s transmission. Some cars may have the shift linkage near the engine. Check the manual to ensure you have the correct part located.
It is advisable to perform this step with at least one or two people watching what you are doing and keeping track of the process. This is a safety precaution in case something goes wrong.
Step 3: Find and Disconnect the Proper Cable
Look alongside the transmission you have located and find the cable with a lever and switch connected to it. Again, check on the manual that you have the right cable. Once you confirmed you do, disconnect it and push the level backward until you hear a clicking sound. The lever should be moving toward the rear of your vehicle, not the front.
Step 4: Move the Vehicle
Finally, crawl out from underneath your vehicle and put away the flashlight. Attempt to push your car without removing the wheel blocks. If you did the procedure correctly, it should move slightly. This means that the car is now in neutral, and you can push it to a different location. Proceed to push your car to the new and safe location, be it your garage or closer to your house.
Safety Tips for Moving a Parked Car
Consider the following safety tips during this process:
- Have at least one or two people with you during this procedure.
- Read the manual before beginning.
- Wear protective clothing, such as an overall, protective glasses, and gloves.
- Use a flashlight with sufficient light.
- Place the wheel blocks on each wheel as indicated in the manual.
Moving a parked car by putting it in neutral will take some doing as it will require you to possibly get under your car. You will need to be careful to keep the vehicle from rolling while you’re under it. Typically, this is done by placing clocks in front and behind the wheels. Because you will need to find the right lever and cable, you should also find a working flashlight.
The best and most ideal answer to how to move a parked car when you don’t have your keys is to find your spare key. A spare key can save you all the money and trouble of replacing your main key and having your car towed. However, finding a spare key is not always an option, and moving your car is a more urgent problem, which you can now solve.