Perhaps you have experienced that anxiety: not even a second after your vehicle door locks shut, you realize that the door is sealed up and your keyring is inside the vehicle. What to do? How are you going to secure a ride to your house? Do you even have a replacement set of keys? All of this goes through your brain aside from the ultimate question: How are you going to unlock the doors?

The most obvious solution is to locate your extra car key. Usually, at the time you purchase your car, you're handed two car keys. One keyring you usually keep on you, and the spare ought to be squirreled away someplace safe. If you have designated someone who can fetch the duplicate key and get it to where you are, then the most you have lost is a short time stuck by your car, and a little pride.

However, it's possible you do not have anyone available to assist, or maybe your replacement key is misplaced. A viable choice is to ask for help from your auto club, or any 24-hour roadside assistance service. If your vehicle is still covered by the factory or dealer warranty, then you potentially already have a 24-hour assistance plan. If that's not the case, but you or someone with you is a member of a club like AAA, then that provider can come help you.

Your third option for aid is to call a locksmith. He will come out and open your car door without the key. However, that kind of assistance call may cost more bucks than you are able to spend, especially after the usual business hours.

Your final option is to find a way to pop the lock yourself. You might want to do this on a car door that's not in use a lot, possibly the rear curb side, just in case you don't get it done right. You will need an unbent wire coat hanger, or something similar, with an extended, slim rod and a strong hook on one end. In a dark setting you will be happy for a flashlight or other light source. In addition, you'll potentially need something handy but not critical, for instance a pen.

Push the black, rubbery weather strip off the bottom part of the glass and hold the space ajar by pushing the small, unimportant implement into the area. Peer down through the hole you created into your car door's guts. You should see an iron rod that is attached to the locking mechanism. Cautiously shimmy the hanger hook-side first into the car door. Try to position the hook to grab the metal rod and shimmy the piece in the direction that it slides to unlock from the inside. When the car is unlocked, cautiously wiggle the coat hanger and the pen out of the door frame and open your car.

To prevent this ever happening again, always carry one extra key in your billfold or purse. That's always on your person, even when you leave the car!