The mystery of the missing car keys

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magnifying glassEver wondered where all those lost car keys go? It’s something I often think about as I’m called out to stranded motorists. So I got out my magnifying glass, put on my deerstalker hat (more car lock than Sherlock) and did some investigating.

Of course, most lost car keys aren’t really lost at all. They tend to turn up – eventually and often in the most unexpected of places. One woman I spoke to lost her keys and had to rely on her spare set for a week or more. She, along with her family, had turned the house upside down looking for them. All the usual hiding places were checked, but they were nowhere to be found. Read on … and I’ll tell you where they were a bit later.

According to my investigations, these are the top five most likely hiding places for missing car keys:

  • In trouser pockets
  • Under a chair or sofa
  • In a coat pocket in a cloakroom or wardrobe
  • On the floor of the car
  • In the car ignition or door

Of course, if this list doesn’t help and you’ve checked there, we’ve heard reports of car keys being found in the dog beds or even being eaten by said dogs (NB – this is a job for your vet – not your car locksmith!).

Still indoors, fridges, dishwashers and shopping bags also play host to missing car keys. One missing set of keys were found dangling in the middle of a large house plant – and who would think to look there?

Small children are frequently to blame for lost car keys. Their favourite tricks include dropping them down the loo, throwing them out of open windows and posting them out through the letter box. If you have meddlesome little ones, we recommend you check outside your front door before looking anywhere else. A set of car keys on the pavement or on your drive could be an open invitation to an opportunistic thief. Bad enough to lose your car keys without losing the car as well.

But what do you do if you’re out and you’ve lost your car keys? First of all, if you have manual locks, check the doors, not forgetting the boot. Also check the roof of your car and on the ground around and under the vehicle. Systematically empty your pockets and any bags. Don’t panic and rummage – you’re more likely to miss them.

If you have spare keys at home and it’s possible to get them, you won’t need immediate assistance. However, if you don’t have a spare key or are too far from home, you will need the help of a car locksmith. The locksmith will have to enter your vehicle, and using specialist equipment will cut and program your new car keys.

Still wondering where those car keys were that I told you about earlier? This hiding place is 8th on the list of most common places to look – they were on the key rack – exactly where they should have been – but nobody thought to look there!

Image credit 123RF