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Van Nuys Auto Repair & Body

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My Wife Just Took the Car But Forgot the Keys!

One of the more interesting aspects of owning an auto repair shop is that occasionally you get phone calls that just make you smile. A few weeks ago Herb, a long-time client, called. He sounded a bit panicked, not like him at all. He told me that Jayne, his wife, had just left to visit a friend about a half hour away. After she had been on the road for about 10 minutes, he noticed that she had left the key fob on the kitchen counter. She was able to start the car away because it was within range of the fob (five to 20 meters or approximately 16 to 65 feet). He was confident that she hadn’t yet realized what happened. Herb wanted to know if Jayne would be able to restart the car without the fob. He was on his way out and didn’t want to leave her stranded.

When I suggested he call her, he said she never answers her phone when she is driving and refuses to text. I then told him that I was certain Jayne knew about the problem because a message should have popped up the dashboard telling her that the fob could not be detected. Jayne will find out that most keyless entry cars can run without the fob being nearby, however, once they are turned off will likely not start up again. I speculated that she would either be on her way back home for the key fob or will be calling him shortly. And that if she did get stuck, to remember that AutoAid offers towing services.

Keys with the Fobs
Many key fobs have an emergency key to open the doors and the trunk, however, if yours doesn’t, you will not be able to open the doors either. Check to see if you have a fob that includes a key (you pay extra for it). It’s typically sits in a compartment on the back of the fob. Also, check your owner’s manual to see when and how often the manufacturer recommends that you change the battery in your fob. At AutoAid we sell new batteries for all types of key fobs and can replace it for you at no charge.

Remote Starting Devices 
There are a few vehicles that can be started remotely, meaning that the driver need not be in the vehicle with the key fob for it to start. You can find this in Teslas, Corvettes and some other cars. However, in the average newer car the standard keyless fob still reigns supreme.

AutoAid is Your Car Specialist
In Jayne’s case, she was still close enough to home that Herb was able to go and meet her with the key. If for some reason he could not have done that then AutoAid would have contacted our towing partner and had them pick the car up and return it safely to our shop. We can repair most cars, trucks, hybrid or fleet vehicles that come through our doors.
Luckily for Herb and Jayne, it didn’t cost them anything out of pocket that day. And, we were able to offer some advice over the phone. If Jayne had needed our towing services and it was after hours, she could have always have gotten the tow company’s number from the Appointments page on our website, which also provides information on where the vehicle should be left.
Being able to accommodate our customers is our primary goal. When you’re happy, we’re happy. Maybe that’s why we are so proud of the accolades we have received from Angie’s List, including the Super Seven Service Award which we’ve won for the last seven years, and our selection by the American Automobile Association for their AAA-Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award.
Book your appointment now to take advantage of our $25 New Customer Get Acquainted Certificate which you can download. Not a new customer? You’ll also find money-saving coupons for brake service, check engine light code reading and general repairs.

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