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Leaving your car running with doors locked may seem like a risky move, but sometimes it becomes necessary, but the question is, How to Leave Car Running With Doors Locked? Perhaps you need to quickly run into a store or wait for someone and don’t want to turn off the engine. While leaving your car running unattended poses some safety risks, there are ways to mitigate those risks.

In this article, we will share six different methods to leave your car running with doors locked safely. These methods have been tried and tested by experts in the automotive industry and can help you keep your vehicle secure while also ensuring that it stays running. Whether you’re a busy parent or someone who needs to make quick stops frequently, these methods will be handy.

What happens if I keep my car running and leave with the keyless entry keys?

Keyless entry systems have become increasingly popular in modern vehicles, providing drivers with greater convenience and ease of use. One question often arises is whether leaving your car running while you exit the vehicle with the keyless entry keys is safe. The answer is that it depends on a few factors.

Leaving your car running can be dangerous if parked in an enclosed or poorly ventilated area. This is because the exhaust fumes can build up and potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly. It’s also not recommended to leave your car running for extended periods as this puts unnecessary wear and tear on the engine, which can lead to costly repairs down the line.

Another factor to consider is theft. Leaving your car running with the keyless entry keys inside makes it an easy target for thieves.

How to Leave Car Running With Doors Locked?

How to Leave Car Running With Doors Locked

Leaving a car running with doors locked is a common practice for many drivers. This method allows you to keep your engine running while leaving the vehicle unattended, which can be helpful in certain situations, such as when you need to stop quickly and run an errand, it’s important to note that this practice can also be dangerous if not done correctly.

To leave your car running with doors locked, ensure you have a spare key or key fob that will allow you to unlock the vehicle when you return and park safely and securely without risk of theft or damage. Turn off any unnecessary electrical systems, such as the radio or air conditioning, before exiting the vehicle.
Once outside, lock all doors using either the remote control or manual locks on each door.

The basics:

This will allow you to start the engine from outside the car and lock the doors without physically entering it. If your car doesn’t have this feature, consider investing in an aftermarket installation.

You can do so by putting your car in neutral.

Park your vehicle in a secure location, away from high-traffic areas or places where theft is likely. Turn off any accessories, such as lights or air conditioning, before locking the doors with a key fob or using the manual lock switch inside the car. Now have a look at a few more methods.

Method-01: Using a three-digit passcode

One of these methods is using three-digit passcode. This method involves setting up a three-digit code that you will use to lock and unlock your car doors remotely. The beauty of this method is that only those who know the code can access the vehicle, even if it’s left running. You can also consider having a spare key on hand in case of an emergency.
Another helpful method is a two-digit passcode, allowing for even simpler access control options.

Method-02: Law Enforcement

The second method is law enforcement is a tactic used by police officers to apprehend suspects who are driving. The method involves the officer approaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, instructing them to turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition. There have been instances where suspects refuse to comply with this order and leave their cars running while keeping their doors locked.

Leaving a car running with doors locked can be dangerous for the suspect and law enforcement. It can lead to prolonged standoffs and may increase tensions between both parties. In some cases, it has even resulted in high-speed chases that put innocent bystanders at risk. Law enforcement agencies must train their officers to handle non-compliant drivers effectively to avoid such situations.

Method-03: Run a Quick Errand

in the third method, You might have to run a quick errand and don’t want the hassle of turning off your car only to start it again in a few minutes. Or perhaps you’re waiting for someone and want the AC on while they’re still away. Whatever your reason is, putting your car in neutral is one way to keep it running with doors locked.

Before proceeding with this method, ensure your vehicle has automatic transmission, as this will not work for manual transmissions. Also, confirm that your foot brake works correctly, as you need it later. Once confirmed, park your car in a safe location and engage the emergency brake. Then press down on the foot brake pedal firmly before shifting into neutral gear.

Method-04: Remote Setting

Another method is remote setting is a feature in modern cars that allows drivers to leave their vehicles running while the doors are locked. This can be useful when passengers need to stay inside the car or when you want to heat up or cool down the interior before entering. Not all cars have this feature, so checking if your vehicle has it is essential.
To use this method, remote setting:

  • Ensure that your car is equipped with this feature and that your key fob is within range of the car.
  • Then press and hold the lock button on your key fob for several seconds until you hear a beep or see the lights flash twice.
  • Press and hold the start/stop button until the engine starts.
  • You can release both buttons and exit your vehicle, leaving it running with locked doors.

Method 5: Rolling Down the Window

Maybe you were in a rush and didn’t have time to turn off the engine, or perhaps you were scared for your safety. Whatever the reason, it offers a so this method solution that is both practical and safe. Here’s how it works.
Roll down your window enough to reach inside and unlock the door from the outside.

Lock all your doors from the inside using either the power locks or manually flipping each lockdown.
Keep an emergency key in your pocket at all times that can be used to unlock your door if necessary.

Method 6: Battery disconnected

The sixth method is battery disconnected, which drivers can use to leave their cars running with locked doors. This method involves disconnecting the negative battery terminal while the engine is running, which allows you to lock your car without turning off the engine. It’s important to note that this method should only be used in emergencies when you need to leave your car running and unattended. While doing this, if your car’s battery goes dead, you can charge your car’s battery without a charger.

To perform this method, you’ll need a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery post. Start by locating the negative terminal on your car’s battery, typically marked with a minus sign (-). Use your pliers or wrench to loosen and remove the cable clamp from the battery post. Once it’s loose, gently wiggle it back and forth until it comes off ultimately.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of leaving your car running with the doors locked?


  1. Keep your car’s interior at a comfortable temperature during extreme weather conditions.
  2. Preventing your vehicle from freezing up and reducing wear on the starter motor during cold weather.
  3. Ensuring that the battery remains charged even when parked for extended periods.
  4. Reducing the likelihood of theft as potential thieves will be deterred by an active engine and locked doors.
  5. Allowing you to quickly jump back in and leave without fumbling with keys or start-up procedures.
  6. Providing a power source for charging electronic devices such as phones or laptops when away from home.
  7. Supporting emergencies where quick access to transportation is necessary, such as medical emergencies or escaping dangerous situations.


  1. Carbon monoxide poisoning: Running your car in an enclosed space, even for just a few minutes, can release toxic fumes that can be deadly if inhaled.
  2. Theft: If someone breaks into your car and steals it while it’s running, insurance companies may not cover the loss since you technically left the keys in the ignition and gave the thief easy access.
  3. Accidents: Leaving your car unattended with the engine running increases the risk of accidents, especially if someone tries to move it without realizing it’s on. This could lead to property damage or injury to pedestrians or other drivers.

Conclusions: How to Leave Car Running With Doors Locked

Leaving your car running with doors locked is common for many drivers, but it can also be risky and dangerous if not done correctly. Utilizing the six methods in this article, you can ensure your car remains secure and safe while taking a quick break or running a quick errand. Whether you use a remote starter or an extra key fob, always remember to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. These tips allow you to leave your car running without worry or stress confidently. So next time you need to step out of your car briefly, try one of these methods and enjoy the convenience of leaving your engine running without any fears or anxieties!


How do you lock all doors in a car?

Locking all the doors on a car is fairly simple. Most cars have a central locking system so that you can lock all the doors with one button. This button is usually located on the driver’s side door or dashboard. You can also use your key to lock all the doors at once by inserting it into each door and turning it clockwise. Lastly, some cars come with a remote key fob that allows you to lock the doors from a distance.

How do you open a car door with a power lock?

Opening a car door with a power lock is easy. First, locate the unlock button on your key fob. Press and hold the unlock button for at least two seconds to activate the power locks. The locks will click open when they’re unlocked. Alternatively, you can press the unlock button twice quickly to open all the doors simultaneously. Lastly, pull on the door handle to open the door.