When most people hear of locksmiths, they mostly think about commercial and residential lock services. They forget that there are locksmiths who are specialized in automotive lock issues. An automotive locksmith is someone who deals with car keys and locks as well as repairing ignition problems. For instance, if your car keys get lost, you’ll have to call a reliable car locksmith to help you. There may be many other situations where you need the services of an automotive locksmith, as explained below:
Also read: What does a locksmith do
When You Need An Automotive Locksmith
#1 Locking your keys inside the car
This can be a very annoying experience and is the main reason why people frequently contact an automotive locksmith. Therefore, to be on the safe side, it’s essential to look for a car locksmith who is available 24/7 since you may sometimes lock your keys inside the car at night. You won’t be stranded in the parking lot trying to figure out your next move since car locksmiths will assist you.
#2 Lost car keys
You might misplace your car keys at some point in time. This means that you will have to get a new set of car keys so that you can take a ride. In this case, you will require the services of a car locksmith to get new car keys.
#3 Broken car keys
It’s obvious that you will use your car keys every time you want to drive. Your car keys may sometimes fail while you are away from home. On the other hand, if your car keys are battery powered, you might find difficulties on how to replace the battery or even deal with the problem. An automotive locksmith will help you replace the dead battery or other problems using the key’s mechanics.
#4 Lost transponder key
With technological advancement today, most new vehicles rely on transponder keys, which have embedded chips for overriding the vehicle’s engine security system. This generally reduces the risk of your car being stolen. However, getting someone to make a new transponder key after losing or damaging it’s not that easy. You can only get a new transponder key from an automotive locksmith.
#5 Remote stops working
Every car has its own unique remote. Therefore, when your remote stops working, you will have to call a car locksmith to replace it or change its battery. The remote play a significant role, which makes it essential to fix the problem immediately.
#6 Ignition problems
If your car ignition jams, you need to call an automotive locksmith as opposed to what most people do i.e., calling a mechanic or dealer.
Automotive Locksmiths Services
These are some of the situations when you need to call an automotive locksmith. The modern car locksmiths offer a variety of lock services, meaning that choosing them to handle your problem will make every other problem solved as soon as possible. Below are the different kinds of services an automotive locksmith provides:
#1 Car lockout services
One of the most stressful experiences is getting locked out of your vehicle. When this happens, it’s essential to stay calm since trying some improper ways of opening your car can even lead to more serious problems. You should always call a professional auto locksmith when in such a situation.
The auto locksmith will come equipped with all tools used in opening a car whose keys got lost, locked inside, or broke in a lock. The most common tool that automotive locksmiths use is the slim jim, although it’s mostly effective in vehicles with an upright styled lock. However, the slim jim technique will vary depending on the care make and model.
Once this tool finds the locking device, it will hook the lock to unlock the car. The unlocking process requires a lot of keenness since this part of the car door has a lot of wires and electronic mechanics, which can easily be disrupted or harm the locksmith.
#2 Car key replacement
If you lose your car keys, then you will require to make a replacement. If you don’t have any extra key, then you have to contact a professional auto locksmith to help you. The locksmith usually used what is known as a code machine in replacing car keys. The code machine works by ensuring the car key is cut by code, which helps after you lose your car keys, and no duplicate is available.
When replacing your car key, it’s always essential to ask for a duplicate key that you can leave at home or give it to your family members who will conveniently ensure you are protected from losing keys or possible lockouts. However, the key making process will always vary with respect to the complexity of your key.
#3 Locked key in the trunk
Car keys can easily be locked in the trunk due to different reasons. Regardless of the reason, you should call an experienced automotive locksmith to get the keys out, so that you can resume your normal driving. Automotive locksmiths will always deal with all makes and models of cars. A professional automotive locksmith will open the trunk faster without harming your car. Sometimes, keys locked in the car trunk are not different from a normal car lockout. In case your car has some deadlock features, then the problem can even get more difficult.
#4 Duplicate car keys
You must understand that duplicating car keys is another kind of key cutting. During the key duplication process, the car locksmith requires you to present the original and working key. The machine used here is called the key duplicator. This machine is very different from code cutters, which require specific programming to cut keys.
Although a key duplicator may sometimes require automatic, it has to examine your original key to cut a copy. The duplication process can’t be complete without an extra key that will be read by the key duplicator. Only a professional auto locksmith can be able to use this machine correctly in making duplicate car keys. There are also a lot of calibrations which require only experienced auto locksmiths.
#5 Car key cutting
The car key cutting process utilizes some special machines and metal cutting tools for grinding the softer key metal. In most cases, brass is used in the majority of the average car keys because of its ability to be machined. Apart from this, it’s also strong, resistant to corrosion as well as weathering. Auto locksmiths usually use key cutters with hard steel blades to shape the physical car key easily. However, some car models tend to have different key blanks.
More often, different car keys are usually based on car’s year, although some high-end car models may have some key variations compared to other cheap models from a similar year. The expertise of an automotive locksmith is required here to ensure that accurate cutting of the key blank. Having an incorrect blank will make the key have an improper shape that can’t open the car locks.
#6 Car key extraction
This normally happens after your car key sticks or breaks in any of your car locks. It can be in a door or ignition. However, regardless of where it’s stuck or broken in, you should always call a professional auto locksmith to remove the key promptly. If the key sticks in the ignition, then your car battery may drain, leading to more serious problems that require repair.
A professional auto locksmith will start the key extraction process by applying a lubricant in the lock. Then, a tool known as a broken key extractor will be used in removing the stuck or broken car key.
#7 Transponder key programming
Transponder chips were first integrated into vehicle keys in the late ’90s with the aim of providing additional security. The chips are located within the plastic cover on the key’s bow, which sends a message to prevent issues such as slide hammer attacks and hot wiring. If a proper shaped key is inserted into your car, an electric charge is produced, which powers the chips, where a message is sent to the car’s transceiver.
Therefore, if the transponder lacks proper programming, an incorrect message will be sent to the transceiver. It’s similar to a digital key. Your car won’t start without the two key types. In some cases, new car key cutting will go hand in hand with the transponder key programming. Only an experienced automotive locksmith can do all this tasks.
#8 Ignition cylinder replacement
Having worn keys or worn pins inside your car’s ignition cylinder may lead to connection failure that further prevents your car from starting. Sometimes, there may be a problem with the ignition switch whereby your car’s engine won’t crank even after the car keys turn the ignition. Your car engine may crank but also have a problem as a result of a malfunctioning receiver in your vehicle’s ignition system. It’s only a professional auto locksmith who has the expertise required in replacing either the ignition lock or the ignition lock cylinder.
In conclusion, these are some of the services provided by professional automotive locksmiths. They can also replace the ignition switch and key fob.