Auto Locksmith Services
List of Auto Locksmith Services
- Car lockout services
- Retrieving locked keys in trunk
- Car key replacement for lost or broken car keys
- Car key cutting
- Making duplicate car keys
- Program or replace key fobs
- Transponder key programming
- Car key extraction
- Ignition cylinder replacement and repair services
- Ignition switch replacement and repair services
- Rekey ignition
- Rescuing stranded drivers from auto lockouts
- Unlocking car doors or trunks
- Luxury automotive assistance
Getting locked out of your car can be a very stressful experience, but it is always important to stay calm as improper methods of opening your vehicle may harm it. There is a vast array of tools that auto locksmiths use to open a car that have the keys locked inside the car, broken in a lock, or simply lost. The slim jim is perhaps the most commonly thought of tool for opening a locked vehicle but is only effective on cars with upright style locks. The Slim Jim method varies depending on the make and model of the car but is predicated around the idea of slipping the tool between the weatherstrip and moving it until the upright lock is moved. Once the tool has found the locking device, the Slim Jim must hook the lock and be slid up to unlock the car. This process requires a lot of finesse as this part of the door has many wires and electronic mechanisms that can be disrupted, harming the car if done unprofessionally.
A more common practice in car lockouts is the use of wedges. Wedges vary in size and shape to accomplish success with a vast number of different makes and models. Though some wedges may seem more refined than others they are used because of their proven track records and will not harm the vehicle. The wedge serves as a way to create an opening in the door so another tool may be used to unlock the car from the inside. Once the wedge is in place a Lasso Tool may be used for an upright door lock. This tool grasps the lock with a small lasso so that the lock can be pulled upwards to unlock the car door. A rod may be used for push or slide buttons if the car does not have upright locks.
More specialized tools act in a similar fashion to the Slim Jim, in terms of a wedge free entry. The Japanese Tool (named for its use predominantly on Japanese manufactured cars) is dropped down between the weather strip and the windowpane and comes up on the other side of the glass to manipulate thumb style locks. The Auto Buster (perfect for GM cars) enters the car just like the Japanese tool, but due to its shape can more adeptly press sidelocks or use side sliding locks.
Locked Keys In Trunk
Keys can get locked in the trunk of your car for many different reasons. Whatever that reason may be, you can be sure that our experienced auto locksmith can get your keys out, and get you back on the road. It does not matter what type of car you have, or the security that the vehicle is using. With a professional auto locksmith, the trunk of your car does not stand a chance. It will be opened as quickly as possible without any unnecessary harm being done to the car. In most cases, a set of keys that has been locked in the trunk is no different from a standard car lockout. The auto locksmith will simply open the door to your car and then use the manual trunk release. If the care has deadlock features that prevent this type of entry or no working manual trunk release, then the issue will get a little more complicated.
Still there is no reason to fret. The technicians at United Locksmith have the skills and knowledge required to get into any car. Additional safety features on a car will take more time to work around, but ultimately they will not be an issue. Car security is not perfect. This is a scary premise, but fortunately for you, it means that an expert auto locksmith will always be able to open your locked trunk. Security will always buy you more time, and in this case, the better security your vehicle has, the more time you will have to wait to get back into it.
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Car Key Replacement
Cars that cannot be opened by any of these means will most likely need a key to be made. This can be done even if there is not and extra key, by using what is called a code machine. The code machine allows a replacement key to be cut by code, which is also ideal if you have lost your keys and do not have a duplicate. The key making service is also perfect for being secured against most types of lockouts. Having an extra key at home or in the hands of a friend or family member conveniently allows for lockout protection near and around your home. The key making process will vary in time needed, depending on how complex the key is.
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Car Key Cutting
The process of cutting a car key uses specialized machines. These will use metal cutting tools to grind away the softer metal of the mechanical key. The metal of the key cutter’s blade must be harder than the metal of the key. The average key is made from brass, which is a metal used for key making due to its machinability. It is hard, resistant to weathering, and does not corrode easily, but it is still easy to machine. This makes it the ideal material for a key. With a key cutter that uses a hardened steel blade, shaping the physical key is very easy. The key cutter takes a full blank, which will have the proper warding for the car cylinders.
Within general standard cut that a particular manufacturer uses, some models will have a different key blank. Often the different key will be based on the year of the car, but higher end models may also have dissimilar keys as compared to lower priced models from the same year. A locksmith’s expertise will be needed in order to guarantee that the correct key blank is being cut. Without the correct blank, even if the key is cut from code, it will not have the proper shape to open the locks or work in the ignition of the car.
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Duplicate Car Keys
Duplicating a car key is a very specific type of key cutting. When an auto locksmith duplicates a key there must be a working key present at the time of the key cutting. Duplicating a car key uses a key duplicator. This is different from something like a code cutter, which can be programmed to cut a key based on the numerical representation of its physical appearance. A key duplicate may have some amount of automation, but it needs a key to examine in order to cut a copy of that key. When there is no extra key present to be read by the machine, the duplication process cannot be used. This is not to say that the key cannot be copied. It will just need to undergo a different process in order to create a new spare.
A key duplicator takes the knowledge of an experienced auto locksmith in order for it to work correctly. The machine needs to be oriented properly between its blade and the key reader. The keys must also be set up correctly in the key duplicator. Between these different calibrations, a lot could go wrong for a novice. Because this process uses a bit of artistry, it is not an exact science. This will not stop your key from working correctly unless you are using a copy of a copy to make your duplicate. The farther removed a particular copy is from the original, the greater the chances of it not working in the car. Always give the auto locksmith the original key (or the closest to it that you have) when you are requesting car key duplication.
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Key Fob Replacement
The key fob was once the pinnacle of luxury. With this device you would no longer need to manually engage all of the locks on your vehicle in order to lock it or unlock it. The inception of key fob began by using the electronic integration of the car to control the security. Now key fobs have gone well beyond locking and unlocking car doors. With the updated technology, key fobs have become even more important. We have gotten used to the convenience they offer, and in some cases they are needed to start the vehicle itself. Any type of key fob can be replaced by your auto locksmith. No matter if it is a smart key, old school door opener, or a new fangled remote ignition starter.
Besides the necessity of these types of car keys, losing one can create quite the need for concern. The more control the fob has over the automobile, the more dire it is for you to contact an auto locksmith. With the help of your local locksmith, all existing key fobs can be removed from the car’s onboard computer. While you are replacing your key fob, you can make sure that the old key fobs never work again. This comes in handy in instances where someone has a key that you cannot get back, and you do not want them to have access to the vehicle. Thanks to the professional auto locksmith community, there are all kinds of key fob programming abilities for you to utilize.
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Transponder Key Programming
Beginning in the late 90’s transponder chips began to be integrated into car keys. This was done to provide additional security to the vehicle. With this chip installed in the plastic cover on the bow of the key, a message could now be sent to tell the car that this key was more legitimate. This was meant to prevent things like hot wiring and slide hammer attacks. With a transponder key, simply copying the bitting on the key blade will not give you the ability to start the vehicle. When the car has the properly shaped key inserted, it sends out an electric charge. This powers the transponder chip, which allows it to send a message to the transceiver of the car.
When the transponder is not programmed or non-existent, the transceiver of the car will not get the correct message. This message is a digital key. The car will not start without both keys. Most often, transponder key programming will go hand in hand with cutting a new car key, but this is not always the case. Keys can be cut at a different location and then brought to the locksmith for transponder programming. This will require that the key that has already been cut does have a transponder chip in the assembly. If it does not, a new key that has a transponder will need to be cut. With the programing service customers can also elect to have the existing transponder keys removed from their car’s computer, so that no keys will work except for the new ones.
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Car Key Extraction
Car key extraction is used when your key has become stuck or broken in one of the locks to the car. This could be in a door or ignition, but regardless of the placement it is best for the car that the key is removed promptly. In the case of a key stuck in the ignition your battery may drain causing further hassle and repair. To get the key out the United Locksmith service technician will begin by applying lubricant to the lock. The tool used for this job is simply called a broken key extractor and functions with ease when used by an experienced locksmith. The tool is lined up along the flat edge of the lock as if an additional key was being used. Once the tool is flush against the broken key, the locksmith will hook the key without pushing the broken metal farther into the lock. Once the broken key is hooked, it is simply slid out from the lock. The probe method might also be used depending on the situation. This method uses two metal locksmithing tools to grip the key and pull it free. United Locksmiths can also make a new vehicle key (process described above) if this is the only key or a duplicate is desired.
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Ignition Cylinder Replacement
There are many signs that you may have ignition problems. A worn key or worn pins inside the ignition cylinder may be causing a connection failure that has the unit theft functions of the ignition preventing the car from being started. Sometimes the engine will not crank even though the key turns in the ignition, and this is usually caused by an issue in the ignition switch. Even if the engine cranks it may still have a problem starting and this may be due to a malfunctioning receiver in the ignition system. A worn ignition switch may even cause your car to die once you have started the vehicle and have already begun to drive.
When replacing the ignition lock, or ignition lock cylinder, most cars will need the steering column cover removed before the process can begin. Other vehicles, where this is not necessary, will have an access hole that allows the ignition to be removed more easily. There may be a variety of securing methods on the ignition lock itself, ranging from form-fitting plastic covers to fastening screws. Before going any further in the process, it is made sure that all objects fixing the ignition lock in place are removed properly. Once these are removed the key must be placed into the ignition. If the key has broken that is also no issue, as United Locksmith offers car key extraction (described below). Once the key is extracted it might be possible to duplicate from that key or from the key code, another service (described above) offered by United Locksmith. The key is moved to the accessory position (labeled ACC) and the locksmith then finds the push pin locking mechanism (usually found underneath or to the side on the ignition cylinder). The pin is pushed until it clicks, which lets you know the cylinder is unlocked. On some makes and models, the key may need to be turned slightly to the right as the pin is pushed in. Once removed the process is reversed to install the new cylinder. This process may be more complicated in some cars and require steering wheels or air bags to be removed. When dealing with any of these issues, the experience is always valuable because of wiring and electronics that may need to be unplugged properly.
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Igntion Switch Replacment
One of the biggest differences between a standard locksmith and an auto locksmith is the understanding of the automobile. The ignition switch is not technically a lock, but it does dictate whether or not your lock is performing properly. Because the ignition switch is so important to the ignition lock, our team of professional auto locksmiths learn to troubleshoot these issues and find out the exact problem that your lock is having. What can appear to be a problem with the cylinder may be an issue with the electronic connection between the device and the car’s starter. The best way to find out the type of service that you need is to go with the company that knows cars and knows locks.
Replacing the ignition switch is no hassle for an auto locksmith because it is a very similar process to changing the ignition cylinder. All it takes is a few extra steps and some additional knowledge about cars. This work can be done by an amateur, but going to a professional will ensure that the work is done fast and properly. When you choose an expert auto locksmith to remove your ignition switch, the process is handled with care. That quality care protects your car against aesthetic and structural damage, which may be incurred while dashboard panels are being removed, or while hardware is being replaced.
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An auto locksmith can also rekey your ignition. Rekeying is the process of changing the internal components of a lock so that it works with a new key. There are a couple reasons that this may be needed or requested by the customer. The first is that it may be easier than replacing the ignition cylinder altogether. This is rare, but it can happen. More likely, ignition rekeying is carried out by an auto locksmith so that the customer will not need two keys to operate their vehicle. The reason that a car owner would need two keys is that a replacement ignition is not going to be keyed alike to their broken one. New ignitions come pre-coded with a few new keys.
As the locks on your doors and the trunk are not being replaced, these locks will still only work with the old key. That means if you would like to open up an exterior lock on the vehicle, you would need to have a different key. As these keys can often look identical, it is easier to just use one key. The option you have after deciding to rekey the lock is that you can rekey all of your exterior locks or just your ignition. Rekeying the ignition is quicker and cheaper than servicing all of the car locks, but either is possible.