Automotive Locksmith Technicians: 7 Things They Can Do For You
There are many types of locksmiths you can find. Many of them will specialize in a particular type of hardware or procedure. Some will only ever perform that one type of service; like an Automotive locksmith specializing in cars. At Guardian Safe & Lock, we’re pretty well-rounded. Our team of locksmith technicians does everything from access control installation to selling and installing Houston gun safes, to traditional locksmithing and acting as security camera system installers.
On top of that, we’re also an auto locksmith company. All of our employees are trained in many different auto topics to best assist a city where nearly every adult over the age of 18 owns a vehicle. Today we’re going to break down the term ‘automotive locksmith’. What does it mean to hire one, and what can they do? We’ll let you know in this article.
1. Unlocking Your Car
The most common experience most people have is calling out a locksmith to get their car opened up. It’s almost a joke that no matter all the other things a locksmith may do, their friends and family call them “that guy that unlocks cars and houses”.
We’ve discussed a variety of different ways to get into your locked car before, but needless to say, a trained and licensed auto locksmith is a professional and will be able to get into any car without causing the damage (and expensive repair costs) that an amateur would.
When you’re locked out of your vehicle, it’s always better to call an auto locksmith. A professional locksmith will save you time and money over trying to do it yourself in every circumstance.
2. Copying Your Key
Say that you’ve gotten your car unlocked and decided you’d never like to be locked out again. Auto Locksmiths can make duplicates of your car key provided you have the original. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to gain access to your car or own an older vehicle, a metal key blank could be the answer. Metal key blanks are the same as the keys you’d use for your house or cabinet, and function only with the biting on the key to work a cylinder.
However, most cars on the road today use what’s called a transponder key since around the year 2000. These transponder keys (aka “Chip Keys”) use a transponder to send a signal to the vehicle’s computer, without it the engine will not be able to start. You can still have a metal key blank made that will unlock the doors, trunk, and glovebox on these types of cars, though. It just won’t start the engine.
3. Making You A New Key
What if the auto locksmith unlocks your car and your key is missing? What if all of your keys are lost? Well, luckily enough for you, your automotive locksmith can fix this problem too.
Depending on the type of car you have, there are many types of industry tools and techniques to figure out or ‘decipher’ what cuts need to be placed on a key blade to work the car. Even if those options fail, a reputable auto locksmith has connections to a dealers’ network and can have the original cuts from the factory sent to them.
Even if you have a transponder key, a locksmith can cut one to open your vehicle and use special software to access the car’s computer and get it to recognize the new transponder.
4. Programming a Key Fob Or Remote
Many newer model vehicles will come with remotes to lock and unlock the car, and some use a ‘proximity key’ that doesn’t use a blade to start the vehicle. Automotive locksmiths can take care of these high-tech devices for you too.
Every car needs at least one physical keyhole in the United States. Though you usually don’t see the key blade, it’s hidden in the remote with a switch to release it. Locksmiths can copy this key to manually open the car or use traditional methods to gain entry to the vehicle.
After that, it’s as simple as programming. The locksmith will plug a special tool into your vehicle’s computer and use special software to program a new proximity key or remote control. Locksmiths can even use this software to remove older, lost keys from the system. This ensures that if your lost key ends up in the wrong hands that your vehicle isn’t stolen.
5. Fixing Your Broken Fob
What if you have a fob already, but one or all of the buttons have just ceased working? The solution is the same as any other problems with these devices: take it to the professionals. Auto locksmiths can test and replace the battery in your fob, re-attach key blades for flip keys, and clean the circuit board of your fob without damaging it. Sometimes, even button pads can be replaced to restore the usage of buttons previously damaged and unable to be pressed!
Even if there isn’t a quick or cheap fix; an auto locksmith will be able to tell you definitively if your fob is salvageable, or if it’s just time to get a replacement. That way you know that you’re not spending money needlessly if your current fob could be made to work again.
6. Rekeying Lock Cylinders
Has your door lock been damaged by attempted thieves? Do you own a commercial vehicle with lockboxes that have been broken and no longer lock? Does your key simply no longer work in the ignition? It’s time to call an automotive locksmith.
Your local car locksmith can order replacement door and ignition cylinders, just like with the doors on your house, and key them either to your existing key or a brand new set of cuts.
This can also be a problem for older vehicles that haven’t been damaged. As you use your key, both the brass of the key blade and the delicate wafers that operate with it wear down over time. Eventually, this means that the key will stop pushing the wafers to the correct position to turn the lock. This doesn’t mean the vehicle will have to always remain unlocked, though. Your auto locksmith can get factory cuts or a new key and set replacement cylinders to match, restoring your vehicle’s security instantly!
7. Unlocking Or Making A Key For Your Trailer
What if the problem isn’t with your vehicle’s locks, but a lock attached to it? It’s common that the small keys that operate trailer hitch locks, pin-and-coupler locks, and padlocks will fail over time too, or become lost.
That’s when you bring the trailer to your local Houston locksmith. They’re able to either create a new key using codes on the lock and software online to find the cuts in most cases. Even when there is no code printed; a good auto locksmith can at least pick the lock open or drill it off to allow you to get a new lock. Just don’t forget to get some extra copies of the new key made while you’re at it!
Your Automotive Locksmith: Securing Vehicles All Over Houston
As you can easily see, auto locksmiths can do all kinds of things to keep your vehicle safe, or restore the security of a damaged car! This doesn’t even go into other automotive topics like motorcycle locks, or ATVs. Guardian Safe & Lock provides similar services to these types of machines as well.
No matter where you are in town, call the auto locksmith you can trust. Guardian Safe & Lock has been caring for and securing the city of Houston for over 10 years. All of our employees are licensed, insured, trained, and certified. Whether you are in the area and can bring your vehicle to our shop or stuck needing an emergency locksmith with a locked car dozens of miles away, you can rely on the best locksmith in Houston!