Thursday, August 20, 2015

Key Duplication

Locksmith Seattle key duplication
Getting a copy for a key to a home is very common. Many home owners or renters will make copies of keys for themselves as an extra, for a close friend, new roommate, family member, or for other reasons. The first people will think of to get a key is through the local locksmith. However, locksmith shops are not always open, and mobile locksmith companies will normally won't come to a customer location to just make a key so what do you do? That is when many people tend to turn into online service key duplication. However, this is not always the best option.

The way online duplication service work is by taking a picture of the key you want to duplicate with a smart phone and uploading it through the key duplication app. Once the order is confirmed by the online service company, the key will be made and send via mail. Although it sounds like a painless and easy way to get key duplicated, it also creates a somewhat of a security risk in general as it gives the possibility to anyone for taking a photo and duplicating your key.

Seattle locksmith key duplication
Another option of duplicating a key is using a key duplication kiosk. These can often be found in random places such as grocery stores for example. It might be convenient as well. However these machines are notorious for cutting low quality keys. These types of key duplication services are causing a security risk as they are opening the door for anyone to come and duplicate a key to someones home. That is why managing the keys to your home is very important.

If you really must getting your home key duplicated and the local locksmith shop is not open for business, try a local hardware store. Hardware stores will normally use quality key blanks and professional key cutting machines, so you can expect a quality copy that will last for a long time.

For information about other types of locksmith services, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Automotive Key Origination

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Access Control Lock System

Seattle locksmith access control lock system
Key-less entry lock systems are now the future in commercial property security. However, there are many types of key-less entry lock systems which may or may not suit your needs. Normally, there will be to main types of lock systems in the market where each one will have its own unique features and benefits. You have the push button type of locks and the card reader access control locks. Each one on its own unique way can contribute significantly to the security of your business.

Focusing on the advantages of an access control lock system, the main benefit would be monitoring and controlling. With most access control lock systems, different access levels can be changed and programmed easily into the system which may help for a business where different employees have different authorization levels accessing certain departments. This make things much more convenience saving the hassle of changing locks or re-key different locks in the property from time to time.

Locksmith Seattle access control lock system
The second advantage that comes with the integration of access control lock system is tracking your employees. In case there is sensitive materials in some rooms that will go missing for example, an access control lock system will give you the option to check who was last accessing the room. In addition, it can ensure no employee will access the property after work hours as every access get tracked.

Because of the complexity of the system, access control lock systems should be installed by a professional locksmith. A locksmith will be able to install the system properly while providing a quick training of how to use the system.

For more information on access control lock systems, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Residential Key-less Entry Lock System

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lock Changing

Seattle locksmith lock change
The first thing you can be sure of when moving into a new place such as an apartment, house, or other type of living situations is that many people before you may still have keys to your new place. There is no way to really tell how many copies to your new place are really out there in the hands of people you may not know. For that reason, changing the locks when moving in will be a good way to give you the peace of mind that no stranger would be able to access your new home.

Normally, in a rental situation, it is the landlord or property manager's job to make sure the locks will be changed each time a new tenant moves in. It is also a good idea in this case to verify who will have access to the place. Usually only the landlord or property manager would have a key to access the place in an emergency type situation or to show in case the current tenant will be moving out. However, many complex apartment properties for example will have an additional person with an access which will be the maintenance guy.

Moving into a more private property that is part of a community association can be tricky at times since every change you will want to make to the exterior of the unit will have to go through them. Changing the locks is no different. Before calling a professional locksmith to change your locks, check with the association about the type of lock you can or can't use when it comes to the appearance aspect of it. If the rules are very strict, re-keying the locks would be a good alternative as well.

Finally, if your new place was bought to own, it would mean all the decision making would fall on you which include security and locks as well. Many residential homes use deadbolts and knobs or lever-sets as their primary security choice for the main entrance door while some others use Mortise locks for extra security reasons. One of the issues that can arise when deciding to change the locks at your new home, is the fact that there might be a need to further modify the door to fit the new lock. In this case we do not recommend to do so since it may affect the construction and integrity of the door. Normally it would be best changing to the same style lock or even re-key it.

For more information about lock change services, visit Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Commercial Security and Safety Devices Services

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Automotive Lock Service

Locksmith Seattle lock repair
In this day and age, many people will turn to the internet each time they will have an issue with their vehicle trying to find a solution and the process for doing it themselves. There are many posts online that will direct you to fix almost anything in a vehicle. One of the things many people would look into is automotive lock repair. Although many articles would seem informative enough to make you think you can do it yourself, there might be more to it than what it seem. One of the first steps that would be mentioned on the way to get to an automotive lock on the door is taking the door panel off. Sound like a simple task, but if not careful or use the recommended tools, you can cause an irreversible damage.

At the end it might cost you more than what the service would have cost you in the first place using a professional locksmith who has the experience and the right tools for the job. Instead of wasting hours searching online how to take apart and fix a lock on your vehicle, not to mention gathering the necessary parts and tools, most professional locksmith technicians will be able to do the job in a timely manner on the spot.

Broken key is one of the common problems that can happen while trying to unlock your vehicle or even while starting it from the ignition switch. Even for a broken key piece that got stuck inside a door lock or ignition cylinder, there will be information online of how to remove it. The problem is most of the information you will find online will suggest the use of tools that can be found around your home which may cause even more damage to the lock than what already been caused by the broken key inside it. In this case, a locksmith technician will not only have the job of extract the broken piece, but also repair the damaged caused while you tried extracting it yourself.

Ignition service locksmith Seattle
If you care about your vehicle, and you want things to be done right the first time when an issue occur, call a professional locksmith who has the necessary skills and tools to get the job done properly. It may cost a few extra dollars, but in the long run it will save you time and money from the thought of attempting doing it yourself.

For more information about automotive lock repair services, visit Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Automotive Re-key Service

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Electronic Locks

Electromagnetic lock Seattle locksmith
Key-less entry locks have become very popular in recent year especially for residential applications. They are very convenient to use and eliminate the need to manage more keys. In addition, they are an upgrade in the level of security over the traditional key-in-knob type of locks. There are many types of key-less entry locks in the market where each can be suited to any type of residential security needs.

A key-less entry lock that comes in a form of magnetic lock mechanism is actually considered to be an electronic lock. An electromagnet that is incorporated with the lock system will normally be mounted on the door frame where a magnetic armature will be mounted on the actual door. These types of magnetic locks are very reliable and can withstand most intruder methods from breaking inside your home. The downside with this lock is the fact that it would need to be unlock when getting in and coming out.

A stand alone electronic lock system is another good example of a different type of key-less entry lock. With this lock, the electronic control system would be incorporated directly to the lock . These types of locks can normally be found as a combination type key-less entry locks where a keypad is being used in order to enter a unique code by the user in which then it will send a signal in the system to retract the locking mechanism. The advantage of these types of locks is the fact that it will lock itself automatically once the door is closed.

Locksmith Seattle electronic lock
What happen if you want to replace the current locks with key-less entry types and you are worried about modifications that may need to be done for the door? Most key-less entry electronic locks do not require any extra modification to the door. Most traditional locks such as cylinder and Mortise types can be replaced with similar type key-less entry locks with electronic mechanisms without having to further dig into the door. The locks should be a perfect fit with the addition of a small hole modification to get the electrical wires through and fit a power transfer hinge which will be the recipient of a signal coming to lock or unlock the door.

For more information about electronic type locks, visit Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Master Key System

Master key locksmith Seattle
Many large commercial property or business owners such as complex apartment buildings or other type of property involving several rooms inside the compound are facing a security issue. On one hand they are in need of a complete control over their entire property where they could access any room or space without any issues. However, on the other hand, this type of control would need to be done while the individual tenants in the property would be able to access and secure their own space. This type of universal key does create the conflict in which everyone would potentially be able to access other spaces in the property as well which include manager's office or other restricted rooms.

Luckily, there is a solution for that where most professional locksmith technicians or companies now offer. This type of solution will give the property manager or owner the type of access control he or she would want while still keeping it secure for the tenants of the property. This type of service called master-key system implementation. Applying it to the entire property will give complete access to the property owner or manager while still restricting the access on the other individuals in the property. The tenants will enjoy the privacy and security of their receptive space while the manager or owner will have access to all spaces at any time.  

Locksmith Seattle master key system
The way a master-key system works is by adjusting all the locks in the property in order to comply with a universal key also known as a master-key that would be able to work any door in the property. In addition, an additional unique key will be provided to match each space in a unique form where it would only match the lock installed on the space's door. In theory it would mean there will be only 2 keys that would be able to operate each lock in the property, one that is the master to access all and a second key for to give access to each space individually.

Give us a call or visit our website for more information Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Schlage Locking Solution

Schlage F Series Lock Seattle locksmith
There are many ways a locksmith technician use in order to unlock a residential type lock. Even though there are many residential lock manufacturers in the market such as Schlage and Kwikset, most of the locks are built in a similar was where one method that is used to open one manufacturer type of lock can be used on another. However, each manufacturer has different lines of locks which incorporate different models and depending on the level of security and lock condition. Different methods and tools may be used by a locksmith technician in order to achieve a locking solution.

I remember a few years back I got a call from a customer who has been locked outside of his home because his key was not operating the lock properly. Normally these types of situation are a little tricky to handle since if the key cannot open the lock than most likely using a pick or a bump key will not work as well. However, sometimes, if the problem is with the key, then it really doesn't matter and the lock can be opened easily. The issue start with the fact that a technician can't really tell what would need to get done before he will be in the location examining the locks.

Since I couldn't really tell what exactly the problem was with the lock without actually being there, I decided to take the job and started heading the customer's way. Once I got to the location, I had to examine both the key and the lock. The lock was an F Series Schlage. The key did not seem to be worn out or damaged, so I knew there must have been an issue with the lock mechanism or cylinder. However, to fully diagnose the issue, I had to disassemble the lock and in order to do that, I had to get the door opened first.

Locksmith Seattle Schlage F Series Lock
After trying several methods to open the lock without any success, I decided to call a Seattle locksmith co worker of mine to see if he had any good advice for unlocking the lock without drilling it. According to him, with the F series Schlage locks, there was a way to unlock it using a small hammer. Because these types of locks are built with a spring loaded mechanism, it is possible to rattle the locking cams for a split second by punching the plug with the small hammer. The trick was turning the knob at the exact same time the locking cams were in the open position. After several tries, I was finally able to open the door. I then took apart the lock and discovered that the wafers were a little worn out and needed to be replaced.

Automotive Lockout Service

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Weiser Lock Fix

Locksmith Seattle Weiser lock
Lock repair is something that most experienced locksmith technician do, but not most of the beginner ones. With lock repair, you can never tell what the problem would be and how long it would take to fix it. Sometimes, an issue with a lock can be fixed by lubrication, but other times, the problem is more complex which will force the locksmith technician to disassemble the lock. Although most of the time the average locksmith would not have any issues taking apart a lock, what would happen if the door is locked and the lock would not open because it is malfunction?

I got a call the other day from a customer who had some issues getting inside his home. Apparently, he did have the key, but it would not operate the lock properly. He did mentioned on the phone that the problem occurred few times before, but he always had success unlocking the lock eventually except this time. Normally, with this type of issue there are few options, either it is the key or the lock. I took the customer's information and started heading his way.

The first thing I did once I got to the customer's home was to look at the key and see if can recognize any noticeable wear on it. Since the key didn't look to be damaged or overly worn, I figured it must be the lock. The lock was an old key-in-knob Weiser. I started by lubricating the lock to see if I can solve the issue with a little WD 40, but that didn't seem to do much. It seemed that the cylinder would have to be removed for further inspection and repair, but since the door was lock, it was a tricky thing to do.

Weiser knob locksmith Seattle
At first I tried picking the lock to try and unlock it or at least rotate it to the position where I could remove the cylinder but without any success. I then called a Seattle locksmith co worker of mine to see if he had any idea of what I can do to remove the cylinder without drilling and damaging it. Apparently, he ran into this type of issue before and what he did was cutting the tip of a Weiser key blank and cut it to match the tip of the original key and use it as an extension. The extension allowed pushing the lock spindle far enough which enabled me to turn the cylinder with the key to the removal position. After taking apart the cylinder all it took was replacing the pins and it was as good as new.

Residential Lock Repair

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Acura Key Origination

Locksmith Seattle Acura CL
Most of the times, cutting a key for a vehicle should not be an issue for the average locksmith technician. For most of the older model vehicles that were manufactured prior to the mid 90's, a code would need to be retrieved from one of the cylinder locks of the vehicle in order to make a key. However, on most vehicles that were manufactured late 90's early 00's a code can be retrieved from a database in exchange of a small fee. The story for making a key does not end there. Figuring out the correct blank to be used for a vehicle is another integral part of the process. Normally, a locksmith technician will check the manual for the correct blank to be used for a particular vehicle, but what are the chances that the manual would have wrong information?

I remember getting a call few years ago from a customer who needed a key made for his 97 Acura CL. Back then, I had experience making keys mostly for GM's and Fords, but not Honda's/Acura's. I didn't think it would be much different, so I accepted the job and took the customer's information. Before heading my way, I quickly checked the manual to make sure I had the correct blank in stock so I could make the key for that vehicle.

Once I got to the customer's location, I had to figure out first what was the best way to get the code so I could originate the key. The manual called for either the door lock or ignition cylinder. For me it was always easier going through the door lock for the code and that is what I did. After working on the door panel a while, I finally got to the door lock and was able to read the code. Next step was making the key using my mobile cutting machine.

After finishing making the key, I went ahead to test it. At first, it seem to work perfectly fine being inserted to the ignition cylinder smoothly and starting the vehicle. However, when I came to switch the key to the lock position and remove it, the key refused to come out. At the beginning, I thought it could be an issue with one of the ignition cylinder components, but after questioning the customer if he ever experienced any issues with it (which he didn't), I was quick to dismiss the thought.

Acura CL Locksmith Seattle
Since now I had 2 issues on hand, a need for a working key and the key that was stuck, I decided to call a Seattle locksmith co-worker of mine to see if he had any insights regarding that particular vehicle. According to my co-worker, the info that was on my manual regrading the blank for that vehicle was wrong. The reason the key I made caused the issue was because it was shorter than the correct blank that should have been used for that vehicle. He then gave me the correct blank number, so I could make a new key.

First thing I had to do, was remove the key I previously made which required some modification to the shoulder of the key which allowed me to further insert the key in order to remove it. I then made a new key using the correct blank which luckily I had in stock and it tested successfully.

File Cabinet Lockout Service

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trunk Lock Fix

Locksmith Seattle Ford Taurus
Automotive lock issues are very common on older models regardless of the manufacturer. As a locksmith technician I ran into many common issues with door, trunk, and ignition cylinders that occurred on several make and models. As I found myself resolving some of these common issues over and over again (like many other locksmith technicians in the field), I developed some tricks that would help combat these issues and prevent them from reappearing.

When I was at the beginning of the road as a locksmith technician, I remember getting a call from a customer who broke his key inside the trunk lock of his Ford Taurus. I had some experience doing broken key extraction services on other make and models before, so I knew I won't have any issues providing the service on this model as well, so I took the customer's information and started headed his way.

Once I got to the customer's location, I grabbed my tools and started working on the vehicle carefully extracting the broken piece of the key that got broke inside of the lock. After about several minutes I had the broken piece out. I asked the customer if he needed a new key made, but he declined claiming he had a spare. At that point I left to another job regretting not checking the lock or examining why the key broke in the first place.

After few days, I got a call from the same customer about the same issue again. At that moment, I figured that there might be an issue with the lock which made the customer use force while operating it with a key each time. I again got to the customer and extracted the broken piece, but this time, because it was the only key the customer had, I had to make him a new one. I then decided I should probably examine the lock before I leave the customer with a new key to break.

Ford Taurus locksmith Seattle
After making a new key for the customer, I tested it and the lock seemed to have a lot of resistance. I asked the customer about it and he said it was like that for a while now. Even after spraying WD40 and let it sit, it didn't seem to help. Before going to a new lock route, I decided to call a Seattle locksmith co-worker of mine to see if he could help me solve the issue. Once I got him on the phone, he mentioned it was a common issue with ford trunk cylinders in these years. He also said that the only thing that seem to help was using Houdini lubricant and work an uncut blank inside the cylinder while the lubricant sat inside the cylinder.

Since I didn't have that particular lubricant, I had to go to the local hardware store and get some. Once I got back and sprayed some inside the trunk lock, I waited few minutes before working a blank inside it to get the lubricant inside the internals as much as possible. I then attempted to operate the lock with new key I made and I felt a big improvement. Needless to say, I have not heard any complaints from that customer ever again.

Ignition Broken Key Extraction

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Lexus Trunk Lockout

Lexus trunk lockout Seattle locksmith
During my years as a locksmith technician, I've done many types of lockout services. These types of locksmith services are the most common services a locksmith technician will do most of his years in the field. Even though there are various types of lockout services such as  home, business our automotive, it seem as automotive lockout service is the most common one. It is only natural the most people will forget their keys inside their vehicle at one time or another. For the average locksmith technician, unlocking a vehicle can be a simple task, but what happen if the customer locked the keys inside his or hers vehicle's trunk?

I remember few years ago I got a call from a customer who accidentally locked the keys of his 97 Lexus inside the the trunk. At that time, I did not have much experience working with Lexus vehicles, but I figured it won't be much different  than other types of vehicles I did before. I learned that most vehicles in the 90's were equipped with a trunk release lever which made it easy to unlock a trunk, once the vehicle was opened. I took the customer's information and headed his way.

Once I got to the address the customer gave me, I reviewed some of the material I had instructing
the best way of unlocking this type of vehicle. According to my guide it was an across-the-vehicle-tool which I had. It was also mentioned that if the alarm was armed, I would have to pull the handle simultaneously with using the tool to unlock the door. I had the customer help me for that part and after few attempts the door was opened. As I suspected, the vehicle did have a trunk release lever. However, when I came to pull it, nothing happened. After trying multiple times, I realized I was not getting anywhere and decided to make a call to a Seattle locksmith co-worker of mine for advice.

Seattle locksmith Lexus trunk lockout
After getting my co-worker on the phone, he mentioned something that I wasn't aware of or ran into on other vehicles I serviced. Apperatnly, for this type of vehicle there was a Valet-Lockout cylinder
that controlled the locking mechanism of the trunk release lever. To enable it, it was a very simple process. All I needed to do was remove the under dash cover on the driver's side and look behind the cylinder where there was a piece of plastic clip. Once I removed it, I was able to use the trunk release lever, pop the trunk and give the customer back his keys.

Residential Broken Key Extraction

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Monday, March 2, 2015

GM Key Impressioning

IROC Camaro key make Seattle locksmith
Originating an automotive key can be a simple task most of the time. There are many methods available for getting the right cuts to make a key such as getting the code stamped on one of the locks or ignition switch, or just by getting the code from an automotive locksmith database which cost money. Impressioning an automotive key is one of the older methods of originating a key and can be difficult at times for the average locksmith technician. However there will be times where it will be necessary using this method.

I got a call the other day to make a new key for the ignition of a 1988 Camaro. The customer said the vehicle was mostly riven during the summer time, but he hasn't driven it in a couple of years and misplaced the keys to it. Since I knew it wasn't a GM vehicle that incorporated a VATS system ignition, I knew it won't be hard making a new key for it. I took the customer info and started heading his way.

Once I got to the customer's home, I went over my automotive guide for the best way in getting the codes to make a key for this vehicle. It seemed that I had to take apart the ignition switch since the key to the ignition switch was different than the key to the door and trunk lock. When I went to my van to get the steering wheel puller (as it is needed in order to get the ignition switch out on these vehicles), I could not find it. At that point I figured my best choice would be to impression the cuts and make a key.

GM ignition locksmith Seattle
I then grabbed a GM key blank from my van and as I started to insert him in order to get the marks for the cuts, I noticed it did not want to get in all the way. After couple of minutes of trying, I decided to call a co-worker of mine who had more experience impressioning an automotive key than I. After getting him on the phone, he said that the 5th and 6th position wafers are much deeper which prevented me fully inserting the blank. He then suggested to gently file a little from the tip of the key which inturn will allow me to fully insert the blank and get the marks I needed to make the key. Surprisingly it worked, and I was able to originate a new key for the customer in no time.

Visit these links for more information on Seattle locksmith services. | Premier NorthWest Locksmith Seattle.

Commercial Lockout Services

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Mortise Lockout

Adams Rite Mortise lock Seattle locksmith
Mortise type lock-sets has been in used for residential and commercial applications for many years. Most locksmith technicians should have experience working with these types locks as they are very popular form of security for most small businesses including some residential homes. What makes these types of locks popular is the complex mechanism Incorporated in them to prevent unwanted intruders from gaining access. Some of the time, even the average locksmith technician will have some issued unlocking these types of Mortise locks.

Years ago when I first started getting into the locksmith business, I remember getting a call from a store owner in the area that misplaced his keys to the store and had no other way to get in. I didn't have much experience back then working on commercial locks, but I figured a lockout shouldn't be that a big of a deal. I got the customer's store address and started heading its way.

Once I got to the store, I noticed it was part of a building which seemed to be secure without any other way to get in. The store itself was equipped with a thick glass front door that had a Mortise type lock. Luckily, I had with me a specific Mortise cylinder pick tool set that I've used before on a residential type Mortise locks with success.

Seattle locksmith Adams Rite lock
After getting the tools from my van, I immediately started working on the lock by picking it which tool longer than I expected. After about 15 minutes I finally gave up and decided to call for help. Luckily, I knew another Seattle locksmith in the area which had much more experience than I did. When I got him on the phone and told him the story, he said that the the lock must had a block at the end of the key-way which may cause issues with picking. However, he did say there was another way which involved drilling through the cylinder without damaging it. According to him, I needed to drill a small hole to the right of the key-way which will get through the screw set that were holding the lock, but without damaging the threads.

I followed my technician friend using his exact instructions for the process and I was able to remove the cylinder which in turn unlocked the door. Since i didn't want to take any chances, I went ahead and replaced the cylinder with another one even though it was still usable.  

Automotive Ignition Switch Repair Services

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GM Key Origination

Camaro key Seattle locksmith
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience behind me, I find that on most older make and model vehicles, originating a key can be a hassle at times. Depending on the type of key that need to be made, ignition keys usually require the removal of the ignition which means taking apart the steering column in order to get a code stamped on the cylinder. On some models, getting that unique code in order to make an ignition key is sometimes possible by getting it from the door lock. However, this is only apply to several older models. There will be times that in order to find an easy solution to generate a working key, a locksmith technician would need to improvise or think outside the box.

I remember a while back getting called for a job to make a new key for a 95 Camaro. According to the customer, the vehicle was a summer drive for him and after the long winter when he finally came to take the car for a drive, he couldn't find the key.  I knew that it would not be easy generating a key from scratch for this type of vehicle since not only the door lock and ignition were using to different keys, the vehicle was equipped with a VATS system which meant the ignition key had a chip in it. I decided to accept the job and drove to the customer's home.

Once I got to the customer's place, I ran a quick check for the correct VATS using the vehicle's VIN number to make sure I have a matching key in my inventory and luckily I did. Next,  I grabbed my tools and started working on the steering column in order to remove the ignition cylinder. The first thing I needed to do was disabling and remove the sir bag from the steering wheel. After doing so, I reached for my steering wheel removal kit and noticed that I didn't have the correct matching bolts in order to remove the steering wheel using the puller. At that moment I knew I was stuck since there wasn't any other way I could get the ignition cylinder out without removing the steering wheel.

Locksmith Seattle Camaro key
I decided to give a call to a Seattle locksmith friend of mine hoping he would be in the area and would be able to come and loan me his steering wheel removal kit. When I got him on the phone, he said he was on the other side of Seattle, but he also mentioned something else. He said that some GM 94-95 models may have the depths numbers stamped on the wafers. According to him, all I needed is a good otoscope that will help me read the numbers while looking through the ignition cylinder key-way. After taking his advice, I grabbed my otoscope from the van and I was happy to find that this particular model did have the depths stamped on the waffers which allowed me to generate a new key without removing the steering wheel.

Residential Lockout Service in Seattle

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nissan 300ZX Key Make

Nissan 300ZX locksmith Seattle
As a locksmith technician that offer automotive services, I find it hard to keep track on various changes that were made over the years on different makes and model vehicles that are industry related. Sure there are many books that would help a locksmith to determine what would be required to do for a certain job such as making a key or find a specific way to open a vehicle. However, not all the time the information on these books are accurate. Sometimes, a solution could be found by non traditional ways or by trial and error.

I remember a job I did few years ago making a key for a 93 Nissan 300ZX. At that time, the customer called and claimed he had lost the only key he had for the vehicle and a new one needed to be originated from scratch. Even thou I didn't recall servicing these types of vehicles at that time, I knew from an older Nissan models I serviced that getting the code to make the key would not be a problem. I decided to accept the job, got the customer information and drove to his address.

Once I got to the customer's home, I got my machine ready and went to the vehicle to look for the code that will allow me to generate the key. The first place I knew where to look was in the glove compartment where I knew early Nissan models usually would have a sticker inside it with the code. However, for some reason I couldn't  find it. I asked the customer if he knew anything about the absence of the sticker and he said that he don't recall ever seeing one and that he was the 3rd owner of the vehicle. At this point I figured previous owners must have removed it.

Seattle locksmith Nissan 300ZX
Since I knew the key for this vehicle was acting as a Master-Key opening the doors, trunk and turning the ignition, I figured my next best option was to take apart the door panel and get to the door lock cylinder, so I could get the code from the the tailpiece. After removing the panel, I was able to access the lock, but for some reason, I did not see any code stamped on the tailpiece.

At that point, I did not know what to do, so I called another Seattle locksmith friend of mine for a little advice. He said that my best option that will save me some time on top of the time already wasted was to remove the trunk lock, disassemble it, and decode the wafer tumblers in order to make the key. I followed his exact instruction and after about 15 minutes I had a key ready to be used.

Mortise Lock

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ford Ignition Removal Tip

Ford ignition Seattle locksmith
As a professional locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field sometimes I find replacing vehicle's ignition can be a hard task. Depending on year, make and model of the vehicle, some ignitions require the disassemble of steering column trim components. However, even when this step is done, there is still the part of taking the ignition switch out which can be a hassle by itself especially if there is no key available. In such situation, most locksmith technicians know that the ignition switch would need to be drilled or pick. With picking, it may or may not work depending on the type of ignition and the number of cuts which leaves drilling. However, in a situation when you just need to make a new key and not replace the ignition, drilling may not be a suitable solution.

I got a call the other day from a customer who lost the key to his 96 Ford F-150. Since I just got recently a new pick tool set for ignitions and was eager to try it out, I decided to accept the job and was heading to the customer's location. For some of the vehicles manufactured in the late 90's there is a code that can be purchased by giving only the vehicle's VIN number. Not only it cost significant amount of money, but most likely there wasn't a code available in the database to pull for that particular Ford model I was about to service.

Ford F-150 locksmith Seattle
Once I got to the customer's location, I went ahead and took apart the steering column trim that needed to be removed in order to reach for the ignition cylinder. The next step was picking the cylinder open, so I could remove it in order to make a new key. After 10 minutes of many attempts picking the Ford 10 cut ignition I finally gave up and decided to call a fellow Seattle locksmith of mine for advice. He mentioned I should use a small thin metal wire with a hook on the end similar to a pick tool and try to remove the wafer springs one at a time. After the springs will be out, he said I should tap the housing gently around the cylinder until it will be unlocked and available to be removed.

I must say, I was a little skeptical at first about whether this method will work or not, but to my surprise the cylinder was in my hands after only a couple of minutes working on it. Once the ignition cylinder was out, I was able to decode the wafers and make a new key followed by reloading the springs I released. This method pretty much saved the job as I did not have to drill or damage the ignition in order to remove it.

Automotive Broken Key Extraction

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Simplex 5000 Lock

As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field, I noticed that many companies in recent years are making the conversion from the traditional type locks to a key-less entry lock systems. From my experience working and installing these types of system I can vouch for the fact it is an upgrade in security as well as the fact it has many features that may help maintain the security of the business a little better.

I got a call recently from a company that saw one of my advertisements online for a Simplex lock 5000. This type of lock is one of the leading key-less entry lock system in the market for commercial property applications. I booked the job and headed out to the company's address. Once I got there, it didn't take me long to remove and dispose of the old lock they had on the door. Luckily, I had the Simplex 5000 in stock in my van, so I didn't need to go to the locksmith shop to get one. I finished installing the lock within 30 minutes, got paid and was on my way out of there.

Couple of hours went by since I did the job and I was getting a call from the same company again claiming they can't seem to open the lock and the employees are currently locked out. I thought to myself it was odd getting the call back since I never had any issues with these locks before. I drove to the company location again and after a quick check I was able to unlock the lock and realize what caused it to malfunction.

After questioning the company's personnel, it seemed that they misunderstood me regrading the operation of the lock . According to one of the employees, they tried to depress the lever while holding the "enter" button which will cause the lock to malfunction. I explained them that they have to press and release the "enter" button before using the lever. After making sure they knew how to use the new lock properly, I was on my way.

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Residential Re-Key Service in Seattle

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