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.

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Commercial Lockout Services

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