The primary service that auto locksmiths offer is simply unlocking a vehicle. But they can also remove broken keys, duplicate or replace keys, and — in some situations — they can actually replace whole locks and ignition switches. Let’s start with the unlocking of cars.
First things first: getting back into your vehicle. How does an auto locksmith unlock your vehicle without a key? There are several strategies that they utilize for breaking into vehicles, all of which vary on the type of car and what type of lock system the car has.
Car keys can snap off through natural wear or a sudden wrong turn. It’s not a very common occurrence, but it happens often enough for specialty services to be provided. Though it’s usually not your fault when a key breaks in the lock, it can be very difficult to remove and — this goes without saying — you can’t really start your vehicle if the key is broken.
There are two types of car keys that auto locksmiths work with. The first are car keys that are not attached to a fob or electrical piece. These are pretty straightforward to make and are not that different from getting a duplicate house key from a typical residential locksmith.
Skilled locksmiths and a growing number of auto locksmiths now have the ability to reprogram a transponder key — or make an entirely new programmed key — so that you can get into your vehicle (or have an extra key!).
Auto locksmiths can absolutely fix and replace car ignitions. Usually, if there is a problem with the ignition, it’s the cylinder that you put the key into. Other times, with more complex issues, the locksmith is capable of doing an entire ignition replacement — wiring and all.
It is vital to note the auto locksmith may not be able to do this when he arrives at your car if you’re stuck in a parking lot. Car ignitions are quite specific to brand and model, so he may have to order parts and have it completed at a later date. But, he should have enough expertise to get your car running to get home.
Locksmiths are also extremely capable of replacing normal car door or trunk locks as well. Sometimes locks just wear down and, if security issues or problems arise, having the option to get a fresh replacement on a car door can be very helpful.