Barkers Locksmith News Blog
Do you live in the Raleigh area and own a 1995 – 1998 Mercedes C, E, or G-class vehicle? Have you lost all your keys or just need a spare? Did you know that Mercedes Benz is no longer able to supply you with keys for your car?
Not to worry. Whether you’ve lost all your keys or you just need a spare key, Barker’s Lock Service has the answers for you. We can cut and program new keys for your vehicle, and on top of that, we come to you! At Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, North Carolina, we can often perform services that even the Mercedes dealerships cannot accomplish.
So the next time you need an extra key or even if you have lost all the keys to your Mercedes C, E, or G class vehicle, call Barker’s Lock Service. We’ll have you back on the road in no time!
Do you own a 1997 – 2005 Mercedes M-class vehicle? Have you lost all your keys or just need a spare? Have you called the Mercedes dealer to order a key, only to be told that Mercedes is no longer supplying keys for your vehicle?
Did you also know that there is a limit to the number of keys that can be ordered from the Mercedes dealer and programmed to your vehicle? I’ll bet they didn’t tell you that when you bought it. Most owners don’t find out until that limit is reached.
Once the maximum number of keys that can be ordered for your vehicle has been reached, the dealer will tell you that they need to replace the immobilizer system, along with the locks and keys, when all you may need is an extra key. That job can often cost more than the retail value of the vehicle!
Not to worry. Whether there are no keys, the key limit has been reached, or you just need a spare key, Barker’s Lock Service has the answers for you. We can cut and program new keys for your vehicle, and on top of that, we come to you! That’s right, Barker’s Lock Service can often perform services that even the Mercedes dealerships cannot accomplish.
So the next time you need an extra key or even if you have lost all the keys to your Mercedes ML, call Barker’s Lock Service. We’ll have you back on the road in no time!
Do you have a 2012 or later Subaru vehicle with no keys? Have you contacted the Subaru dealer to inquire about obtaining new keys only to be told, much to your astonishment, that new keys will cost you $1500 or more? Not to mention the tow fees and days your vehicle will spend in the shop waiting for parts and undergoing repairs?
For some of their 2012 vehicles, Subaru decided to implement a new transponder anti theft system protocol not previously used by this manufacturing company. As long as you have one working key, more keys can be added using proprietary diagnostic equipment much the same as most other vehicles equipped with transponder anti theft technology. But if there are no working keys available, the game changes significantly. The dealer solution in this scenario is to order new electronic modules with matching keys and replace them at the extremely high costs mentioned earlier.
At Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, NC, we have an alternative and much lower cost solution to this high priced problem. No need to tow your vehicle. We will come to your vehicle’s location, remove one of the electronic modules that the dealer’s procedure would require them to replace. We establish a link to the integrated circuit component that stores the transponder key data and write new transponder data from a key that we supply, to the component. We then decode the locks and cut the key to fit your vehicle. Once the module is reinstalled, the vehicle will start and run just as it did with the original keys and at a much reduced cost as compared to the dealer. At that point, additional keys can be added using dealer level diagnostic programming equipment through the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic connector.
Not all 2012 and later Subaru vehicles are manufactured using this new system type. If you have a 2012 or later Subaru and find yourself in this situation, it is best to call your dealer first. Supply them with your VIN and they should be able to tell you whether it has this new type system and how much it will cost to replace your keys. You will know immediately by the high price quote. Then get on the phone with Barker’s Lock Service to discuss a lower cost option that doesn’t require towing your vehicle or the down time associated with this service.
Are you considering hiring fly-by-night and/or lowballing hackers like this to open or make keys for your vehicle?
These people are out there in droves, waiting to take your money! They don’t mind causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to get into your vehicle if it means putting a few dollars in their pockets!
Don’t allow yourself to become one of their victims!
Do your research. Make sure they are at least licensed to perform locksmith services in North Carolina at: http://www.nclocksmithboard.org/ It’s the law.
Are you tempted to hire a “locksmith” service you saw advertising on the internet that offers $15.95/$19.95 service? Think again. No LEGITIMATE locksmith has offered those prices since the 1960’s. It’s just a tactic the scammers and criminals use to lure you in, then start tacking on huge charges after they gain entry by destroying your property.
Make sure the company you contract to open or make keys for your vehicle isn’t one that does more harm than good!
Call a licensed and Certified Automotive Locksmith. Call Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, NC and know that we will make keys or open your vehicle with NO damage, guaranteed!
At Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, NC, I get numerous calls on a daily basis asking if I can make a key for __________ (fill in the blank with your year, make, & model of vehicle).
Overwhelmingly the answer is YES, I can make a key for your vehicle. I can usually make a key for less money, faster, without having to call a tow truck, or wait for hours at the dealer.
With that said, at Barker’s Lock Service, I always evaluate each and every call with the customer’s best interest placed first and foremost.
There are occasions however, that I will recommend ordering a key for your vehicle from a different source, often your local dealer. I will do this if I determine that it will be in YOUR best interest. It isn’t often but SOMETIMES this is the better option. If it is, I will advise you to do so, without hesitation.
I’ll share with you two seemingly similar calls I received involving two similar BMW vehicles, both with lost keys but required two very different solutions in order to serve the customer best.
The first vehicle was a 1997 BMW 525i. All keys had been lost. After my usual preliminary question and answer session I determined that the customer didn’t require immediate assistance. They were able to wait a few days for a key. They were the original owners and only ever had the three keys that the vehicle was delivered with when new.
I advised them to go to their dealership with driver’s license and vehicle registration in hand and order a key for their vehicle by the VIN. The customer would receive a new factory produced key at a lesser cost than what it would cost for me to make one for them.
The BMW factory keeps all vehicle records by the VIN, including the key cutting and programming information. They merely look up the vehicle’s cutting and programming specifications, produce a key, and ship it to the dealership where it arrives in a few days and is ready to start the car.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury and BMW doesn’t release that information to independent service providers such as myself. Therefore it requires much more time and expense on my part to generate a key for these vehicles, which translates into a more costly key for the customer.
Vehicle number two was a 1995 BMW 525i. This vehicle had been through several owners and the current owner had lost the only key they ever had.
Again, we went through the preliminary Q & A session. The customer advised me that they had called the dealership first and they were told by the dealership that the maximum number of ten keys had already been previously ordered for the car.
With this particular BMW system, the maximum number of keys that can be ordered for the life of the vehicle is a total of ten. Three keys come with the vehicle when new. That leaves seven keys that the owner can order after that. At that point, the only solution to obtain new keys through the dealership is to install new electronic modules, replace all the locks, and start with new keys.
This will cost the customer several thousand dollars, just to get keys for their vehicle. Often the price quoted would render the vehicle essentially totaled by insurance industry standards.
BUT that is only the factory solution. As a locksmith in the Raleigh, Cary, RTP area, Barker’s Lock Service based in Apex, NC, on the other hand, has a more amicable solution to this problem. I will generate a mechanical key first, then remove the immobilizer module, read the data written to the microprocessor containing the key programming information, delete any or all keys that have been used and program new keys for a fraction of the dealer quoted price to accomplish the same task.
I am here to serve you, the customer. If it means that I don’t earn your money this time, I am perfectly fine with that. I am counting on you to remember who advised you to do what best served you in that particular situation, at that time.
My philosophy is this. When I advise you of your best option, even if that means I’m sending you elsewhere, you will have no doubt that I am completely forthcoming with you. That means now or in the future.
I’ve been in the locksmith business for over 35 years. I started my own business in 1987. I was the very first locksmith in North Carolina to earn the Certified Automotive Locksmith or CAL designation. I am still only one of two in the entire state, and I’m the only one in this area!
I realize that I’m not the guy you want to have to talk to on a daily basis. At the same time, I also want you to know that you can call and ask for automotive locksmith advice and that you will get the best answer possible from Barker’s Lock Service.
If you are in the Raleigh or Wake County area, I encourage those with an automotive lock or key problem to pick up the phone and call me first. Please feel free to ask what your best option is for your particular situation. You will always receive a straight answer.
Thank you for your time. It is my desire to help you educate yourself in an effort to make decisions that reflect your best interests.
Jay Barker, CAL
At Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, we specialize in making keys for vehicles, but not just car keys. We are also exceptionally qualified in motorcycle key generation.
In this article I would like to focus on one of the more difficult and unfortunately expensive motorcycle brands to make keys for, Ducati. This article will give you an idea of how Barker’s Lock Service can be the better option when deciding who your best choice is when you need keys for your motorcycle.
The bike we made keys for in this instance was a 2004 Ducati 1000DS Multistrada. This motorcycle, as well as most other 2001 and up Ducati bikes, incorporates a transponder anti-theft system in which the key is an integral part.
Many of the Ducati motorcycles incorporate a type of transponder anti-theft system that includes a key with a red plastic head (referred to as the Red key from here on) used specifically for programming additional keys to operate the bike that are usually designated by a black plastic head (referred to as the Black key from here on). The Red key is for programming additional Black keys that are used in the normal operation of the motorcycle.
If the owner needs to add additional Black keys to start the bike, the Red key is required to initiate the programming process. When the Red key is misplaced or lost, the owner is not able to add more Black keys to start the bike. If the owner is still in possession of at least one Black key we can make a duplicate for comparatively little money.
If all keys are lost however, the story changes dramatically. If you call your local Ducati dealer and tell them that you have lost all keys for your bike with this transponder system, you will get price quotes anywhere from $2500 to $3500 to get you back on the road. This is because the Ducati factory procedure in this situation is to replace the instrument cluster, ECU, and all the locks. That price doesn’t include towing and they usually won’t elaborate as to the wait time, which could amount to weeks.
We generate a mechanical key pretty much as we would with many other vehicles. But with this bike we need to remove the instrument cluster or dash. We then disassemble the dash, read and save the key data contained on the appropriate IC chip mounted on the circuit board. At that point we transfer the key data to the correct transponder chip, insert the chip into the key head, reassemble the dash, insert the key in the ignition lock and start the bike.
Dealer prices to get new keys for your Ducati are 5 times or more what Barker’s Lock Service charges to get you back in the wind, and we can usually complete the job by the end of the next business day, sometimes sooner. No towing required. We come to you and make your keys on site!
We can help even if you aren’t located within our service area. Call us to discuss how you can remove the necessary components and ship them to us to have keys generated for your Ducati or other make of motorcycle.
You can reach us at 919-467-8212 and we’ll gladly address all of your concerns with pricing, as well as your options. We will always point you in the direction that best serves your interests, regardless of whether we get your business this time.
Thank you for your time and always do your homework when it comes to spending your hard earned money!
Jay Barker, CAL
There has been a very disturbing trend taking place within many of the service related industries that we as consumers rely on. The locksmith industry is no exception.
This trend has reached epidemic proportions and you, the consumer need to be made aware of this problem in order to recognize and protect yourself against these predators that we in the locksmith industry refer to as SCAMMERS.
Who They Are
Scammers are criminals that form a company essentially out of thin air, then inundate the advertising venues to gain a high ranking with their bogus ads offering unusually low prices for their services, in an effort to get you the customer to take the bait. Their continued success is bolstered by the fact that NONE of the large advertising companies, especially on the internet, have any interest in policing their own customer base to make sure that they are not facilitating a criminal enterprise. They all seem to be perfectly content to look the other way while their pockets are lined with YOUR ill-gotten cash.
These criminals have very little capital investment in their companies. This fact allows them to be much more fluid. If they are caught, charged, and convicted of the various laws they break, they can very quickly change names, create new web sites, and be back in business literally the next day. Even if their property is confiscated, there is so little of it that it’s merely pocket change to them.
The laws in most states are extremely weak concerning this type of criminal activity. Even in states that have stronger laws, enforcement is almost nonexistent and the penalties amount to nothing more than a slap on the hand. These criminals have and will continue to operate in the same areas using the same tactics without fear of any serious repercussion for years and years.
How They Operate
If you perform an internet search for “Raleigh Locksmith” for example, you will notice that numerous ads pop up immediately for companies advertising very low cost emergency services, usually something like $19.95 or even less.
The criminals most often gravitate specifically to the emergency house and car opening services because, as mentioned earlier, there is very little capital investment on their part. If the scammer is focusing on house openings, they will typically arrive in a small, unmarked, older vehicle. They will have a cordless drill and some various cheap locks that anyone can buy at the local hardware stores. They will drill your locks out to let you in, ruining them in the process, then try to sell you their new locks at an outrageously marked up cost. $19.95 just turned into $400-$500.
If the scammer is focusing on vehicle opening, they will typically arrive in the same type of small, unmarked, older vehicle. They will usually only have a long reach tool, which is basically a long thin metal rod and an air bag with a hand pump bulb that they use to wedge your window frame out to make room to insert the rod into the passenger compartment and manipulate the interior lock button. They usually charge the advertised low rate for the “emergency service” then charge an additional inflated fee for the opening, which could easily amount to $250 or more. Not only that, but they typically leave plenty of evidence of their presence in the form of damage to your vehicle including, scratched paint, torn weather stripping, bent window frame, scratches on the interior door panel and window tinting, disconnected linkage inside the door, rendering it inoperable in many cases, etc.
The person that arrives to perform the work you called for, will as previously stated, usually arrive in an older unmarked vehicle. They use cheap vehicles in case they are confiscated. Sometimes with out of state tags. The person will usually be dressed in street clothes and will not have on a uniform or clothing with any company name or logo.
If you get wise to their scam during or after the encounter and refuse to pay, they will immediately resort to aggressive intimidation tactics including, threatening to call police, law suit, and even physical violence. These criminals love to prey upon the elderly and women especially, because they know they have a much higher success rate at getting the exorbitant fees they charge.
To the surprise of many of the scammer’s victims, these companies are many times based in other states across the country. They normally hire an unskilled worker in each area they operate to carry out the scam on their unwary prey.
In the early days of the locksmith scammer trend, these companies originally began by taking out ads in local phone books using toll free numbers. They quickly made the transition over to acquiring phone numbers with local area codes in an effort to give the appearance of being a legitimate, local company. We know that nothing could be further from the truth. They will often list fictitious addresses in their ads in an attempt to portray a note of legitimacy.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Any person offering what is defined by North Carolina statute as a locksmith service in NC must maintain a valid North Carolina locksmith license issued exclusively through the North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Board. An out of state company cannot operate in NC without a NC issued locksmith license. There are no reciprocal license agreements between NC and any other state. No other state’s locksmith license is recognized by NC.
Any company providing locksmith services in North Carolina is REQUIRED to display their NC license number or numbers in or on ANY form of advertising they use. If you see an ad in the phone book, online, on their service vehicle, etc., and it does not display a legitimate NC license number, this should be red flag number one.
Ask for the North Carolina Locksmith License number of the person that will be performing the service. Licenses are issued to individuals, not companies. Tell the person on the phone that you intend to verify their license number with the North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Board. If they are a legitimate locksmith company, they should welcome such scrutiny.
At that point, the next sound you may hear could be a dial tone, but often the scammers will tell you that they have applied for their license and it’s in process and/or they will tell you they have “paperwork” or a temporary license document while they wait for the permanent license. Or they may tell you the service they offer is not actually classified as a “locksmith service”, therefore they are exempt from license requirements. These are all bogus claims. Hang up the phone and immediately report them to the North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Board at the link above.
Beware of the $19.95 in-your-face advertising that pops up at the top of your search results or phone books. I promise you that NO licensed locksmith with any sort of experience charges that little to come unlock your car or house. Do not let yourself be lured in by the scammer’s low price claims. This is one decision you will regret.
If you are calling to have your house or car opened, ask for the total price, not just the service call or emergency service fee. If the person on the phone is not able to quote you a price for the service or at least call you back with one, beware!
At Barker’s Lock Service in Apex, NC, we have set rates for our services. The price we quote is the price you pay. There aren’t any additional fees for services we perform tacked onto the bill after the job is completed. Typically we can quote your job over the phone. As the owner of Barker’s Lock Service, I have over 35 years of automotive locksmith experience here in the Raleigh – Central North Carolina area. I can most often determine the course of action that should be taken and quote a price over the phone after a short question and answer session with you, the customer.
Licensed locksmiths in NC are required to produce a valid NC locksmith license when requested by the customer. I encourage everyone that hires a locksmith to do exactly that upon arrival and before any work is commenced. The person on the phone can say anything they want but the person performing the work must show you their valid license upon your request, without any excuses. If they can’t produce their license or they resist your request, send them packing and PLEASE alert the NC Locksmith Licensing Board immediately. Being proactive may prevent many other people from being ripped off by these criminals in the future!
It is up to each individual consumer to protect themselves against becoming a victim. You do that by educating yourself, staying alert, watching for the warning signs, and being proactive. Do not count on any law to protect you. We have more laws on our books than we can count. Without enforcement they are useless. The fact is that unfortunately, this type of crime is generally not considered to be high priority or worthy of pursuit by our justice system. That’s why it is especially important for YOU to take an active role in protecting yourself and others against this scum.
Barker’s Lock Service specializes in vehicle locksmith services exclusively, but we network with other legitimate locksmith companies in North Carolina, across America, and even in other countries. If you require services for the other facets of our trade, such as residential, commercial, or safe & vault work, please feel free to call and let us make a recommendation for another fine locksmith that provides the type of service you need, or one that is near your location.
Visit these video links for examples of these criminals in action. Be aware that some of the reporters in these videos are wrongfully referring to these criminals as locksmiths, which as a legitimate locksmith, I find extremely offensive. But I feel it’s more important for you to see for yourselves what these sub-humans are capable of, the warning indicators, and how they operate.
Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself! And remember, if you think hiring a professional locksmith is expensive, try hiring an amateur one!
Jay Barker, CAL
General Motors recently issued a recall for over a half million Chevrolet Camaro vehicles, 2010 to 2014.
The issue stems from the possibility that the driver’s knee can bump the flip or switchblade type key while in the ignition, accidently turning the vehicle off while in motion.
General Motors’ solution to the problem is to make an appointment to have the owner bring the vehicle into the service department, remove the key blades from the existing keys, cut a fixed blade key like the one pictured and program it to start the car.
At that point, a key ring is used to fasten the two together and you’ll use the fixed blade key to start the car from now on and only use the flip key for the remote keyless entry functions.
One of the problems the dealerships are facing at the time of this writing, being that the recall was recently issued and there are over half a million vehicles to service, is that they are having trouble keeping up with demand. Key supplies are already depleted and being placed on back-order.
Barker’s Lock Service is a Raleigh Locksmith specializing in vehicle keys and locks, exclusively. We have the parts, equipment, and experience to perform the necessary recall repairs and get you back on the road as quickly and painlessly as possible. We have the parts in stock and can perform the repairs, many times the same day!
To have these repairs completed now, rather than being put on a waiting list for weeks or months, give us a call. Barker’s Lock Service is based out of Apex but we service a wide area including Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, RTP, Garner, Clayton, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina and surrounding areas.
If you are concerned about the implications of driving your 2010 – 2014 Camaro using the existing flip or switchblade key and have been put on a long waiting list at your dealership, call Barker’s Lock Service at 919-467-8212 to get this issue resolved by one of only two Certified Automotive Locksmiths currently practicing in North Carolina!
We’ll take care of your repairs promptly and with as little inconvenience to you as possible. We are a mobile auto locksmith service. We come to you! You don’t even need to move your car!
Thank you for your interest!
Jay Barker, CAL
At Barker’s Lock Service I receive phone calls from customers in the Raleigh, Wake County, and surrounding areas on a fairly regular basis inquiring about replacing their broken remote head keys.
There are several vehicle manufacturers that either currently use a remote head key design or have in the past. This type of key has a fixed blade that is used to operate the vehicle’s locks. It has a plastic head that contains a remote keyless entry transmitter integrated into it.
Because these keys have the remote integrated into the head, and it takes up most of the available area, it makes the attachment point of the key blade to the plastic head necessarily small. The outer shell is thin and usually larger than a non-remote head key.
Those combined factors allow the user to apply higher torque stresses to these keys in the critical area where the key blade attaches to the plastic head. The result is a key that fails prematurely.
If you have been down this road and contacted one of the local dealers for a replacement, you know how expensive it can be to have them replace one of these keys.
Many times the customer is told that purchasing a brand new remote head key from the dealer is their only option and they aren’t even aware that there are multiple and less expensive options.
At Barker’s Lock Service, we have a less expensive solution to get you back on the road. We can replace the broken shell using your existing remote transmitter, assuming it is still functional. I keep shells for most popular applications in stock.
I’ll cut the new key blade to your vehicle’s code and place your remote transmitter into the shell. Depending on the type of key, I will reuse your transponder chip if possible. If not, I will program the new transponder into the vehicle. Regardless, the final cost of the job is a fraction of what you would be required to pay at the dealership.
The following photos show three ‘before and after’ examples of the most common broken remote head keys that I see. The before photos show the broken key and the after photos show the same remote keyless entry transmitters installed in a new key shell, ready to cut to your vehicle’s code.
Whether you are in Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Clayton, Wake Forest, Chapel Hill, Durham, or any part of Wake and surrounding counties, make the call to Barker’s Lock Service and I will take care of your automotive lock and key needs.
Thank you for reading and your interest. Call me at Barker’s Lock Service and I’ll happily guide and inform you of all your options, even if it means that I don’t get your business this time. I want you, the customer to be best served.
Jay Barker, CAL
Barker’s Lock Service
In 2002 Honda introduced a newly designed high security lock system with that year’s CRV. This system is known in the locksmith world as an external four track high security lock and key system.
The keys for this system look very different than those in years past. Some people refer to this type of key as a “laser cut key”. That term is a bit of a misnomer because cutting these keys does not involve the use of a laser in any way. They are cut on either a computer controlled or manually controlled vertical milling machine, designed specifically for that purpose.
Each of the tumblers inside the lock has a small protrusion or finger that contacts the milled portion of the key and when the key is fully inserted in the lock, all the tumblers are lifted to the correct height so the lock can turn.
Problems begin to occur when the locks and/or keys become slightly worn. There are several factors that can cause wear and subsequent lock failure. As the tip of your key wears down and acquires small nicks or dings through use, that portion of the key begins to wear down or otherwise damage the small fingers on the tumblers mentioned earlier. That, along with dirt and trash that enters the lock, lack of lubrication, etc., can all contribute to premature lock failure.
At some point, when the key is inserted in the lock, one or more of the tumblers will not ride up and over the cut portion of the key, as it should, but instead those small fingers will get trapped on the side of the key. As you continue to push the key into the lock, the finger of the trapped tumbler will become bent over or mushroomed and will no longer be lifted to the correct height by the key. At that point it’s essentially like you have the wrong key inserted in the lock and it will not turn.
If you’re key no longer turns your lock, have a close look at the key. On the wide, flat sides of the key, starting at the tip and extending back toward the plastic head, see if there isn’t a polished streak or line in that area. That’s where the damaged tumbler(s) are getting trapped on the side. The lock will need repair or replacement at this point.
As a Raleigh mobile automotive locksmith, I am most often called to repair damaged ignition locks. That is usually the lock that gets the most use and fails first. The majority of these vehicles are equipped with remote keyless entry and the vehicle owner rarely uses the key in the door lock, resulting in less wear. If the vehicle is not remote keyless entry equipped, more often than not, the door lock will be the first to fail.
There are several ways to approach the repair of these locks. Unfortunately, most vehicle owners opt to have a repair shop or dealership perform the service. I say unfortunately because the shop usually orders a complete lock assembly with keys. Once the repair or replacement has been completed, the customer ends up with two different keys to operate the locks on their vehicle, a new key that works the new lock and the old keys that work all the other locks.
This leaves you with a couple of undesirable conditions. Not only do you now have to make a conscious effort to choose the correct key every time for the lock you wish to turn, but you are still using the old worn and damaged keys in your other locks. This will continue to wear and damage the other locks, resulting in failure there as well.
I’ve been called in on numerous occasions to repair one of these locks, only to have the customer explain that they just had this lock repaired by someone else a few months ago. Upon disassembly, I usually find that whoever did the ‘repair’ last time merely removed the offending tumblers and left the rest in the lock. The customer continues using the old, worn key in the lock containing the old, worn tumblers and it isn’t long before they’re right back in the same situation again.
Then there is my way. The right way to repair these locks. I repair as many as a half dozen or more of these locks per week. On average, I’m repairing three to four per week. I’ve been repairing these since shortly after their introduction.
Normally, complete lock replacement is not necessary. Unless the lock has been subjected to further damage by trying to force it to turn, etc. In most cases I can rebuild the existing lock, utilizing the original lock core and housing, as they remain undamaged and those portions of the lock receive negligible wear. But if upon closer inspection, once I have the parts disassembled and cleaned, those parts are questionable, I keep OEM replacements to insure the job is completed correctly.
I prefer to disassemble the lock, clean, and inspect the parts to be reused. I toss out the old tumblers and springs and code the lock back to the original key code using all OEM parts. I also cut two brand new keys to OEM specifications using a highly accurate computer controlled high security key cutting machine and program them to your vehicle.
By doing this, a single key still works the entire vehicle, just like it was from the factory. You don’t have two different keys to fumble with. The lock is essentially brand new inside and will give you about the same service life as it originally did, assuming comparable usage. And you have nice, freshly cut keys with crisp edges and no wear to continue damaging the locks.
I do insist on taking any old keys with me that I deem to be worn enough that they could cause problems, if you want the ninety day warranty that I offer on this repair. I do this because the worn and damaged keys are what initiate the problems leading to lock failure. I do not want these keys to be used in the locks in the future, so I take them with me.
Above are examples of new keys with no wear or damage. This is what your keys should look like.
Below are examples of worn and damaged keys that will cause premature lock failure. If your keys look similar to these, stop using them and replace them with new ones that are cut to OEM specifications, not duplicates of the worn key.
A few things you can do to prolong the lifespan of these locks are:
- Lubricate the locks with a light, clean lubricant such as Tri-Flow or something similar. It doesn’t take much. Just a quick squirt once or twice a year should be plenty.
- NEVER use any lube containing graphite in vehicle locks!
- Replace keys showing signs of wear or damage, especially at the tip.
- Rotate your keys to extend their lifespan and spread the wear amongst them.
- Make a conscious effort to insert your key straight into the lock each time rather than starting out with the key entering the lock at an angle.
I hope you have found this article to have been helpful and informative. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment. My main service area is Raleigh but I also travel to many different towns and municipalities throughout Wake and surrounding counties.
Thank you for your interest!
Jay Barker, CAL