There are several methods of producing a new transponder (chip) car key.  It is far easier and cheaper to copy an existing car key but if you’ve lost all the keys it is often possible to program a new key diagnostically. If that can’t be done it may be necessary to remove the immobiliser (aka ECU, EWS) and write information directly to the chip on the board.  This may require stripping off your dashboard or clocks to get to it.

In this picture we are EEPROM programming a new key into a Fiat Punto immobiliser.

car key programming
EEPROM programming a Fiat ECU

Cold weather and UPVC doors.

As the temperature changes UPVC doors can become difficult to lock/unlock. If it needs excessive force to lift the handle or turn the key then the door needs adjust or the mechanism inside can fail completely. If it fails in the locked position it can be difficult to fix. It’s far cheaper to adjust the door, and to avoid anything failing.

If the door does become stuck open or closed, give us a ring and see if we can fix it for you.

Skoda Fabia key

A dealer needed an extra key for a car that was being collected that afternoon. He couldn’t wait the week for a dealer key, and didn’t want to pay dealer prices either.  This era Skoda uses the same keys and transponders as VW, Seat and some Porsche.

Replacement skoda key
Skoda Fabia key

Paxton Compact Easyprox Keypad

Here is an installation of a standalone access control lock. This can be set to either open with a code, or a proximity dongle/card. Users can easily be granted/denied access by the system manager. This type of lock is ideal for small offices/businesses where access needs to be controlled, avoiding the hassle of changing the lock every time a member of staff joins or leaves.

lock fitting
Morticing jig: cutting hole for latch
Lock fitting
Paxton Compact Easyprox Keypad.


Non destructive entry of commercial premises.

I was asked to do lock changes on a vacant shop. It hadn’t been entered in about 18 months and was covered in dust and grime.  Dust and gungeThere were 2 British Standard 5 lever mortice locks on the door.






Both mortice locks were non destructively opened and removed. Interestingly (to me at least) they had both been previously drilled open and not replaced. There was still the hole in the hardplate. Whichever locksmith did it had just poorly replaced the levers inside. Admittedly they’d drilled the hole perfectly.

Normally levers in this model lock are a mix of hi/low lift, they’d certainly be different from each other. In one of the locks all the levers were identical which offered very little security.

ERA Invincible wrong levers
All levers the same.


Replacement car key

Replacement Ford Key
Replacement Ford Fiesta key

This poor Fiesta was stolen/recovered. The keys had been tossed by the thief. I’m not sure if the thief or the recovery truck driver smashed the window. We were called to make a replacement transponder key so the rightful owners could drive it home from the pound. We also erased the missing key so that it can’t be used to steal the car again.

Paxton Switch2 system installed

Paxton proximity readerr
Paxton proximity reader

Here is the proximity reader for a Paxton Switch2 access control system we installed recently.  They have many other styles of reader/keypads available.

Switch2 is more suitable for external use than the Compact system. This is because the Switch2 control unit is mounted inside the building, rather than being in the reader/keypad itself as in the Compact. Therefore Compact systems are normally only fitted internally.

If you need audit-trail, time-sheets, anti-passback etc, then look at the Paxton Net2 or 10 systems

Heel – toe adjusting a badly fitting UPVC door.

Here is an old, badly fitting UPVC door.  It was sagging badly on its hinges, hitting the frame so it wouldn’t close. The hinges were non adjustable, so the the only option was to remove the glass and repack the door panels.  By packing the panels on the diagonal (heel – toeing) it shifts the door back into square with                                                                          the frame.

Eugh. A badly drilled door.

Badly drilled door
What a messs

I was asked to do a lock change on a commercial premises. It was obvious that a lock had been drilled at some point in the past. Underneath the escutcheon the door was a right mess.

There is sometimes a need to drill a lock if it is broken and there’s no other way to open it, but it shouldn’t look like this mess.

A drilled lock should be replaced with a new lock (otherwise the hole in the hardplate will be a weakness in security). The hole in the door should then be neatly filled and covered.  In a later post I’ll show you another lock that’s been drilled (not by me) and badly repaired.