BMW Mini remote replacement

Mini remote

The round BMW Mini CAS (Car Access System) remotes can come in 2 variants. There is the type that has to go into the slot to start. Then there are the smart/proximity ones that you can keep the remote in your pocket and just press start.

The smart type are used in Mini fitted with ‘comfort access’, although you can program the more basic ones in to vehicles that have comfort access.

If you’ve only got one remote it’s worth considering getting a spare. It’s far cheaper to add a remote to an existing one than it is to replace all missing remotes.

Jammed UPVC window repairs.

If your UPVC window won’t open there may be a few causes. The simplest of them to to fix will be a faulty window handle. At the other end of the spectrum is a window jammed shut because the mechanism has broken.

With the correct tools a jammed window can be opened and the mechanism replaced. We carry stock for most types of window mechanism.

Even a layman can see why the mechanism in the picture below wasn’t working. This make and model of espag (espagnolette) gearbox is one of the more common ones we come across.

Broken window lock

Replacement car keys

If you’ve lost a car key you can get another without going to an approved dealer. Many showrooms will tell you that only they can program replacement car keys for that brand of vehicle – that is often incorrect. It is likely than an independent auto locksmith can make a new key/remote for you. Some dealerships may take a week to obtain a replacement key. We can provide many keys from stock.

If you already have a remote it may be possible to just do the cheaper spare option of a chipped (transponder) key without buttons. (A chipped key will often suffice for EU/US vehicles. Asian vehicles may often need a remote to cancel the alarm).

Until the particular nearby branches in Gloucestershire closed I used to do keys for 2 different franchised dealerships because we produced keys quicker and cheaper for their own vehicles than their own technicians could do them.

Nobody can do all vehicles from every manufacturer, but it’s worth asking.

Replacement car keys and remotes
Alfa Romeo and Fiat compatible remotes awaiting programming

We’re based in Forest of Dean / Ross and Wye but no matter where you are in the country, give your local independent auto locksmith (not one associated with a high street cat collar engravers and key cutters) a call if you need a spare or replacement car key programming.

If you’ve only got one car key now is the time to consider getting a spare cut and programmed.

Aftermarket Range Rover remote programming
Aftermarket Range Rover remote key replacement

Car key programming.

replacement Mitsubishi key programming

Here is an example of a recently programmed replacement car key. This is a smart (aka proximity) key for a 2018 Mitsubishi. Because this type don’t have to be put into the ignition to start the car, they do seem to get lost more easily. It isn’t unheard of for people to put them on the roof of the car then drive off.

Mitsubishi key programming

Always remember that proximity keys can render your car vulnerable to theft. A criminal doesn’t need to have your key physically in his hand to start your vehicle. If they can detect your key inside they house, they can simply relay the signal to the car. Always leave the keys at the opposite end of the house to the car. Or put them in a suitable RF blocking sleeve or metal box.

Aston Martin – keys locked in car.

Customer locked their keys in the boot of this Aston Martin. We opened it for them after their recovery service couldn’t do it. This isn’t a car I see much in the Forest of Dean. Maybe it wasn’t as luxurious as a Rolls Royce I opened once, but it’s certainly more powerful.

Aston Martin - non destructive entry keys lock in car

Although the car may be a beast, it uses the same type keys and locks as an old Ford. Using other manufacturer’s locks fairly common in the car industry. Smaller manufacturers will often buy in locks from a larger manufacturer or use those from their parent company.

An auto locksmith has specific tools to open vehicles without damage. A recovery company may just bend the door open and try poking something in to pull a button or handle. The latter may damage the door, crack the glass, and probably won’t open a newer vehicle.

Several times now I’ve gone to customers with keys locked in the car who tell me the spare keys are in the glove. Apparently a breakdown service has told them to keep the spares there in case they lost the main set. That’s all well and good until somebody smashes your window to steal the contents of your car, because they can now steal the entire car too.

Jammed or broken UPVC window lock?

UPVC windows may become difficult to open or break completely. Reasons for this may include poor installation, poor alignment, dropped window, lack of lubrication, wear and tear etc.

Broken window mechanism

Bathroom and kitchen windows tend to break or jam more than other windows. This is due to the increased moisture in the air in these rooms.

The gearbox above is one of the most common makes that we replace. They fail because of poor fitting / maintenance. The window had been jammed closed for months. You can see how badly corroded and caked in crud this has become over the years. One of the mounting screws had to be drilled out because it was so seized.

An occasional application of lubricant to the moving parts of your windows can prevent this happening. Use a lithium or silicone lubricant. GT85 or similar is OK. WD40 is not good for this situation.

If your window handle and lock operate ok with the window open, but not when closed then this indicates an alignment problem. This can often be remedied by rehinging the window.

Faulty mortice door lock?

Do you have a door that is difficult to lock from one side? Mortice locks are normally designed to operate from both sides. If key is mostly used from one particular side of the door the key can wear unevenly.

An indicator of a worn key is it working better from one side, and/or having to jiggle the key up and down to get it to turn. Getting a new key cut from an original (not a copy) may solve your problem.

Badly cut and worn key
Worn key causing difficulty locking.

In the example above key has worn but this made worse by being a badly copied key from a high street shop. Points A and B should be flat across the top but you can see the uneven wear. Because point A is too narrow it has been able to slip off lever 5 in the lock. Unfortunately the worn keys had cause wear to the levers so it was necessary to replace the levers too.

Ford Mk7 Transit remotes (2006-2014 blue type).

Ford Transit replacement remote

A recurring problem with the blue Transit remotes is they go flat and stop working the remote central locking. This is because the OEM remotes have a rechargeable battery soldered to the circuit board. The remote battery is charged by the coil around the ignition barrel. Like all rechargeable batteries they will eventually fail.

If your Transit has a bulkhead behind the drivers seat you may be unable to access the rear compartment of the vehicle. Only a remote will open the rear.

If you only have one working blue remote it’s a ticking clock until it fails and locks you out. Aftermarket remotes are available which enable you to slot a new battery in whenever you like. This gives you peace of mind that if the battery does ever go flat, it’ll take you 20 seconds to put a new one in. This type of inexpensive battery is commonly available.

Ford Transit replacement remote

Aftermarket remote for Ford Transit Mk7 with user replaceable battery.

These blue remotes are electronically completely different from the similar shaped black remotes. Although they both operate of 433MHz both the transponder chip and the keyless entry aspect of the blue and blacks versions are not compatible.

We can also provide both genuine and aftermarket versions of later Ford Transit remotes. Please ask us for a quote to replace the later black flip remotes.

Faulty ignition locks. Repair and replacement.

faulty car ignition lock

There is a bit of a flurry of faulty/jammed ignition locks at the moment. Here are 2 examples. Top is a Honda, bottom is a Citroen. Vehicles were 10-15 years old and had quite a lot of use.

Sometimes ignition locks jam because the key is worn. In that case it’s simple enough to cut a new key to original dimensions. In the 2 cases shown above the lock barrels had failed. The lock/housings needed to be removed and replaced. Occasionally the lock isn’t at fault, it’s the ignition switch but it can be difficult for the layman to identify.

If your key is starting to become difficult to turn in both the ignition and the doors, the key is likely worn. If it is difficult to turn just in the ignition then you might want to think about getting the lock replaced before you find yourself marooned in a car park.

On some vehicles (e.g. a lot of VWs such as Polos, Golfs etc) just the lock barrel can be changed. In the case of Land Rovers, Volvos and the examples above it’s easier to just change the entire lock housing.