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 keys for that make 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 even take a week to get your key sent over from Germany. That won’t help when you’re stuck at the side of the road.

Is the price of a spare or duplicate key may putting you off getting another one cut and programmed? Once all keys are lost it will be significantly more expensive to make you a new key. If you already have a remote it may be possible to just do the cheaper option of a chipped (transponder) key without buttons. (A chipped key will often suffice for EU/US vehicles. Asian vehicles may require a remote to cancel the alarm).

Until the particular nearby branches in Gloucestershire closed I used to program 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 associated with a high street key cutters) a call if you need a spare or replacement car key programming.

If you’ve only got one car key it is advisable to get a spare cut and programmed.

Aftermarket Range Rover remote programming
Aftermarket Range Rover remote replacement

Car key programming

Here is an example of a recently programmed car key. This example is a smart (proximity) key for a 2018 Mitsubishi. Because these keys don’t have to be put into the ignition to start the car, they do seem to get lost more easily.

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. 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.

Window not working / locking?

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

Broken window mechanism

Window 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 break 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.

Mortice lock only working from one side?

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

If the key works well from one side of the door but not the other it may be as simple as a the key has worn. 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 was exacerbated by being a badly cut copy 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 parts in the lock.

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

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. They black and blue remotes are not compatible.

‘Tis the Season for failed ignition locks, tra-la-la-la-la….

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.

VW Transporter T5 compatible remotes

VW compatible remotes

VW Transporter T5 (not 5.1) compatible remotes are £85 supplied, cut and programmed (until 1 Jan 24). If you lose all keys/remotes it will cost you more to get one done so it’s worth getting a spare if you’ve only got one.

You can choose from a variety of different styles. You can even choose Audi, Bentley, Ford (why would you?) and others.

If you just want a transponder key (chip but no remote) as a back up they are £55. (That compares to about £200 from most dealers).

If you don’t want another key but have simply locked your keys inside, we can help with that too.

Christmas / New Year Opening Hours

We are open every day over the festive period. Nothing will cheer me up more than you locking your keys (and your presents) in your car, or locking yourself out. If you need a locksmith over this period then give us a call.

Xmas Eve – Open

Xmas Day – Open

Boxing Day – Open

New Years Eve – Open

New Years Day – Open

Removing snapped car key

Obsolete Anglian Windows

Anglian window gearboxes

New Anglian mechanism (left). Old, discontinued version (right).

If you have old Anglian windows that can’t be opened it is probably due to the mechanism having broken. This can happen due to wear and tear, shifting in the building, or poor installation when new.

Even jammed windows can be opened. The older mechanism is long since discontinued but with minor modifications the later version mechanism can be made to fit.

How long the newer gearboxes will be available for is uncertain.

Whatever make windows or doors you have, they can normally be repaired or improved. That is significantly cheaper than getting new ones installed.