Very secure lock – but not if it’s like this.

This lock was fitted to a commercial premises. It is a Chubb 3G110 which is an excellent detainer lock. (Detainers are a bit like levers). This lock costs several times more than a normal mortise lock.

The lock was opened to change the detainers so it operated with a different key. It was immediately obvious that somebody in the past had removed all the detainers. In this condition the lock could be opened by any key that fitted into the keyhole – or even just a screwdriver or lolly stick. What would have been presumed to be a very secure lock actually had no more security than a garden gate latch.

chubb 3g100
Detainers missing from the lock case on the right. Detainers about to be fitted on the left.

New detainers were fitted to the lock and it now secure – as it was designed to be.

This lock is closely related to the Chubb 3R3F that we saw in a previous post. Access control system repair | Ross-Dean Locksmiths (ross-deanlocksmiths.co.uk) There are also other versions which use the same detainer system but with roller or spring latches.

On an unrelated subject, we’ve been called to open 3 separate Mercedes cars this week with keys locked in the boot. One of them was at 3am on the M5. Normally we might open one Merc in a whole year. Not sure why Mercedes owners are being more careless than usual at the moment.

Our current COVID policy (2021)

Ross Dean Locksmiths remain open for emergency work. This includes persons locked in/out, unable to secure a property, or essential maintenance (e.g. difficulty locking/unlocking doors). Routine maintenance (e.g. misty windows or blown glass) should be postponed if possible until restrictions are eased.

In order to protect our customers masks/PPE will be worn where necessary. Surfaces we touch will be disinfected upon completion.

CNC car key cutting.

As usual NHS and blue light customers receive 10% discount.

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locksmith Forest of Dean, Ross on Wye | Ross-Dean Locksmiths (ross-deanlocksmiths.co.uk)

Ford Transit lock keyed alike.

in a previous post a customer had to smash their Transit side window. Their remote had lost synchronisation with the vehicle and the door lock was broken.

ford transit door lock
Ford Transit door lock components awaiting assembly.

The customer subsequently asked us to make up a new door lock to match the existing locks. A disassembled lock from Ford comes in a box containing hundreds of individual parts that need to be put together in a certain order.

Below is the old and new lock. The springs and wafers in front are leftover as they were not required to match this particular key code.

Completed Transit lock with un-used wafers.

If you need a replacement key or remote in Ross on Wye, or Forest of Dean area then call an auto locksmith. An independent auto locksmith will normally be significantly cheaper than a main dealer.

Broken mortise lock.

Customer was unable to unlock a British Standard 5 lever mortise lock. Original keys were present. The keys were turning but the bolt was not being withdrawn. This is an indication that the bolt thrower has broken off the curtain. Normally you can manually withdraw the bolt back into the lock, but not on this occasion. The bolt was jammed solid, and the door securely locked shut.

Mortice lock opening
Faulty mortise lock with the laminated bolt cut off.

In this situation the only option was to cut spread the door/frame and cut the bolt off. The bolts in these ERA Fortress are incredibly tough. It takes a long, long time with a large disc cutter. This requires frequent dousing of the bolt with water to prevent heat building up and setting fire to surrounding woodwork.

Broken mortice lock

Curtain spring jamming the bolt in the open position.

Rhino vehicle bollard

This Rhino vehicle bollard was either faulty – or more likely had been maliciously damaged. The key would not turn in the lock, and the lock could not be picked. Vehicles were trapped until our locksmith was able to lower the bollard for the client.

Rhino security bollard

This lock was very incredibly tough and I was very impressed by the resistance it put up. If you’re considering fitting a bollard in your driveway, a Rhino bollard is well worth a look.

Car key transponders are delicate

This key is for a Ford Transit. Somebody wanted to separate the metal blade from the plastic head (because it was loose and spinning) so decided to hacksaw it off.

Unfortunately this meant they unwittingly cut the glass transponder chip in half. Without the correct chip the vehicle is immobilised and won’t start.

Ford Transit key
Damaged Ford Transit transponder key

Below is a new transponder chip that we programmed into the vehicle in the Forest of Dean. As you can see it is glass and very delicate. Safely inside the key head it should be protected from most bumps and knocks – but it won’t survive being cut in half with a hacksaw! Because there was only 1 key for the vehicle they didn’t have a backup and had to call out an auto locksmith to program new keys. It is always a good idea to have a spare key for a vehicle. It is normally significantly cheaper to get a key duplicated from an existing key than it is to cut and program one from scratch.

Ford transponder. Auto locksmith Forest of Dean
Glass type Ford ID60 transponder chip.

UPVC door repair

UPVC door reported as ‘difficult to lock’. This was what we found. The top hinge had been ripped completely off, leaving the door hanging on by the lower 2 hinges. This is often seen when an unrestrained door is allowed to blow open against the door reveal.

Broken UPVC door hinge
Damaged UPVC door hinge requiring repair.

As can be seen above the screws had not only stripped out of the plastic, the end of the metal flag hinge had sheared off. Typically this will result in difficulty locking/unlocking. Worst case scenario is the rest of the hinges fail and the door falls off, breaking the glass. In this example the door was repaired and correctly aligned.

It is always worth preventing your door from swinging freely in the wind. There are a variety of ways that you can achieve this.

If you need UPVC door or window repairing in Ross on Wye or Forest of Dean areas give us a call for a quote.

Replacement Range Rover remote

Here is an aftermarket car remote that we programmed for a Range Rover Sport. Aftermarket remotes are normally cheaper than genuine, but work just as well.

Range Rover remote

Often with this type of Range Rover battery the internal battery goes flat. The battery is soldered to the circuit board. This battery can be replaced if you are willing to get the soldering iron out.

Make sure your vehicle locks work! #2

If you car doors don’t work – don’t just rely on your remote. If your remotes stop working, the vehicle battery goes flat, or you lose your car keys / lock them in, then the only way into the vehicle may be by smashing the glass. An auto locksmith may not be able to help you.

If the locks are broken and the vehicle is deadlocked then no amount of bending the door open to poke something in in the gap is going to get you in. You can’t open the door by sliding a tool between the glass and the door. You are left with 2 choices – either go through the skin of the door, or break the window glass.

smashed car window

I’ve been to two Ford Transits and recently with faulty locks and the remotes couldn’t be used. The cheapest option was for the vehicle owner to smash their own glass. If you are going to smash your glass it’s advisable to completely tape the entire window up to prevent a mess like that above.

In one of the Transit examples it was the second time in 6 months the owner had to smash their own glass. If only they’d got their locks fixed the first time around.