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