Not much going on here at the moment. Most people are already locked down at home, they’re not losing car keys or locking themselves out.
Here are some pictures of the replacement of keys for a ’93 Ford barn find. It is possible to make a key without having to strip the lock but I wanted to clean inside the lock as the grease was like treacle.
This remnant of a snapped key is about to be finally removed from the ignition barrel. Whenever the broken key extractor kit needs to be used, it is almost always dark and raining.
We use dedicated broken key extraction tools to remove snapped parts of key. Sometimes it may need 2 or 3 tools in the lock to get the part out. On occasion it will be necessary to remove the lock and strip it down to remove the broken part.
To replace the key it may be possible just to clamp the broken parts together in a trace-cutter. Or failing that the key can be read by eye or software or cut from code. In many cases it is possible to decode the lock itself. In most cases it is possible to cut a new key even if parts or all of the original key are missing.
This job was to replace lost keys for an imported Brazilian VW Transporter. Despite being long discontinued in Europe, this particular model continued to be made in South America. The first stage (before EEPROM programming a new transponder into the immobiliser) is to make the metal key blade.
The vehicle had sat for several years without moving. We couldn’t manage to decode the locks on the vehicle using a special tool or by impressioning. The importers were unable to provide key information so the only option was to remove the steering wheel, remove the steering lock then strip the entire ignition lock.
A customer was suddenly unable to open his VW Passat using the remote. The remote battery had gone flat, and by the time the battery had been replaced it had lost synchronisation with the car. (To start this car the whole remote slots into the dashboard. There is no ignition barrel).
Ordinarily that’s not a problem because the emergency backup key could be used to open the door. Not in this case, the backup key had been lost.
Fortunately we were able to open the car for the customer, synchronise the remote again, and cut a replacement backup key for the customer.
If you’ve lost your backup key, think about what you’d do if the remote is flat, or goes through the washing machine.
This is an aftermarket remote ready for cutting and programming into Land Rover Discovery 04-09 or Range Rover Sport 05-09. We can also supply and program other LR/RR remotes. (Either genuine OEM or aftermarket).
Typically an old, worn Tibbe key will have a similarly worn lock too. This is a Fiesta lock being stripped down. Normally the dustcover has badly worn and will grab a newly cut key and make it difficult, or impossible to remove from the lock.
You can gently chamfer the key so that that the key can pull out, or just remove the dust cover and keep the key sharp.
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.