Remote repairs.

Car remotes can stop working for several reasons. First thing to check is the battery. These can almost always be easily DIY replaced by popping the back off and swapping the battery out. Some vehicles (particularly BMW/Land Rover) can have a rechargable battery soldered to the circuit board. Like all rechargeables they have a limited lifespan. It

If the remote works will only lock or unlock it’s probable that one of the buttons is damaged or has become detached. Replacing faulty or missing buttons can normally be achieved by anybody who can use a soldering iron. Old perished rubber centre buttons can be upgraded with ceramic buttons.

Land Rover remote battery replacement
Land rover battery replacement
Land Rover Freelander remote repair
Renault remote repairs

Even if your remote is working – check that your key actually works in the lock. Often remotes go flat but customers can’t open the car because the locks have been changed or are faulty.

Key snapped in lock – Triumph Acclaim.

This venerable Triumph suffered a key snapped in the ignition. The key was so old and worn it was only a matter of time before it broke. Customer had a spare key – but it only worked one way up. Anyway, the spare couldn’t be used until the snapped part was extracted.

Triumph Acclaim badge

The snapped part of the key was well and truly embedded in the lock. What I thought would be a 5 minute job took significantly longer.

Key snapped in lock
Snapped part of key finally extracted.

If your key is worn or cracking, getting another copied on the high street will just give you another worn key that is shinier. An auto locksmith will be able to cut you a key to original depths and spacings – as if it was new.

This Triumph is basically a rebadged Honda Ballade. Triumph and Rover made several ‘Japanese’ cars in UK. Cars have come a long way since then.

Land Rover Freelander 2 remote battery.

The battery in this Freelander 2 remote is a rechargeable type that is soldered to the circuit board. It should charge automatically from the vehicle. Like most rechargeable batteries it has a limited lifespan and will eventually fail and stop working. The blue Ford Transit remote batteries and many BMW remote batteries stop charging after a few years too.

It is not beyond anyone competent with a soldering iron to replace the battery themselves. The remote below is one that we repaired for a customer who preferred not to DIY.

Land Rover Freelander remote repair
New battery soldered onto Freelander 2 remote.
Land Rover remote battery replacement

Remote tested and correctly transmitting.

Below is a double glazed unit that we replaced recently. That is water sloshing around but it is not a fish tank – it was a customer’s window. Not only is this unsightly but the insulation properties of the glass are severely reduced.

Double glazing replacement

If you need your double glazed doors are windows repairing anywhere near Forest of Dean or Ross on Wye then give us a call for a quote.

Non destructive padlock opening.

Padlock non destructive entry
Non destructively opened padlocks near Ross on Wye. Shutter style padlock (left) with covered shackle and drill protection. Discus style padlock (right) with boron shackle and drill protection.

The keys to the above steel ISO storage container had been mislaid. We opened both locks without damaging them. This means when the keys are found the locks can continue to be used. If the keys had been lost permanently it can be quicker just to cut the locks off.

If you’ve lost keys to cheap padlocks it may be easy enough for you to cut or twist the locks off yourself. A good padlock like those pictured here will be too strong or located in a position that household tools may not be able to cut them off. In both the padlocks above and the puck lock below the shackle is completely enclosed when fitted correctly. This prevents bolt croppers or a saw being used to easily cut the lock off.

Puck style padlock we opened on an industrial storage container near Ross on Wye.

Below is a link to another padlock job – this time there was no option to NDE (non destructive entry).

https://www.facebook.com/RossDeanLocksmiths

Keys locked in cars, remote repairs, lock fittings, lost car keys replaced.

A random selection of jobs from this week.

Kia Sorento replacement key

Lost key replaced for Kia Sorento in Coleford. In between being purchased and collected the original key had been lost.

VW Sprinter replacement key

Cutting a duplicate key for VW Crafter. Actually for this collaboration between VW and Mercedes the key is a Mercedes blank, but the transponder chip inside the key is VW.

Snapped UPVC door hinge replacement

Broken uPVC door hinge being replaced. A broken door hinge typically occurs when the door is allowed to swing open in the wind. Sometimes if the same hinge cannot be sourced all 3 or 4 hinges on the door will need replacing.

Audi keys locked in boot

This is the lock for an Audi with keys locked in the boot in Gloucester. The vehicle is deadlocked (putting a tool down the side of the door to pull a handle/lift a button won’t work). In this case the locks don’t even work (even with the key). Somebody had either replaced them incorrectly or the connecting links had come off No option here for the customer apart from wave goodbye to one of their windows.

2 days later we had another example of a client unable to get into their Audi. They couldn’t use the remote (it had lost synch during battery change), the linkages had again come off the lock so the keys couldn’t be used either. Fortunately it was an older vehicle with manual window winders.

Saab remote repair

This is the remote PCB for a Saab that was not unlocking. The button has clearly disintegrated. We replaced the button for a new ceramic centred button and it now works fine. These black rubber centre buttons often fall to bits or the rubber perishes.

Saab remote code

Above is the ASK (amplitude shift keyed) locking signal for the Saab remote. You can see the highs and lows of the signal trace correspond to the decoded binary sequence below. The remote repeats the signal several times for a single button press. The actual binary sequence will change each time the button is pressed. This ‘rolling code’ makes the illicit capture and replay of the signal to open the vehicle more difficult to achieve. There are ways to do it – but why would you unless you’re a criminal?

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.

(1) Ross-Dean Locksmiths | Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/RossDeanLocksmiths

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.