BMW Mini remote replacement

Mini remote

The round BMW Mini CAS (Car Access System) remotes can come in 2 variants. There is the type that has to go into the slot to start. Then there are the smart/proximity ones that you can keep the remote in your pocket and just press start.

The smart type are used in Mini fitted with ‘comfort access’, although you can program the more basic ones in to vehicles that have comfort access.

If you’ve only got one remote it’s worth considering getting a spare. It’s far cheaper to add a remote to an existing one than it is to replace all missing remotes.

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 replacement car keys for that brand 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 take a week to obtain a replacement key. We can provide many keys from stock.

If you already have a remote it may be possible to just do the cheaper spare option of a chipped (transponder) key without buttons. (A chipped key will often suffice for EU/US vehicles. Asian vehicles may often need a remote to cancel the alarm).

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

If you’ve only got one car key now is the time to consider getting a spare cut and programmed.

Aftermarket Range Rover remote programming
Aftermarket Range Rover remote key replacement

Car key programming.

replacement Mitsubishi key programming

Here is an example of a recently programmed replacement car key. This is a smart (aka proximity) key for a 2018 Mitsubishi. Because this type don’t have to be put into the ignition to start the car, they do seem to get lost more easily. It isn’t unheard of for people to put them on the roof of the car then drive off.

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. If they can detect your key inside they house, they can simply relay the signal to the car. 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.

Aston Martin – keys locked in car.

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

Aston Martin - non destructive entry keys lock in car

Although the car may be a beast, it uses the same type keys and locks as an old Ford. Using other manufacturer’s locks fairly common in the car industry. Smaller manufacturers will often buy in locks from a larger manufacturer or use those from their parent company.

An auto locksmith has specific tools to open vehicles without damage. A recovery company may just bend the door open and try poking something in to pull a button or handle. The latter may damage the door, crack the glass, and probably won’t open a newer vehicle.

Several times now I’ve gone to customers with keys locked in the car who tell me the spare keys are in the glove. Apparently a breakdown service has told them to keep the spares there in case they lost the main set. That’s all well and good until somebody smashes your window to steal the contents of your car, because they can now steal the entire car too.

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

Ford Transit replacement remote

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. Although they both operate of 433MHz both the transponder chip and the keyless entry aspect of the blue and blacks versions are not compatible.

We can also provide both genuine and aftermarket versions of later Ford Transit remotes. Please ask us for a quote to replace the later black flip remotes.

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.

Replacement Ford Fiesta remote

A basic ‘chipped key’ (transponder key) has several disadvantages compared to a key with a keyless entry fob/remote. Some vehicles may not deadlock and will therefore not be as secure. Some vehicles such as some Renault and Dacia only have a door lock on the passenger side which can be rather annoying after a while. Additionally some vehicles will not set the alarm unless the remote is used. EU and US vehicles will normally silence an alarm once the key is turned in the ignition. Asian vehicles often will not silence the alarm unless the remote is used.

In the example below the customer’s car only came with 1 transponder key. They wanted a remote. They chose this bright green version. This particular make of remote can be programmed to become several thousand different car remotes.

Ford Fiesta aftermarket remote key

Not all vehicles are able to lock with a remote. Basic versions of some VW and Fiat for example do not have the electronics for keyless entry. A giveaway on modern vehicles can be if there are rear window winder handles.

Keys locked in car.

Sometimes cars and vans may automatically lock themselves with the keys inside. Other times people mistakenly lock them in the boot. (I hate to admit to having locked my own keys in my car twice).

Keys locked in car

This is the errant key that we retrieved today from the ignition of a Ford Ranger after it decided to lock all the doors by itself.

We can open most vehicles if you find yourself in the same situation. It would be much simpler if you had a spare key that you could use without calling somebody out. Not to worry though, if you do lock your keys in Ross-Dean Locksmiths can open your car for you.

Faulty Mercedes boot lock and mechanism.

Some older Mercedes cars have a boot mechanism that operates remotely using a vacuum pump. The pump can fail and the vacuum tubes can perish or disconnect. When that system fails it’s not normally a problem because the boot can still be opened using the key. If the boot lock is also faulty or damaged – then it is a problem problem. You can’t open the boot.

Mercedes boot lock
Mercedes boot lock. Visible signs of damage to the cover plate from previous attempts to unlock it.

In this example the boot mechanism could be heard clicking when the switch was operated. That indicated the vacuum pump was working OK so the likely fault was the actual actuator mechanism on the boot lid itself. The seats don’t fold down on this car – you can’t get into the boot that way. There are 2 ways to open the boot in this situation – one is to drill a hole through the skin of the boot to access the linkage. The other is to extract the lock barrel. Because this lock wasn’t working and needed replacing it was best to extract the lock and save drilling through the boot lid.

Mercedes boot lock
Mercedes boot lock removed – in parts.

Once the boot lock is removed the release linkage can be pulled, opening the boot and allowing the faulty mechanism to be swapped out.

Mercedes boot lid

A quirk of this Mercedes is that the battery is in the boot. If your key doesn’t work the locks and you get a flat battery you will struggle to get into the boot. There are ways around this if you know how.

Another vehicle with a weird boot/battery setup is a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. They have a quirk where it can be difficult to tow an automatic with a flat battery. Again, there is a way around it.

If you can’t open your vehicle or have locked your keys in the boot / car in Forest of Dean and Ross on Wye areas give us a call.