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 by using a CNC cutting machine.

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.

If you’re in need about to search for “auto locksmith in my area” when you’re in Forest of Dean, give us a call.

Some jobs from this week.

A random selection of locksmith jobs from Forest of Dean 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. It is normally much cheaper to get an existing key/transponder duplicated than cut and programme a new one from scratch.

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. The advantage of using a computerised cutting machine such as the one above is that the duplicate key isn’t just a shiny copy of a worn key – the key is cut to correct depths.

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. The reason why you can’t just replace one hinge is that unless the centreline of the hinges is the same. If off centre there will be twisting/shearing forces in the hinges.

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?

Ford Transit lock replacement and matched to existing key

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. Ignition locks are one of the parts that we prefer to use genuine parts where possible. Aftermarket locks can tend to cause problems.

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 ask us for or quote. Now matter where you in the country an independent auto locksmith will normally be significantly cheaper than a main dealer.

Car key transponders are delicate

The key below 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 in doing so they 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 this version of transponder chip is glass and very delicate. The Ford transponder chips are about double the size of the ID48 chip commonly used by Fiat and VW.

Safely inside the key head the transponder 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.

Keys locked in car and boot.

It’s been busy this week for car openings. In 4 of them we were called after various national and local breakdown/recovery services were unable to open the vehicle. For some reason Puntos are the most popular vehicle this week.

This Seat vehicle was opened by us after the previous company failed. They’d tried bending the door open and shoving a bit of metal down the side of the door. If you want your door damaged, that’s the way to do it. If you want the job doing properly and without damage call an auto-locksmith. There are several working in the area, including ourselves.

Vehicle opening. Keys locked in car.

If you’ve locked you keys in your car or your boot anywhere in Ross on Wye, Forest of Dean, Monmouth and need an auto locksmith then give us a call.

Alternative to expensive BMW, Volvo and VW slot remotes

The type of dash remote that slots into the dashboard of some BMW, Volvo and VW can be very expensive to replace. If you currently only have 1 remote and don’t want to potentially pay several hundred pounds for an emergency replacement, you don’t have to.

If you just need a backup in case you lose your only remote there is a much cheaper alternative. It is called a dashpod. With a manual key and a transponder chip programmed to your car, a dashpod can be used to open the vehicle and start it. A dashpod can even get wet as there is no circuitry or battery inside to become damaged like a remote. Admittedly it doesn’t look as nice as a remote, but it can get you home if you’ve lost your only remote. And it’s probably at least £100 cheaper than a spare remote that might actually never be needed and may just sit in a drawer.

VW Passat emergency dashpod and key
VW Passat dashpod (left) we supplied and programmed as a backup to the remote.
Volvo XC emergency dashpod key
This Volvo dashpod is awaiting a new home.

Car key programming available in Ross on Wye, Forest of Dean and surrounding areas.

Replacement Ford car keys.

Not much going on here at the moment. Most people are already locked down at home so 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. There were no keys with the vehicle. It is possible to make a key without having to strip the lock but I wanted to clean inside the lock as the old grease was like treacle.

VW ignition lock
Stripped VW ignition lock

Snapped key in truck ignition

This remnant of a snapped key is about to be finally removed from a truck ignition barrel. Whenever the broken key extractor kit needs to come out, it is almost always dark and raining.

Locksmith Ross on Wye. Removing snapped car key
Pulling snapped key from ignition barrel

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. Occasionally 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 and get a reading from that. In most cases it is possible to cut a new key even if parts or all of the original key are missing.

Replacement VW Transporter key.

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.

Importance of the backup key in a VW Passat dash remote.

VW passat keyA 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.