Jammed or not opening window lock?

UPVC windows may become difficult or impossible to operate. Reasons for this may include poor installation, poor alignment, dropped window, lack of lubrication, wear and tear etc.

Broken window mechanism

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 fail 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. Use a lithium or silicone lubricant. GT85 or similar is good. WD40 is not good for this situation.

Mortice lock only working from one side?

Do you have a door that is difficult to lock from one side? Mortice locks are normally designed to operate from both sides. If the door is mostly secured 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.

Badly cut and worn key
Worn key causing difficulty locking.

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.

‘Tis the Season for failed ignition locks, tra-la-la-la-la….

faulty car ignition lock

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 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.

Christmas / New Year Opening Hours

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.

Xmas Eve – Open

Xmas Day – Open

Boxing Day – Open

New Years Eve – Open

New Years Day – Open

Removing snapped car key

Obsolete Anglian Windows

Anglian window gearboxes

New Anglian mechanism (left). Old, discontinued version (right).

If you have old Anglian windows that can’t be opened it is probably due to the mechanism having broken. This can happen due to wear and tear, shifting in the building, or poor installation when new.

Even jammed windows can be opened. The older mechanism is long since discontinued but with minor modifications the later version mechanism can be made to fit.

How long the newer gearboxes will be available for is uncertain.

Whatever make windows or doors you have, they can normally be repaired or improved. That is significantly cheaper than getting new ones installed.

Replacement Ford Fiesta remote

A basic ‘chipped key’ (transponder key) has several disadvantages compared to a key with a keyless entry fob/remote. This include the inconvenience compared to remote central locking. Some vehicles may not deadlock and will therefore not be as secure. Some vehicles such as some Renaults 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 vehicles automatically lock themselves with the keys inside. Other times we 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 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.

Electronic safe batteries.

Domestic safes with electronic keypads will use batteries. These will not last forever. If they go flat or leak the safe will not open. In that case you will either have to use the backup key or battery backup facility, depending on your own particular safe.

If you’ve lost your back up keys, you may need a locksmith to open the safe for you. Check you know where the keys are, and change batteries when the keypad tells you to change them.

We were called to open an electronic safe with these batteries fitted. The override keys had been lost. Can you see anything wrong?

Electronic safe batteries

Fire door OAD (Outside Access Device) replacement.

Fire doors with panic bars may have OAD handles/knobs on the outside. This allows the door to also be used an an entrance.

Fire escape handle replacement
Fire door OAD upgrade. New system with replaceable lock fitted to door. Old knob on the right.

Doors fitted with older OAD such as the Exidor 298 cannot easily be re-keyed if the tenants change or keys are lost. (The 298 is also discontinued and nigh on impossible to find). In the photo above a new style Exidor knobset has been fitted that has an easily replaceable lock cylinder.