Random selection of lock jobs

Renault Koleos handsfree car

Renault Koleos handsfree card supplied, cut and programmed. The original key was faulty and would not lock the car. This style of Renault card are renowned for becoming damaged. They might fit nicely in your back pocket, but eventually you’re going to sit on it and break it if you keep putting it there.

multipoint gearbox

UPVC door gearboxes shouldn’t look like this one above. Customer could have just replaced the gearbox but instead decided to cut the faceplate into 3 parts, requiring a complete replacement strip. Most gearboxes fail due to door misalignment (not rust or being cut into bits).

Antique travel chest lock

Above is an antique steamer trunk. It had regularly been across the Atlantic. The chest hadn’t been opened in decades and the key could not be found. We opened the lock without damage.

A few jobs from this week.

Renault key cards
Renault key cards programmed.

First example is programming of some Renault key cards. Work carried out for a lot cheaper than the rip off price the dealer quoted the customer. Dealer had also insisted the card reader was faulty and needed replacing before the cards could be programmed – that was a blatant lie.

UPVC door repair
Damaged UPVC door gearbox – and wrong fittings.
Damaged multipoint
Damaged gearbox due to somebody taking the lock out without knowing what they were doing.

Next example is a UPVC door that was jammed shut. This occurred due to a misaligned door. Once we got the door open we replaced the damaged parts and aligned the door. Previous repairers had just replaced the cylinder, ignoring the root cause of the problem (misalignment) and also put a wood screw into the gearbox instead of the correct M4 screw.

Non destructive entry

Last example from this week is a non-destructive entry to a commercial premises. British Standard 5 lever ERA Fortress picked open.

UPVC Doors not locking

During this hot weather we are attending a lot of doors that cannot be locked. This is normally due to the doors being out of alignment. This most often happens to UPVC doors but can also affect wood and composite doors. If you have to use excessive force to lift the handle then very soon the mechanism is going to break. Your door should not be “knocking” when you shut the door with the handle held down.

door roller
Door roller locking point showing wear from door misalignment.

It is far cheaper to get the doors adjusted before the mechanism breaks (possibly locking you in/out).

UPVC door repair.
UPVC door locking point showing wear due to door misalignment.

There is a fairly new housing estate in Coleford where we often go to conduct repairs. There’s also a new estate in Lydney with the same door mechanism. It isn’t the fault of the door mechanism, it’s the fault of the builders / installers who never took the time to line up the doors correctly to begin with.

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Patio roller replacement.

If your sliding patio door is difficult to move or lock, it could be due to the rollers. Most patio door rollers can be adjusted to account for wear. Sometimes the rollers are so badly worn or collapsed that the aluminium door frame itself is rubbing on the track. Eventually this rubbing can also destroy the track which will add to the expense.

Old and new patio door rollers
Worn patio door rollers (left). New replacement patio door roller (right).

In the picture above you can see 2 old rollers (left) which we removed from a door in Forest of Dean today. They are pictured with a new roller for comparison. The old rollers are completely worn away ( the only bit left is the bearing). No wonder the door didn’t want to open and couldn’t be locked.

What maintenance should you do for your sliding patio door? Keep the track clean and free dirt and grit. Do NOT lubricate the track. Lubricant on the track will attract grit and encourage the rollers to skid and flat spot. You want your rollers to grip the track and rotate correctly around the bearing. It’s the same as you don’t want your car tyres skidding on oil or ice – you want them gripping the road surface and rotating around the bearing.

Garage door gain entry and lock change.

Pre-1984 Garador handle

This style of Garador lock and handle stopped being made around 1984. They can still be found on old metal garage doors. This type of lock barrel are also found on lockers in changing rooms.

In this example below the keys had been missing for months. We were asked to gain entry and fit a new lock. It is often possible to cut a new key for the lock but the original lock was so old and corroded it was worth fitting a new one.

The garage was one giant cobweb – it needed beating down with a stick to be able to enter!

Replacement garage door lock

Metal up and over garage door lock.

Car 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. If that doesn’t work then car key repair may be an option.

Some vehicles (particularly BMW/Land Rover and the blue Transit remotes) can have a rechargeable battery soldered to the circuit board. These are not quickly replaced. Like all re-chargeable batteries they have a limited lifespan and will eventually stop charging. We can replace these batteries when the time comes. For the blue Transit remotes it may be better to replace the remote for a newer type where the battery can be swapped out in seconds.

If the remote won’t work on all the buttons it’s probable that one of them is damaged or the solder joint has cracked. The flat Renault key cards are particularly prone to damage because the fit nicely in the back pocket and they get sat on. 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 remote battery replacement. Checking operating frequency.
Land Rover Freelander remote repair
Renault remote repairs

Even if your remote is working – check that your key actually works in the door locks. Sometimes remotes go flat but customers still can’t open the car because the locks have been changed or are faulty. If you don’t have the correct key for the lock you could be locked out if the remote or vehicle battery go flat.

VW Passat Remote repairs
VW Passat remote in for repair. Button had failed, was loose and rattling around in the case.

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).


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?

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.