Below, we have tried to answer some of the most common questions visitors to our website may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us during normal business hours.
I have lost all my keys! What the heck do I do now?
Just the fact you are looking at a locksmith web site means you are way ahead of most people who try to manage the problem themselves, most with limited success. Depending on what type of keys are missing and the specific circumstances of your situation there are several things to do to solve the problem. First thing to think about is if the lost keys have made you or your property unsafe in any way. If someone has stolen your keys or if you think there is any possibility someone may have had access to them even for a little while then it is very important to have the locks rekeyed or replaced ASAP. We can lock out those old keys for you by changing the internal pins or wafers in your locks and giving you a fresh set of keys. This can be done very easily for most house or business locks and if we are talking about a vehicle just know we can also help. It’s a little more complicated to rekey a vehicle but still something we do all the time. There is a big difference however when you need a set of keys to a car because you lost them, but you don’t necessarily need to lock out the old keys. Depending on the car it may be as easy as obtaining the code number of the keys that we can order from the vin number or from your records. Then we could make a key by code at our shop. If you show up with proper proof of ownership we may be able to make you a key for a very reasonable fee. On other models we may make a service call to the vehicle or possibly have it towed to our shop for service. We strive to have all the latest equipment to be able to service the latest models of cars and trucks, most of which these days have electronic chips called transponders. This makes it a little more complicated than older vehicles but depending on the model it is not prohibitive. There are still a few manufacturers that have successfully locked out all of us locksmiths from the computer systems in the cars, which means you are wasting your time at this site and are stuck with the dealer (sorry about that). It will be easier if I list the cars and trucks we cannot do here as the list is short. Cars we can NOT do- Mercedes Benz since about 1997 BMW since 1996 (A few models we can duplicate a key as long as you have at least one key) Late model Land Rovers, Some Volvos, some Saabs and a few others
What is a master key? What are they used for?
A master key typically refers to one key that can open multiple locks, each of which may have an individual key. This is typically something that is done in large commercial environments, or apartment settings where a manager may not want to carry multiple keys.
Do you have a masterkey to fit my locks?
Probably not. There is no such thing as a true masterkey which fits all locks. Your building may be masterkeyed and we would only have access to that information if we were the shop that keeps the records for your building.
What are bump keys?
A bump key is a specially modified key that is used to pick locks. They have been shown to very effective on many common residential type locks. There are many higher security locks on the market today that can be purchased to combat the problem and make the bump key ineffective.
I’ve lost all the keys to my car, can you help me?
In almost all cases yes. The process can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. We are equipped to handle most cars on the market, for price and availability please call us to help you figure out your options.
What is a transponder key?
A transponder is a small radio chip embedded into the rubber in most modern car keys This chip sends out a signal when you start the car, allowing the engine to run. Without a properly programmed transponder key the car will not start. Although these key systems add expense if you need extra keys, it makes for a highly effective anti theft system. This is completely separate from the keyless entry. Transponder systems first started in about 1996 and have slowly been integrated into most models.
Can you cut a motorcycle/ATV/Tractor keys?
Yes, we have most available motorcycle and tractor key blanks, dating back many years.
After hours can I bring something to the shop to have it worked on with your 24 hour service?
You’re more than welcome to, however we are not at our shop after 5:30 or on weekends so you need an appointment so we can meet you there. Most jobs can be done with our mobile vans so most of the time we will come to you. One thing to mention is this- we always strive to answer our phones, 24-7 without an answering service. So if you call, you will be talking to a trained locksmith who can help you. If it is late at night and your question or problem is not an urgent affair, please wait until normal business hours to call. We all work a normal 40 hour week during the day and we rotate our employee’s on call for the 24 hour emergency work. So if it is 2 am and you call with a true emergency, (locked out- lost keys etc.) we will be glad to help if we can. None of us like it when we get woke up to answer a question like “do you cut keys at your shop?” or a similar line. If it needs to happen now then please call us, if not we will talk to you in the morning.
I seem to be having trouble getting a working copy of a key made, why is that?
Think of a key copy as a photo copy, it makes an exact duplicate of the key we are given to cut. If the key you’re trying to copy no longer works, is extremely worn or is having trouble working, the duplicate is likely to function just as poorly or not at all because of manufacturing differences. If you’re having trouble with a key, ask for a CODE key rather than a duplicate. Often times a factory spec. key is all you would need to alleviate the problem.
Can you replace or service automotive keyless entry remotes?
Yes, we have replacement batteries, remote skins (for when the key ring breaks) and we either stock or can order factory remotes.
Does it damage my lock when you open it?
No, there is no damage when we use lock picks, or car opening tools. Some higher security locks require drilling, which just needs a simple repair.
What if need help getting into a home that is not mine? Or if I need keys to a car that I borrowed?
All locksmiths are required to obtain proper authorization to open a home, or generate keys to a vehicle. If the object in question is not yours and the owner is out of town etc., we are still required to verify this. Typically this will involve getting a faxed copy of the owners drivers license and written authorization to verify ownership. Just be aware that we are very careful not to compromise the security of anybody so if we don’t feel comfortable with the situation, we won’t do the job. This issue has caused us more grief than almost any other in our business. We can’t help it if you are stranded without keys and you have absolutely no way of proving you have permission to use the car. No absolute proof- then don’t expect us to help. I’m sure the owner of a car or house that didn’t want that person to gain access will thank all of us locksmiths that actually follow the rules.