Friday, January 30, 2015

Acura Trunk Lockout

Spokane locksmith Acura lockout
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the area, I found that most of the calls I would usually get are for automotive lockout service. I guess it is most common experience accidentally leaving the keys inside the vehicle while locking the door behind. Normally, for a professional locksmith, unlocking a vehicle is a straight forward service, especially if the technician has all the right specialty tools. However, with all the different makes and models in the market, sometimes even using the traditional tools in the traditional ways would not help.

I remember years ago I got called for a lockout service in the area. The customer claimed to have accidentally lock the keys inside the trunk of his 1993 Acura. Since I knew these types of vehicle models are equipped with a mechanical trunk release lever, I knew it will not be a complicated job, so I accepted the job and drove to the customer's location.

Once I got to the parking lot where the car was parked, I got my tools from the van and started working on unlocking the vehicle first. I got the vehicle unlocked withing couple of minutes. However, as I was trying to pull the trunk release lever to open the trunk, I noticed nothing was happening. I asked the customer if he had any idea why it wasn't working, and he said that he got the car like that and it never worked for him. I decided to call a fellow Spokane locksmith technician of mine and see if he might know anything about that particular vehicle's locking mechanism.

Acura lockout Spokane locksmith
Once I got my technician friend on the phone, he said that in these years there was suppose to be a switch in the glove box compartment that was responsible for enabling and disabling the trunk release lever. As I was finishing the conversation, I went to the glove box compartment in order to check for the switch but it was locked. Since I knew the glove box lock should not be so hard to unlock, I used my pick tool set in order to unlock it. Once I got it open, I did saw the switch right in front of me, flipped it to the on position and I was able to use the trunk release lever in order to get the trunk open and retrieve the customer back his keys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I-Core Fix

There were many times as a locksmith technician where I got callbacks from customer complaining something with my work went wrong. I usually never rule out that something went south because I did something the wrong way. However, as I and any locksmith technician before me came to find that most of the time its a miss use from the customer's end. Some of the times its not the customer fault as a product such as a lock can be faulty from one reason or another.

I came to find that the last statement is mostly true when it comes to I-Core key services that Me or other fellow locksmith technicians that I know did. I had a customer call recently complaining about a job I did not too long ago installing an interchangeable core lock at his store. Apparently, it seemed that he could not operate the lock with the keys that I mad him at that time. Thinking it would be a minor issue, I drove to the customer's store to try and figure out what wen wrong.

Once I got to the customer's store, I tried the keys I made him myself and came to find he was right and there was something wrong. Normally, when I would have an issue such as that with any type of lock, I would immediately assume that the internals of the lock got contaminated and caused an obstacle for the key. This can happen in time where each use of the key will push the contaminants inside the key-way not allowing the key to be inserted all the way in.

After thinking I figured out the problem I went ahead to clean and lubricate the lock, but for some reason it still didn't help. I decided to call another Spokane locksmith that I know in the area which has much more experience than me. He mentioned running into this type of issue before with an interchangeable core type system and the problem was most likely with the key. The bottom milling on these types of keys tend to bent quickly which in combination with the tight tolerance inside the lock will cause failure for the key to operate the lock. The solution, all that I had to do he said, was to file the damaged bottom milling part to its original position and the key should successfully operate the lock again.      

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Motorcycle Key Tip

Locksmith Spokane Suzuki Bandit key blank
As a mobile locksmith technician sometimes it is very hard to keep the inventory in the service van full. For locksmith technicians who provide large variety of products and services in the category of residential, commercial and automotive, not only keeping trace of inventory gets very difficult, but it gets very expensive as well. With automotive services, I usually try to keep key blanks at least a couple from most makes and models. For motorcycles, since the blank are a lot cheaper, I keep a little more even though I don't get many jobs making motorcycle keys.

I got a call recently from a customer who wanted a key made for his Suzuki motorcycle. On motorcycles, the ignition key is usually different than the gas cap key which meant I needed at least two keys made. Fortunately, I knew they use the same blank, but what I didn't know was the fact I was a little short on inventory. I accepted the job thinking I have enough blanks to work with and was headed to the customer's address.

Suzuki Bandit Spokane locksmith
Once I got to the customer and ran a quick check on my inventory, I noticed I had only 3 blanks to work with. I started by making the key for the gas cap which was easier for me and since it left me with only two blanks, I decided to use the software I had to determine the rest of the cuts for making the key for the ignition. Since there were many choices for different type of cuts, I found myself without blanks and a working key.

At this point, I didn't have many choices, but to try and work with the keys that were already cut. For this to happen, I had to fill the cuts on the keys I made with solder making sure the keys were hot enough, so it would bond properly. Once the keys were cooled off, I re-cut one of them to the right cuts. Since the blanks were nickle plated keys, the repair i did was hardly noticeable and I was able to get the job done and get the customer back on the road.

Check out these links for information about Spokane locksmith solutions in the area. | NorthWest Locksmith Spokane services.

Automotive Broken Key Extraction

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