Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Re-Key Tip

Schlage re-key Portland locksmith
Among the usual services an average locksmith technician does is a re-key services. Normally, these types of services are often in demand by a commercial or residential customers. A customer may call for a re-key if he just moved into a new place, suspect a stranger might have access to his place, or for other reasons. For the average locksmith technician, a re-key shouldn't be a difficult task. It can be time consuming, but it can be completed without any issues. However, since the lock is needed to be taken apart for this type of service, if not careful, parts from the lock can be lost which will put the technician in a jam.

A few years ago I remember getting a call from a customer who just moved into a new place and needed four locks in his home to be re-keyed. It wasn't so busy that day, so I was able to take the job without setting an appointment for later since I knew it would take a while to complete the service. After taking the customer information over the phone, I was on my way.

Once I got to the customer's place, he gave me a tour around the house, so I could take a look at the locks I would be dealing with and I noticed they were just the average standard Schlage doorknob locks. After finishing the tour, I grabbed my tools from the van and started taking apart the lock, so I could re-key them in my van. The way I usually would tackle a re-key job with multiple locks, is by completing each lock one by one.

Portland locksmith Re-Key Schlage
As I finished the first two locks and moved into the third, I ran into a problem.  When I opened the 3rd lock, one of the springs from the wafers jumped somewhere in my van and I just couldn't find it. That was a problem for me since I didn't have any extra springs I could use instead. Before trying to figure what to do, I decided to complete the 4th lock first before moving on.

After finishing the 4th lock, I decided to call a fellow Portland locksmith friend of mine to see if he was in the area and could help me resolve the situation. Unfortunately, he was not, but he did mentioned something I didn't know. According to him, a new GM door lock should have extra springs in it which are the exact fit with most Schlage model wafer locks. Luckily I did have few of them in stock. Grabbing one to check, I came to find that it was true and the springs were in fact an exact fit. Lucked out, I was able to complete the job as scheduled without any further delays.  

Residential Broken Key Extraction

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lexus Trunk Lockout

Portland locksmith Lexus trunk lockout
For the average locksmith technician, unlocking a vehicle should be a fairly simple task. However, the level of difficulty in opening a vehicle often depends on the vehicle's year, make and model. Some manufactures designed their security locking system better than others which makes it harder on a beginner to average locksmith technician to unlock a vehicle. Usually what makes things more complicated would be the fact that the vehicle will be equipped with an alarm system. To unlock these types of vehicles  require some experience and improvising ability.

I remember years ago I got called by a customer to unlock the trunk of his 96 Lexus. Apparently, he accidentally dropped the keys inside the trunk as he was putting away his grocery bags. At that time, I didn't have much experience unlocking Lexus vehicles back then, but I figured it shouldn't be so different than other foreign vehicles I had the chance to unlock at that period of time. I decided to take the job since I figured it would be a good learning experience for me.

Figuring the vehicle must have a trunk release button or lever, as I got to the customer's location, I decided to unlock the vehicle then use the trunk button to pop the trunk, retrieve the customer's keys and be back on my way. However, I learn that with Lexus models this won't be the case. As I started working on unlocking the vehicle, the alarm went off as soon as I got the door opened. At first I didn't think it would be a big deal for me, but when I located the trunk release lever and tried to use it, nothing happened and I suspected that the alarm probably was responsible  in disabling it.

Portland locksmith Lexus trunk lockout
Since picking the trunk lock was not an option for me because I didn't have the right tools, I decided to call a Portland locksmith friend of my hoping he may have some previous experience working with Lexus vehicles. When I finally got him on the phone, he said that my only option would be to remove the door panel and disconnect the electrical wire from the door lock and turn the actuator which in turn will fool the on board computer and allow me to use the trunk release button. I then followed his exact instructions and to my surprise it worked! I was able to bypass the alarm by disconnecting the wires and the trunk release button was active again allowing me to pop the trunk and get the customer his keys back.

Automotive Broken Key Extraction

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