Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mercedes Ignition Fix

Locksmith Portland Mercedes Benz
Sometimes there is a very thin line between what an automotive job a locksmith technician can do and what a job can only be done by a mechanic. This is mostly true when it comes to diagnosing ignition issues with a vehicle. Most of the time an issue with the ignition switch will prevent the user from starting the vehicle which at times can be interpreted as a mechanical issue. However, most of the time, not only a locksmith technician will be able to handle it, but also may save the customer some money as dealership can be very expensive most of the time.

I got a call from  a customer once to come and unlock the trunk of an old Buick Regal he had. I never turn down a lockout job on an old GM vehicle ever since I got my vibrating R&D GM pick tool set which makes the job extremely easy and fast to get done. I took the customer's information and started heading his way.

Once I got to the customer's home, it didn't take me very long to unlock the trunk of his Buick with my vibrating GM pick tool set. When I was done, the customer was so surprised by the ease I did it that he asked me if I could take a look at another vehicle he had. The other vehicle the customer wanted me to look at was a 92 Mercedes Benz 300SL, very nice car. The customer said that he has been having problems with it for a while using the ignition switch. Sometimes the key would turn the ignition, but sometimes he would not be able to make it work. He also mentioned that it works fine on the trunk and doors.

Mercedes Benz locksmith Portland
I didn't have much experience working with these old Mercedes models since we normally don't do these type of cars. When I mentioned to him going to dealer, he said that he already did and they wanted a lot of money to repair the problem. I called a Portland locksmith co-worker of mine who I knew had experience with these types of vehicles before. When I got him on the phone, he said that it was a common issue with these older Mercedes since the key is made of steel and the ignition cylinder pins are made of brass which makes them wear in time causing this issue. He said that the ignition cylinder would need to be replaced.

After giving me the instructions how to do it, I took a quick ride to the dealer to get the cylinder I needed to replace. However, in order to to remove the ignition cylinder without taking apart the steering wheel component, I had to turn the ignition to the on position which didn't work because of the issue. I then had an idea to use the GM vibrating pick tool set I had to force the pins to fall at the same time I would turn the key. Fortunately, it worked and I was able to replace the ignition cylinder in no time which made the customer very happy.  

Residential Re-key Solution

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Unlocking Lexus Trunk

Portland locksmith Lexus lockout
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field, I learned that some vehicle are more accessible than others. Meaning, some vehicle models are much easier to get into than others. It mostly depends on the security system of the vehicle and what types of tools are available for the locksmith technician to do the job. Most automotive lockout calls come from customers who left the keys inside the ignition or on the driver seat of their vehicles while locking the door behind them. However, some automotive lockout calls can come from a customer who locked the keys inside the trunk and that is when things would usually become a little trickier.

Few years ago I remember getting a call for a customer who locked the keys inside the trunk of his 03 Lexus. Personally, I didn't have much experience servicing Lexus models before, but I heard that most of them will require a key made or ordered from the dealer in order to get inside the trunk in case of a lockout situation because of their advance alarm system. I didn't have any job on me that day, so I was up for the challenge.

Once I got to the customer's location, I looked up on my automotive guides for the best way to first unlock the vehicle itself and maybe I would be able to use the trunk release in order to pop the trunk. It seemed as the best way to unlock this type of vehicle was using an under the window tool. Because the vehicle was equipped with an alarm system, I knew I would have to have another hand helping me pulling the handle on the same time I would unlock the mechanism before the alarm will lock the mechanism. I had the customer give me a hand and I was able to unlock the vehicle within few minutes.

Lexus trunk lockout Portland locksmith
Next, I reached in for the trunk release, but it was not functioning which I assumed was because the alarm was now activated again. I had to give a call to a Portland locksmith co-worker of mine for some instructions on the procedure to bypass the alarm. According to him, the procedure was very simple. All I needed to do was access the door lock cylinder through a special access port. Once I had it removed, I was able to get to the security switch and activate it with a screwdriver to deactivate the alarm. Once I got the trunk open, the customer was very impressed.

Ignition Switch Repair

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