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There are a few things that are more frustrating than finding that you have locked your keys in your car. It can signal a bad day when you have somewhere to be and can’t access your vehicle. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be tempted to try to use a coat hanger or another item as a slim jim to try and unlock your car. Unless you have the skills needed to do this properly, however, you could risk damaging the components inside your door or breaking the window. In this situation, the best thing to do is to call an automotive locksmith service.

An automotive locksmith has the tools and skills required to safely unlock your door and get you back on the road. In an industry that has grown more complex due to changing technology, auto locksmiths can help you with all things car key and security related. Aside from unlocking your car, there are a few more reasons why you might consider the services of an auto locksmith. Let’s look at some of the things that a good automotive locksmith can do.

Unlock Cars

The thing that most auto locksmiths are known for is unlocking your vehicle. However, if your keys are locked in your car, how does a locksmith get into your car? There are several strategies that an automotive locksmith might use to help you break into your car. Based on your vehicle and the type of locking system, this process can vary. The most common way a locksmith gets back into your car is the old-fashioned way by “jimmying” the car lock open. This involves sliding a slim jim or thin piece of metal between the window and the rubber seal on the car door to access the lock. This process works best with older cars that use real keys and don’t have advanced security systems.

The process is more technical for newer cars with complex security systems and key fobs instead of real keys. Cars without traditional keys usually rely on keyless remote entry. A locksmith will have to reprogram the code using special equipment for these types of vehicles. Once the code has been reprogrammed, you can access the vehicle.

Remove Broken Keys

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While unlocking cars is a major part of an automotive locksmith’s job, other services are also offered. Car keys can become brittle and become susceptible to natural wear over time. Although it doesn’t happen very often, occasionally, car keys can break off inside the lock or ignition and can be very difficult to remove. Locksmiths have key extraction tools and kits that can attach to the key and remove it. Broken keys can be difficult to remove, and trying to do it yourself can worsen the situation. Auto locksmiths are trained to help you solve this problem.

Duplicate Keys

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An automotive locksmith also has the tools and technology to make duplicate and replacement car keys. There are two types of car keys that most vehicles use. The first is a traditional key that isn’t attached to a fob or electrical piece. These keys are similar to your residential keys and are easily duplicated or replaced. This process is pretty straightforward and involves the locksmith cutting a new key.

Transponder keys with fobs are a little more tricky to duplicate and are usually more expensive to have made. Many of these keys have chips in them that are programmed for your specific car. Without being able to read the code programmed in the chip, your car’s ignition will not start. An auto locksmith can reprogram keys or make new ones for your vehicle with specialized equipment.

Investing in roadside assistance will ensure that you can locate a good auto locksmith when you need them. If you are locked out or in another situation with your car keys, a good locksmith will usually be able to help.