Answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to the Industry?
We have compiled a list of the most popular questions people ask. Our team of experienced locksmiths have taken the time out to answer the following questions. Please find your answer below to the most popular locksmith questions.
How much does a locksmith service cost?
A:Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Every company has different rates, however what all companies have in common is quoting "starting prices”. This is common practice in most service industries for the simple reason that a technician has to assess what parts will need to be replaced, and how much time the job will take.
What to do if a locksmith breaks my lock?
A: In many lockout situations where a locksmith uses a power drill to gain entry to the property, the locksmith would normally drill out just the lock cylinder, not the lock. The simple solution would be to have a lock cylinder replaced, this is less expensive than changing the entire lock and will usually take less time.
How many locks should I have on my door?
A: Its customary to have 2 locks on your door. Generally, you’ll have a door knob on the bottom which will latch your door shut for safety. On top, its recommended to have a deadbolt which will act as your primary security.
Which color locks should I choose?
A: Choosing the finish of a lock is the fun part of being a consumer. It's your preference, but if you're not sure here's a quick industry standard tip. For residential applications, the industry standard is a polished brass finish (US3). On commercial applications, the standard choice is satin chromium (US26D). There are many other finishes available, especially when dealing with higher end door hardware such as Baldwin, Emtek and Von Morris.
How to determine the handing of my door?
A: Simple, stand on the exterior facing your door. If the hinges are on the right then you have a right-handed door (RH). If the hinges are on the left then its a left-handed door (LH).
What is a lock backset?
A: A backset in the locksmith industry refers to the measurement from the bevel side of the door to the center of the bored hole. Industry standard measurements for residential applications are 2 ⅜”, and for commercial are 2 ¾”. However, there are exceptions, so make sure to check well with your measuring tape.
I need a new car key should I choose the dealership or a locksmith?
A: While the dealership may be slightly cheaper on the cost of the key, the programming fees will remain the same and sometimes higher with the dealership. Most importantly, you may have to tow your car to the dealership, wait a few hours, and possibly rent a loaner car if you can’t wait. An emergency automotive locksmith will come down to your location within an hour and make you a car key replacement in little time. Additionally, locksmiths are usually available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Which locks are the best?
A: The best locks are usually the ones that work best with your door setup. Generally, locksmiths will always recommend high security locks, which provide pick resistance, bump resistance, and offer some type of key duplication control. Some of the brands which manufacture these types of locks are Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, and Schlage.
What is a rekey?
A: Rekeying your lock cylinder changes the key code to another code by repining the cylinder. This process will disallow the old key access and give access only to the new key. The locksmith will remove the cylinder from the lock, then remove the plug from the cylinder. Then the locksmith will remove the bottom pins in the plug and replace them with new ones to match the new, already cut key. Once all the parts are reassembled your lock is rekeyed.
Does my key have a chip in it?
A: Most car brands, foreign and domestic, after the year 2000, will have a transponder chip key to start the vehicle. A transponder chip key, referred to as a "chip key”, needs to be programmed into the vehicle's ECU in order to ignite. This is in addition to cutting the key blade.
What is a key code?
A: A key code is a set of alphanumeric digits that tell the locksmith what the key bittings are. The key bitting is a set of numbers which determine the depth of each key cut. Key codes are pulled out from the auto manufacturers only by licensed locksmiths, dealerships and licensed repossession companies.
How will a locksmith cut my new car keys?
A: All automotive locksmiths are fully equipped with the right tools and knowledge to cut and program most car keys. Locksmiths are mobile and carry this equipment in their vans.
Can I get a new car key or door locks replaced today?
A: Yes, Amerikey provides 24-hour mobile locksmith service, therefore, we usually respond to service calls within the hour and get the job done.
Can my lock be picked?
A: Lock picking is an art as much as it is a skill. Many of the cheaper type of locks may be able to be picked by a skillful locksmith, however, there are many cases when even basic locks aren’t pickable. This might occur when high pins and low pins are adjacent to each other. Picking a lock does not take more than 2 minutes, so if it's taking the locksmith longer, most likely it cannot be picked. Additionally, high security locks cannot be picked.
Will my old car key work if I find it?
A: Generally, it's recommended to have all existing keys erased from the vehicle's ECU for the simple reason that if someone other than you finds it, they can’t drive off with your vehicle. However, if you do ask the locksmith not to erase them, than your old key will work, unless the programming of the new key requires the removal of the old codes. This is common in Hondas. Remember, your old key will still work mechanically.
Can my trunk be popped open?
A: In most vehicles, you can open your trunk if your car door is opened. In cases where the car door is locked and you locked you car keys in the trunk, the locksmith will first open your car door and pull the lever or press the trunk release button, but your car must have a charged battery in order for an electronic trunk release button to work.