You might have encountered instances when your car’s key gets lost, broken, or damaged.
A locksmith help makes a duplicate key for your vehicle even when the original key is not available.
You may wonder how he designs such a duplicate key for your car, even without seeing the original key. Typically he adopts several ways to craft the car’s key in such cases. These are:
1- Cracking the code
In this method, the locksmith will disassemble the whole lock, crack the code and then create a key exactly resembling the original but yet opening the lock.
This method is called cracking the code, i.e., deciphering the pins of the lock that go to make up the lock’s code.
The pins in the lock may have different lengths and are of different orders, but they are unique for a particular lock.
The locksmith’s dexterity lies in understanding the lengths and orders and then creating the correct duplicate.
2- Cut metal to make a car key
The car key code is typically on a tag or sticker attached to your ignition key. If you have the key code for your car, a locksmith can cut a new key using that.
Many locksmiths will be able to match your key code to an existing key simply by cutting a piece of metal.
However, since the process is precise, it needs a high-end key-cutting machine where the metal is loaded manually to get you a lost car key replacement.
The car identification number is then sent to the machine using a code reader. The machine begins biting off the metal to match the decoded pattern from the key code reader.
If your locksmith is using a key-cutting machine, check the keys for accuracy after it comes out of the machine, and compare them to your original key.
3- Creating impressions of the levers/ pins
The other method involves making an impression of the lock concerned.
You may see that here he does not need to crack any code, but he will insert a blank key in the concerned lock and rotate the key at different angles/ directions multiple times.
He continues till the impressions of the pins/ levers conform to the original one and are capable of opening the particular lock.
This process requires a good amount of experience on the part of the locksmith.
How Much Does a Locksmith Cost to Make a Car Key?
The cost of a locksmith to make a car key varies depending on the make and model of your car.
Expect to pay anywhere from $50-$100 to get your car locks picked.
In general, it is cheaper to rekey locks than replace them. However, there are situations where replacing the lock may be the better option.
For example, if a lock is severely damaged, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than try to rekey it.
Can a Locksmith Open a Locked Car Door Without a Key?
If you have locked your keys inside your car, a locksmith can help get them out by opening a locked car door in minutes.
In most cases, they will use a unique slim jim tool to open the door. This tool is inserted into the space between the door and the window and then used to push up the lock button.
The process of opening a car door without a key is simple.
- First, the locksmith will use the slim jim tool to wedge the door open
- Then, he inserts a long rod into the car and hooks it onto the lock button
- Once the button is hooked, he will pull on the rod until the lock pops open
Some newer cars have electronic keys that can be programmed to open the doors.
A locksmith can still help you get into your car if you have one of these keys by using a unique device that reads the code on the key and then creates a duplicate key.
A locksmith can also help reprogram a car computer. In fact, many new cars require a locksmith to program the computer to replace or duplicate the transponder key that has a built-in transponder chip.
In many cases, a locksmith can also make a car key from the VIN which is a common practice in the automotive locksmith industry.
Locksmiths have different ways of making duplicate car keys without the original.
The most common method they use is by taking apart your car’s door lock and using that to make an imprint of the key.
This is just one of the ways locksmiths can help you if you’ve lost your car keys. If you ever find yourself in this situation, be sure to call a locksmith for assistance.
Ask for the estimates, and compare prices, experiences, and expertise to get the service that suits your budget. Also, the license makes the locksmiths trustworthy so never forget to check the license of the locksmith you choose.
Based in Orem (Utah) John Paterson graduated from Utah Valley University and has begun writing in 2009. He has a large wealth of experience in writing articles related to cars, automotive repair, wheels, cleaning/maintenance, and much more. He has also written instructional articles in a similar niche for a few online publications as well. Currently, he works as a mechanic in his personal garage shop where he loves serving his countrymen from his heart.