Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Key-less Entry Locks

Locksmith Spokane key-less entry locksAt the crossing point of comfort and security, you'll find key-less entryway lock frameworks. You've likely seen key-less lock frameworks in business applications, however they're protected, up-to-date and sufficiently reasonable to consider for home establishment also. Here you will learn more about key-less lock frameworks and choose for yourself if updating your home locks to key-less locks is the right move for you.

Key-less lock frameworks come in numerous structures. The most widely recognized is the keypad mix style, accessible using buttons or touch pad, where you can set the combination that will open your entryway. Numerous key-less lock frameworks do offer manual key override, however some electronic frameworks are without it and, at times, will give you the accommodation of checking the status of your lock framework on the web. Different choices that are available for key-less lock frameworks incorporate fobs and fingerprint scan as well which will concede access when an approved individual unique fingerprint is filtered.

Spokane locksmith keypadAt a point when searching for the right key-less entry lock framework, it is important to not overlook the ANSI grading system. This type of grading system will give you the information that you need  of how hard it will be for an intruder who will attempt to get access into your home to break the lock. ANSI grades fall into 3 classes: grade 3 locks offer an "essential" level of private security, grade 2 locks offer a "middle of the road" level of security and ANSI level 1 locks offer the most elevated private level of security conceivable. At the point when looking for another lock framework for your home, you can be sure that any lock bearing an ANSI grade has met at least the minimum quality guidelines for the rating level based on strict testing procedures.   

 Whether you're pondering changing to a key-less lock framework for your home in terms of convenience, security, or a combination of both, it's an important choice that will affect the security of your home. At Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane, we have a few options for key-less lock framework alternatives in stock and we would be glad to guide you through the procedure of picking one that is ideal for your requirements.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Automotive Ignition Services

Spokane locksmith ignition
Here at Premier NW Locksmith Spokane we offer a wide range of automotive locksmith services which includes ignition switches malfunctions as well. Understanding an ignition issue is important as many make and model vehicles will share similar causes for the malfunction. We noticed that Chrysler models for example, had the same issues occur when it came to the ignition switches of the vehicle. We were able to identify couple of repeating issues.

When there is an issue with an ignition switch, you may be able to still insert the key inside the ignition switch, but in some cases, it won't turn the ignition which in return will not start the vehicle. Most of the time, the user would think the key is at fault where in reality it will be the ignition switch.

Similar to a traditional residential door lock, an ignition switch will have small wafers inside it to accommodate a specific key that will match it. Normal wear and tear or damage are things that can cause the wafers to move out from their place which can cause the issue of operating the ignition switch. The key may not fit all the way inside the cylinder and the user will not be able to start the vehicle. Some of the time, this particular issue can be resolved without replacing the actual ignition switch by adjusting the wafers inside it.

Locksmith Spokane Chrysler ignition
As a mobile locksmith company, repairing or replacing an ignition is not the only automotive service we can offer, we also able to originate keys for most make and model vehicles in the market including Chrysler. Regular or transponder keys, our professional technicians will be able to make a key on location including programming it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Frozen Locks

Spokane locksmith frozen car lock
Spokane weather during these months of the year are not easy to deal with. Snow and ice are conditions that are no strangers to the area along with other things that may be affected by these conditions. One of the things are frozen automotive locks. Not once people that are about to leave  for work in the morning this time of the year and will be unable to unlock the door of the vehicle because the locks got frozen. However, there are several solutions that would help you deal with these types of situations.

The most common solution for a frozen lock is heat. One way to solve this type situation is to deep your key in boiling water or put it somewhere it can heat up quickly. If using boiling water, before attempting to unlock the frozen lock if using boiling water, the key should be wiped clean first. Using a lighter to heat up the key is another way that can be used.

Deicers are another good solution. they can be found almost at any store. Keeping a few cans handy would be recommended since you never know when you are going to need them and in addition they can be used for other applications as well that may have freezing issues. In order to use it on a frozen lock, a straw must be used in order to insert it inside the keyhole. After everything is setup, spray a little from the deicer and wait a couple of minutes for the material to work. Once you insert the key and jiggle, it should free the lock from the ice.

Locksmith Spokane Heating key
A material most people don't know that can do the trick in overcoming frozen locks is Vaseline. The chemical compound that is often found inside of a Vaseline can easily melt ice. You can dip the key in Vaseline and immediately insert it inside the lock. Before attempting to turn it, you should jiggle it first and do not use any force as the key might break inside the lock. Once you feel the ice was melted, you may attempt to give it a turn to unlock the door.

For information about automotive locking services, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane (509) 557-7680.

Interchangeable Core Locks

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Smart Lock Entry Systems

Locksmith Spokane Kwikset Kevo deadbolt
The frustration of losing or misplacing the keys to your home just as you arrive home is very common. Thanks to new technology in the security field, these frustrations now has a solution. Wireless entry lock systems are becoming more poplar nowadays for residential settings where no key is required in order to gain access and operate them. They are mostly come in a form of a smart lock where a connection is created between your smartphone and the lock on the front door of your home and unlock it as soon as you arrive home. There are several models form various lock manufacturers that are available in the market and can be installed and serviced by most locksmith companies.

A lot of the smart locks available in the market are fairly similar, however, some of them come with unique features. The Goji smart lock system for example that works on wireless has the ability to take a pic of anyone that get close to the front door of your home and immediately send an alert to your smartphone. In addition to smartphone access capabilities, the Goji smart lock has the option of setting an access schedule for certain users dictating when they will have access to the property.

Kwikset has also joined the revolution with their Kevo smart lock deadbolt. The Kevo enable you to gain access by tapping the lighted area on the deadbolt itself. This can be done when your smartphone is pre-connected to the lock. However, if your smartphone is not compatible with the Kevo, a key fob remote can be ordered with the lock to be used instead. Another unique feature the Kevo has is the ability to send temporary access also known as eKey to different individuals through the smartphone.

Locksmith Spokane Lockitron
The Lockitron is another cool entry system that was developed to be used with smartphones. What makes this system so unique is the fact that it goes over the existing deadbolt on the front door of your home instantly making it a smart lock that can be controlled from anywhere you are around the world. In addition, the system will send you live notifications each time the door is unlocked. And if you still weren't able to keep up with technology and don't have a smartphone, this entry system works with old cell phones too!

For more info about smart locks, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane (509) 557-7680.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Broken Key Extraction

Locksmith Spokane broken key
Coming home from work only to be denied access to your home because the key broke inside the lock can be frustrating. In these types of situations, calling a locksmith is highly recommended as further damage to the lock may occur and most likely would need the attention of a professional. However there are some things that can be attempted to resolve the situation before deciding to call a professional.

In case the key broke inside the lock, but part of it is sticking out, you are in luck! There is a good chance you will be able to pull the broken piece out by yourself using your fingernail tips or a pair of needle nose pliers. However, if the components of the cylinder are worn and you had to force the key inside which probably caused the breakage in the first place, calling a professional might be your best bet.

Broken key situations is something that can be prevented a lot of the times with few simple basic maintenance measures. Lubrication of the locks would be the first step. Not only it may prevent from the key to break inside the lock in the future, it will prolong the life of the lock as well. Just like any other mechanical mechanism, if a lock does not get the proper maintenance, it may affect the internal components inside the cylinder which will cause it to malfunction in the future. Spraying a silicone lubricant every few months should be enough.

Spokane locksmith broken key extraction
Often overlooked, but also can be a cause of a broken key situation is the key itself. Keys are often subject to a lot of abuse and can wear out at some point as well. When the keys get worn or damage, trying to operating the lock with such keys may result in them breaking inside the lock. For that reason, it is always recommended to keep a fresh spare handy at all times.

For more information about broken key extraction services, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane (509) 557-7680.

Ignition Switch Service

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Deadbolt Types

Locksmith Spokane Schlage double cylinder deadbolt
A deadbolt is a common form of security measure taken by many residential property owners. Although it is not completely "bullet-proof" against burglars, it cannot be beaten easily. If you are inquiring regarding adding or upgrading the existing deadbolt currently installed on the front or back door of your home, know that there are several types and styles available in the market.

The most common type of deadbolt you will find is a single cylinder deadbolt. They are very standard and require a key to lock or unlock the door from the exterior side while from the interior you will have a thumb-turn to control the locking status. Those types of deadbolts can be found mostly on residential applications in which there are no windows or glass near the front door as it may cause a security hazard otherwise.

The next level up in security is a double cylinder deadbolt. With this type of deadbolt, a key is require to control the locking status of the lock from both sides of the door. Those deadbolts will mostly benefit applications where there are nearby glass windows close to the door or glass inserts that are part of it. In such case, an intruder will not be able to break the glass and reach in to unlock the deadbolt from the inside. The only cons from using such deadbolt is the safety hazard it creates during an emergency where fast access out will be needed.

Spokane locksmith key-less entry deadbolt
Last but not least is a key-less entry type of deadbolt. With this type of deadbolt, a key is not required at all, but is optional in most cases. Accessibility is gained by entering a code via the keypad or touch-pad interface. The ease of access is one of the biggest advantage this type of deadbolt provides with a minor trade-off which is the price.

For more info on installation and other deadbolt services, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane (509) 557-7680.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Residential Property Lock Systems

Locksmith Spokane door knob
When it comes to residential or small commercial properties, there are a wide range of lock systems that are being used depending on the settings and security needs. Houses, apartments, student housings, offices and others all use similar types of lock systems but on different security scales and different mechanisms.

Privacy lock-sets will be common for interior use. This means that most likely no key would be necessary in order to lock or unlock the door. However, there will be a thumb-turn on the interior side of the door which will give the user control on the locking status. These types of lock-sets can be found on restrooms and bedrooms mostly. These lock-sets will come in a form of lever or door knob for easy access.

Spokane locksmith decorative handlesetMoving on to a more secure lock system is whats called an entry lock-set. These can be found on the front door of homes, apartments and even some small offices. They are widely used and very common in a double door knob form in which key is required from the exterior side and sometimes from the interior side as well. Few options are presented depending on the security needs of the user such as the ability to use a thumb-turn from the inside while a key is used on the outside, a key to be used from both sides, or even a knob that will control both the exterior and interior locking mechanism at the same time.

handle-sets are normally the more stylish and efficient security lock system available for residential settings. It will normally combine a doorknob along with a deadbolt which will come in one large unit. The user will have the option to choose between a single or a a double cylinder deadbolt to be part of the set. The handle-sets can be found in a variety of designs and styles that may add to the appearance of the front door of your home.

For more information about interior and exterior lock-sets, contact Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane (509) 557-7680.

Smartkey By Kwikset

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Decorative Locks

Locksmith Spokane decorative locks
Summer time is a time for home improvement. Many people nowadays are looking for ways to enhance the look of their home. Whether if it is from the inside or outside, every small detail counts. Although many people tend to overlook the potential a door knob or lock-set may have in increasing the appearance appeal of their home, The results of updating to a decorative design lock can be surprising.

Unlike what many home owners are thinking, a lock set can achieve a big impression even when overlooked at the beginning. In fact, lock sets and door knob create the best effect when the are not noticeable. When a decorative lock set enhance the appearance of the front door of a home, it tends to blend in with the rest of the exterior. However, when it is most noticeable, it often looked at as apiece that degrade the overall appearance of the door and the front entrance of the house in general.

Spokane locksmith decorative handle sets
If the exterior of your home has the cohesive appeal, you will not have any issues of finding handle sets or door knobs that will compliment the unique look of your home. Even if you went for the eclectic stylish look, you are sure to find a wide selection of locks and handle sets that will blend in without any issues. There are many types of decorative locks in the market to accommodate a variety of styles.

Whether you are planning in renovating the exterior of your home, or just looking to add that missing touch, updating the lock system on the front door of your home can be an inexpensive great idea! Decorative handle sets and door knobs are what differentiate between simplicity and enhanced look. Here at Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane we carry decorative lock options from the leading lock manufacturers in the industry, so there won't be any compromise on security when adding style to your home!

Automotive Key Origination

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Friday, July 17, 2015

About Pick Tools

Locksmith Spokane lock picking

Lock picks would normally come in a set of various tools as a mean to unlock a lock. There are many types of pick tool sets that are used by professional locksmith in order to accommodate most types of locks in the market. These types of tools would normally be used on tumbler or pin type cylinder locks where the tools will be used in order to lift the pins so the lock can be opened without using a key.

So when a lock would need to be picked? Many professional locksmiths in the industry are using pick tools to unlock a residential and sometimes commercial property lock applications where the customer needed a lockout service because he lost or misplaced the key. A locksmith technician would normally be able to use pick tools to unlock a lock without causing it any damage.

Lock picking Spokane locksmithIn addition to professional locksmith companies and technicians, there are many criminals who use the form of lock picking to break into homes. That is why, in many states around the country they have laws that restrict who can purchase a pick tool set and who can't. Technically in these legislated states, if you have evident or a proof for the need of a pick tool set, then you will be allowed to purchase one. On some of these states, the only people that would be allowed to own a pick tools sets are professional locksmiths and authorized law enforcement.

Commercial Exit Device Equipment Service

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Cylinder Type Locks

Kwikset cylinder lock Spokane locksmith
In most homes around the country, you will find that their front door is equipped cylinder type lock-sets. A standard lock cylinder would normally contain pins that can be changed in order to match a particular key. Once the cylinder was matched to the new key using different sized pins inside it, the key will now operate the lock successfully.

There are several advantages to having a cylinder type lock. One of them as mentioned is the fact that they can be re-keyed to fit a different cut key. This can save money instead of changing the entire lock or lock-set, a professional locksmith can simply remove the cylinder from the lock and change the combination of the pins even without removing the entire lock. In addition, a cylinder can be easily reconfigured  in order to turn it into a wafer tumbler lock or a disc tumble lock for example.

A cylinder can be used to implement a type of high security system as well such as master-key. A master-key system will typically allow you to use the same type of key on all the locks in your home. A task in which a cylinder type lock will easily allow. In a cylinder type lock for that purpose, the mechanism can be removed and set-up to adapt a master-key type system. However, if needed, the locks can be configured to use different type of keys.

For additional security, a home owner has the option to choose between a single or double cylinder type locks. In a situation where a double cylinder lock is desired, a key would be needed from both sides of the lock in order to get it opened. This option is mostly popular in homes where there is an easy access to the front door where there are windows around it. That way, an intruder won't be able to reach in and unlock the door from the inside. However, in some places in the U.S., having a double cylinder type lock is not permitted due to safety reasons in case of an emergency.

Locksmith Spokane cylinder lock
With a long list of advantages for using a cylinder type lock in your home, there are some disadvantages as well. One of the main issue with a cylinder type lock is the fact that most types can easily be picked open. Intruders normally equipped with a pick tool set can easily use it in order to force the pins inside the cylinder to the open position. Another type of method many intruders like to use on cylinder type locks is a bump key. Although it have to be from the same name brand such as Schlage or Kwikset as the targeted lock to be used on, it is normally the quickest way to unlock a cylinder type lock.

For more information about cylinder type locks and higher security solutions, give us a call or visit Premier NorthWest Locksmith Spokane.

Lock Repair Service

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Everest lock Fix

Locksmith Spokane Schlage Everest
In the lock business, each manufacture would use its own design for a lock or cylinder. Although most types of residential locks would seem to be the same, the internal design would be different. For the average locksmith technician most types of residential locks are serviced in the same way regardless of the manufacturer, but it would mostly depend on the type of line. For a standard line of locks such as the type that could be found in an apartment complex property, the design would be very similar between a Schlage and a Kwikset type of lock. However, for the average locksmith technician, the problem in servicing a particular type of lock will begin when the lock is unique and uncommon which most likely will require a special care.

I got a call the other day from a customer who just came back to his home but was having trouble getting his key inside the lock in order to unlock the door. The customer seem pretty certain he was using the right key, so I figured that either the key was bad or the lock was badly contaminated. Either way, talking to the customer on the phone, it didn't seem it would be too difficult of an issue to resolve.

Once I got to the customer's home I wanted to see first what type of lock the customer had and looked like it was a Schlage Everest which was not very common and my first ever to work on. I then took a look at the key and it didn't seem to be worn out which made me believe the lock may be contaminated. After spraying some lock lubrication inside the lock, I made an attempt to insert the key inside the lock but still without any success.

Spokane locksmith Schlage Everest
I called a Spokane locksmith co-worker of mine to see if he had any info regarding that particular lock and according to him, it was a common issue. The key-way on these locks get easily damaged from inserting the key in the wrong way repeatedly. The solution was very simple. All I needed to do was take a proper Everest blank and use it like a "bump key" until it will reform the distorted area allowing the key to be inserted smoothly again.

Automotive Re-key Service

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Schlage Double Cylinder Deadbolt

Locksmith Spokane Schlage deadbolt
As a locksmith technician, I feel there is a big difference between servicing a residential type lock and a commercial type one. Usually, commercial grade locks will be much more heavy duty than residential type ones even though they may look similar at times. Most beginner locksmith technicians normally do not provide much services for commercial grade locks as these type require a little more skills, knowledge and special tools. However, sometimes, even the experienced locksmith technician will run into a particular commercial type lock that will puzzle him to find a solution.

I got a call recently from a local restaurant where the manager wanted to re-key all the locks in the restaurant to match one key. Normally, most restaurants are equipped with commercial grade standard locks and since I had enough experience servicing these types of locks, I didn't hesitate much to take the job. However, I did realize that it might be a few hours gig since the restaurant manager mentioned that there were about 6 doors with locks to re-key.

Once I got to the restaurant, the first thing I checked was the type of locks that doors had installed on. By what I've seen, all the door were equipped with a standard commercial grade Schlage lever handle and a deadbolt. I started taking apart all the locks to prepare them for a re-key. It took me few hours to complete the re-key and put all the locks back together, but when I was done, the manager said I forgot one door which was the door to his office.

Schlage deadbolt locksmith Spokane
The door to his office had a type of Schlage double cylinder deadbolt that I was not familiar with and probably was more high security than the other locks I re-keyed. When I asked why did he had a double cylinder deadbolt installed, he said that it was because of the safe in his office. As I examined the lock, I couldn't find any way that I could remove it in order to do a re-key on the cylinder.There was no retainer screw that I could find holding the cylinders together. I then called a Spokane locksmith co worker of mine to see if he had any experience with this type of lock before and luckily he did. Apparently, the inside cylinder had a plate over the retaining screws which explained why I could not locate them. All I needed to do was removing the plate to access the screws. Once I did that, it didn't take very long to finish re-keying that lock as well.

Commercial Lockout Services

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jaguar Trunk Lockout

Locksmith Spokane Jaguar XJ6
As a locksmith technician, I find that vehicles from different years and different manufacturers all have different kind of tricks to deal with when servicing them. For the average locksmith technician, automotive services is a significant part of the job. It is very difficult to learn all the different tricks and methods to do multiple services on different vehicles year make and model such as lockouts, ignition work, or making a key. Luckily, there are many manuals available to help the average locksmith technician to provide those services. However, what will happen if the answer a technician need will not be in the manual?

I remember few years ago I got a call from a customer who locked his keys inside the trunk of his 86 Jaguar XJ6. After doing a quick review in the manual regarding the best way to approach the problem, I came to determine that the best way would be to make a a new key. The problem with this old model was that it didn't have any trunk release to pop the trunk, and picking it was almost impossible. After closing with the customer regarding the possible solution and cost, I was heading his way.

Once I got to the customer's location, before going through the process of making a key, I tried picking the trunk lock, but without any success. Something just didn't feel right with the cylinder, but I figured it was because I was trying to pick it and not because it had an issue. I then started going through the process of disassembling the door lock in order to read the stamped code. After I had the code, I was able to cut the key. However, as I was trying to unlock the trunk lock, I felt something was loose which prevented me from unlocking the trunk.

Jaguar XJ6 Spokane locksmith
Since using a key was the only possible way to unlock the trunk, I had to think outside the box to solve this one. I called a Spokane locksmith co worker of mine to see if he had any previous experience with that type of vehicle. According to him, there was another way to pop the trunk open which did not involve much for the process. What I needed to do was removing the license plate and remove the rubber strips that were separating between the plate and the bumper. Once they were off, I detected a hole that gave me a direct access with a long screwdriver to the trunk latch. After accessing the latch with the screw driver, I was able to unlock the trunk.

Residential Lock Re-key

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ford Ignition Cylinder Solution

Locksmith Spokane Ford F150
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field there were many times I ran into common issues with certain vehicle makes and models. The issues will mostly be related to the ignition system of the vehicle. Whether if its the switch, cylinder, key, or all 3, I found that there is a solution around for most issues. However, many times, these types of issues can throw the beginner locksmith technician off track chasing solutions that not only will add the cost to the service, but also most likely wont solve anything.

One time I remember getting a call from a customer who had some issues with getting the key to work the ignition switch of his 98 Ford F-150. According to him he recently had a hard time removing and inserting the key to the ignition switch. Back then, I did not have much experience working with vehicles' ignition switches, but for me it didn't seem such a big deal, I figured that the cylinder probably just needed cleaning inside it.

The first thing I did once I got to the customer's location was grabbing a bottle of WD-40 and a key blank to assist me with the cleaning process of the cylinder. After I finished the cleaning process, I noticed that there was no improvement in the function of the key with the ignition cylinders. Before making other conclusions, I decided to call a Spokane locksmith co-worker of mine to see if he had any insights regarding the issue at hand.

Ford F150 locksmith Spokane
According to my co-worker, this type of issue was very common with Ford 10 cut ignitions. Apparently the ears on the switch tend to become loose from constant force being applied using the key when operating the ignition. He mentioned that there was no official fix for this type of problem, so the plug would need to be replaced with a new unit which meant I had to go to the dealer and see if they had one in stock. Unfortunately they didn't have the part I needed in stock and since the customer could not wait few days for the part to arrive, I went with an aftermarket cylinder plug which tuned out to be more rigid and according to the customer the issue did not came back.  

Automotive Broken Key Extraction

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Unlocking a Lexus

Spokane locksmith Lexus lockout
Lockout services are probably the majority of work an average locksmith technician will do throughout his career. Most of the lockout services most likely will be automotive. Unlocking a a vehicle can vary from vehicle to vehicle. In fact, there are some models in the market that are almost impossible to unlock. There are many types of specialty tools a locksmith will use in order to unlock a vehicle depending on the model. However, not all the time the intended specialty tool will help.

I had a customer called a while back claiming he locked the keys inside the vehicle by mistake. The vehicle was a 95 Lexus. I've done many types of vehicles before, but never a Lexus. Figuring there was a first time for everything, I decided to take the job, got the customer's info and headed his way. Once I got to the customer's location, I reviewed some of the automotive material I had to see what would be the best tool using to unlock this type of vehicle and it seemed that it called for an under-the -window tool.

Even though an under-the-window tool can be a tricky tool to use at times, I had a lot of practice using it, so I knew I won't have any issues using it this time as well despite the fact I did not work on a Lexus model before. I immediately started working on the vehicle and after couple minutes of manipulating the tool through the door and inside the vehicle, I was able to access the door lock. However, each time that I tried unlocking it, it quickly locked itself not giving me a chance to open the door.

Lexus lockout Spokane locksmith
Since picking the locks were not an option due to the fact this vehicle had high security locks, I decided to give a call to a Spokane locksmith co-worker of mine for a little advice. After getting him on the phone and telling him the story, he said that the reason the vehicle kept locking itself each time I tried unlocking it was because the alarm was armed and that there was no way to disarm it. The only option I had he said was having the customer pull the handle as soon as I used the tool to unlock the door lock. After making couple attempts unlocking the vehicle with the help of the customer, the door finally opened!

File Cabinet Lockout Service

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Old Wood Lock Install

Decorative Latch Spokane locksmith
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience, I found myself often having to improvise on a job. As a locksmith technician coming to do a job you can never control of what you have to work with. Meaning, whether if its a vehicle, or a residential/commercial property it seem that there will always be surprises which will force the average technician to improvise on the job.

A few years ago I remember getting a call from a customer who just bought an old house and wanted to make an upgrade to the lock and latch that were installed on the front door. It seemed like he wanted something decorative that would compliment the theme of the house. After getting all the information I needed from him, I started heading the customer's way, but not before making a quick stop at the locksmith shop to get some decorative locks, so the customer would have multiple options to choose from.

Once I got to the customer's address, he showed me around to get a feel of what he wanted for the front and back door of his new home. After showing him all the options and coming to a decision, I grabbed my tools from the van and started disassembling the locks from the front and back door. Once the old locks were out, it was time for the new ones to be installed.

Spokane locksmith decorative latch
Starting with the front door which went fairly quick, I moved to the back door where issues started to arise. After getting the latches in place, it seemed that I couldn't get bot the latch and door strike screws to be locked tight. I was not surprised as the house seemed old and the door including the frame wood did not seem to be in the best shape. I then figured that if I'm gonna use longer screws it will solve the problem, but it didn't.

I decided to make a call to a Spokane locksmith co-worker of mine. Once I was able to get him on the phone and explained the situation, he advised me looking into drywall screws from the local hardware store. According to him, the heads on these screws are small enough not to stick out and they are very long which will help grip into solid wood. After running to the local hardware store really quick and grabbing few of these screws, I was able to complete the lock installation successfully.  

Residential Lockout Services in Spokane

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Key Extraction

Mortise locks Spokane locksmith
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field, I don't get to do much lock work, but when I do, it mostly due to a misuse by the customer. There were many times where I had to come and repair a lock from one reason or another because it was not maintained well, or the customer just used the wrong key. Sometimes, the key got broken inside the lock which made things a little harder. Most average locksmith technicians can do broken key extraction without damaging a lock, but there are exceptions which will be depend on the situation as well.

I remember years ago getting called close to the late hours of the night by a lady who claimed that her key got stuck inside the lock. She could not give me much information, but I figured it should not be that bad, and I would be able to resolve the issue in no time. However, as I got to her home and did a quick review of the situation, I came to determine that she was using the wrong key. According to her what happen was, she tried to unlock the door using that key without realizing it was the wrong one. Although she was able to unlock and opened the door, she could not seem to pull the key out

Spokane locksmith mortise lock
The lock was an old Mortise type lock and the key she was using to try and open it was a bit key. By what she told me, it seemed like the main bolt somehow got pushed back after unlocking the door which caused the key to get stuck. I figured I could probably just break the key, remove the broken piece and repair the lock, but according to the customer, that particular key was the only one she had that opened other doors inside her home.

Not knowing what to do at this point, I called a fellow Spokane locksmith of mine to tell him the story and hoping for a helpful advice. Once I had the chance to give him the full story, he said that my only option at that point avoiding damage to the key or lock is drilling a small hole into the center of the bolt, screw in a tap and pull it out. Once I did that, it seem that the key was free and I was able to remove it without any issues. I then checked the lock for proper operation with the original key successfully.

Automotive Ignition Broken Key Extraction

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ford Probe Key Origination

Ford Probe key Spokane locksmith
Originating a key for a vehicle is a fairly simple task most of the time for the experienced locksmith technician. With so many year, make and model vehicles in the market from different manufactures it is hard at times to keep track of all the different ways that are available for a professional locksmith to make a key. Most of the times, the door lock or ignition cylinder would need to be removed in order to retrieve a unique code that will allow the technician to originate the key. However, sometimes things will not go as smooth and an nontraditional solution would be required.

A while back I got a call from a customer who lost the keys to his 94 Ford Probe. I rarely got to service these types of models, but I knew that it would be the same key for the door lock and the ignition which meant I would need to remove either or in order to get the stamped code to make the new key. Thinking I had the solution figured out, I decided to accept the job, took the customer's information and was heading on my way.

When I got to the customer's home (where the car was parked), I reviewed my options again in order to originate a key for the customer. Normally, removing the ignition cylinder in order to get the stamped code would be much preferred. However, in that particular situation where the original key was not available, it meant that the ignition cylinder would need to be picked and I knew it may take a while since its a 10 cut ignition. I decided to go with my other option which was removing the door lock.

As I began removing the studs that hold the door panel, I noticed couple of them were giving me a hard time and didn't want to come out. Failure to remove those studs meant I would not be able to remove the door panel and access the door lock to get the code, but after about 10 minutes of trying, I finally gave up and started looking for another solution. The only option I could think of at that point was drilling the ignition and put another one, but before doing that, I figured I should make a call for a fellow Spokane locksmith technician of mine for an advice.

Spokane locksmith Ford Probe
After getting him on the phone, he mentioned something that I didn't know. Apparently, if I rolled down  the door window of the vehicle all the way down, I would have a clear look at the door lock and the stamped code should be visible as well. After finishing the conversation, I started rolling the driver's side window down and I was able to see the cylinder, but it seem a little dirty, so I couldn't get a clear view of the code. I had to take a small piece of rag and use a long bar I had to get to the cylinder and wipe the dirt off with the rag and the code was visible enough for me to originate a new working key for the customer.

Commercial Key-Less Entry Lock

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Monday, January 26, 2015

A Lockout Service?

Spokane locksmith lockout service
Sometimes I feel that 50% of the jobs I get as a mobile locksmith technician are lockout services. Most of the times when a customer calls where he or she has been locked out of the car for example, you get the feel that they called a professional locksmith only as a last resort. Meaning, they wasted time and effort figuring out how to unlock their vehicle without having to spend any money and call a professional locksmith.

I got a call the other day from a customer who was locked out of his vehicle. Apparently, she left the keys in the ignition and without realizing she did that, she locked the doors behind her. The vehicle was an early 90's Toyota Corolla. I accepted the job and was heading over to the location of the vehicle. Since I already had much experience opening this type of vehicle, within two minutes the car was already unlocked and the customer was able to get her keys back. She was surprised into how fast I was able to open the vehicle and the fact that it costed less than a $100. She then decided to tell me the following story about her friend who has a 2011 Chevy Camaro and got locked out of his vehicle last week.

As the story began, she asked me if we provide lockout services for newer vehicles as well and I responded that we obviously do. Then she started telling her about her friend getting stuck with his Camaro last week and how his dad had to drive for an hour to get him the spare key, so he could open the vehicle because he was positive that a professional locksmith wouldn't be able to unlock a new-ish vehicle such as that. When I asked what was the reason he would think something like that, she mentioned that the mall security guard who came to try and unlock the vehicle with his Slim Jim tool, was not able to do that and claimed that this tool was what most professional locksmith technicians used to unlock vehicles.

Locksmith Spokane lockout service
As she finished the story with the last sentence, I started laughing and said to her that true professional locksmith technicians have many specialty type tools in which they use to open various types of makes and models. I also mentioned that most locksmiths constantly keep themselves updated with all the latest technology tools and newer vehicle make and models, so they can keep up with all the changes that are made as the technology progresses. I finished by giving her few of my business cards, so she can pass one to her friend in case he would ever get stuck again.

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Residential Broken Key Extraction

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Midget Key Origination

Midget locksmith Spokane
Key origination service for a locksmith technician can go the easy way or sometimes the hard way. Depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle, for most vehicles produced since the late 90's a key can be made from scratch by retrieving a unique code using the vehicle's VIN number. However, on the older models, one of the ways to retrieve that special code to make a new key is by taking apart the ignition cylinder, door, or trunk lock in which the code will be engraved on it. The other option is impression a key which I would usually try to avoid as this method has its flaws.  

I got a call the other day from a customer who needed a key made for his 77 MG Midget vehicle. When I looked at my key origination locksmith book, it was mentioned that both the ignition and the door keys lack the code on them which meant I would have to take some stuff apart to reveal the codes and make the keys. I did not have many jobs on me that day, so I decided to accept it and was headed to the customer's address.

Once I got to the customer's house and ran a quick evaluation of the situation with the vehicle, I figured I could probably make the door key using the code that is on the glove box lock which may be much easier to take off than the door lock. From when I started working on the glove box, the lock was already in my hand within a minute and I was able to retrieve 3 digits. The code book I had mentioned a specific series model and tried that in addition to the 3 digits I retrieved and I was able to make the door lock key without further issues.

Spokane locksmith Midget keys
Next step was making the ignition key which was a little bit trickier since the ignition and the door lock keys initially have different cuts which meant I had to take apart some of the steering column in order to get to the lock mountain plate where I was able to read the code from. I was able to retrieve 3 digits, however, the book called for a 4 digit code starting with either series 2 or 3. Having only one key blank in stock, I didn't want to take my chances and decided to call another Spokane locksmith fellow of mine for advice.

Once I got him on the phone, he recalled doing couple of this type of vehicle and could swear to me it was most likely a series 2 key.  I went ahead and tried adding the 2 series digit to the other 3 digits I was able to pull from the ignition and it seem to work perfectly fine. It saved me a lot of time trying to impression in order to make the ignition key and by saving me the hassle of wasting the only blank I had in my possession.

Automotive Lockout Service in Spokane

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Simplex Code Recovery

As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field you tend to appreciate most jobs. The jobs that I find to be the most lucrative come mostly from commercial property customers. Sometimes these jobs tend to be difficult as the lock systems are much more complex and hard to work with, but the pay is always good. In recent years i watched as many key-less entry lock system got there way into small and big local businesses. These lock systems seem fairly easy to work with even when there is a problem of some sort.

I recently got called from a company that had a Simplex key-less entry lock system installed. Apparently, they have just moved to that location and quickly forgot the combination to the lock. Luckily, I had some experience with Simplex type locks in the past, so I knew exactly what to do in that situation.

I started the work by removing the combination panel from the lock followed by the staked cover. The distant between the gates on the wheel and the locking slide plate location would be the hint to recover the combination. The first gate that was the farthest from the slide plate pointed out to the first digit and the next one pointed to the others in order. Once all the gates were aligned under the slide plate, I was able to reveal the combination. The manager who contacted me was very pleased from the fact I saved them from changing the lock and even gave me a tip when the job was done.

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About Exit Sevices

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