Questions People Commonly Ask a Locksmith

Posted on: 8 December 2015

Locksmiths offer a variety of services beyond just making you new keys to replace ones that are lost or stolen, including fixing your ignition and repairing your vehicle's transponder key if it malfunctions. If you have never hired a locksmith before but you want to know more about the key services that they provide, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What Is a Key Code?—When you lose your car keys, the first question a locksmith might ask is if you have access to the key code. This is a code that the original manufacturer of your vehicle used to make your car key. The key code is typically obtainable by contacting the dealership where you purchased the vehicle. In some instances, it may also be in your owner's manual or on the sales documents you received when you bought your car. Having the key code will save you money, because it allows a locksmith to duplicate your keys without having to travel to the location of your vehicle to size the key based on the configuration of your lock.

What Is the Issue When My Key Is Getting Stuck in the Lock?—When you have to force your keys into a lock, or if you have to jiggle the key before it slips into the lock and then your key gets stuck, that's typically a sign that the lock cylinder pins are damaged and need replacing. As the cuts on your key rub against the worn pins, your key will become thinner and more brittle, which often results in the key sticking in the lock. If your key is getting stuck more often, have a locksmith duplicate the key before it gets permanently stuck in the lock, which may require you to buy an entirely new lock mechanism.

How Is a Rekey Different from Duplicating a Key?—Rekeying is a process in which a locksmith changes the cylinder locking components of your doors so that your old keys can no longer open those doors. Rekeying is common when you move into a new flat or home, and it's more cost-effective than replacing all the locks. Instead of removing all the existing locks and installing new ones, locksmiths simply change the configuration of the tumblers in the existing lock and then make a new key to open that lock. If you suspect someone stole your keys, rekeying assures you that those old keys can't open the newly installed tumblers in your existing locks.