Money Saving Tips for Your Car Locks & Keys

Own or Buying a Car? This Information Will Save You Money

As Arizona’s verified top rated Phoenix Locksmith, we get frequent calls concerning auto locks, ignitions and remotes. Based on our years of service, here are some tips to help save you money on automotive locksmith work both now and in the future.

For Vehicles You Already Own:


1. Make a copy of your car key…quickly.

Losing your only car key is going to cost you money, a lot of money. Getting another made can be done by using your VIN or by pulling locks and originating a key. The VIN method is less expensive but only works if your certain your ignition has never been replaced. Pulling locks or the ignition is labor intensive and more expensive.

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VATS keys, like many older GM models, will be the most expensive to replace. VATS keys have a specific value and that value will need to be “found” by cutting the various keys…and they’re not inexpensive. Newer car models have transponder keys. These are keys with electronic components built into the head of the key. They can cost hundreds of dollars when the remote access is built in, and your car needs to be programmed to recognize them. That means an auto locksmith will need to goto your vehicle to do the job. If you car has a laser cut key, most likely you’ll be towing your car to the dealer. Only a very small number of locksmiths have the tools to originate laser cut keys. A dealer laser key can cost over $400. ACME is one of the few that can originate laser cut keys for much less than the dealer, and we’ll come to your location to do it.

Here’s a great tip. Even for cars with transponder keys you can get a good old fashion mechanical key made. That key won’t start the ignition but it will insure you are never locked out of your vehicle. The mechanical key contains the cuts for your car. Should you lose your last working key, a locksmith won’t have to pull your locks to make a new one. They’ll simply copy the mechanical key to a transponder key blank and program the key to the vehicle.

2. Key Starting to Stick When it Turns the Ignition.

This could be two issues. Keys, like any other product, will wear out. Eventually, you’ll start to see those nice crisp cuts smooth out to look more like hills than mountains. When they wear enough, it will stop opening locks. One day, you’ll goto your car and the key will no longer turn the ignition. An automotive locksmith can figure out the original cuts, and cut one that’s factory-fresh. Keep this key in a drawer so that you always have a fresh key available to copy.

The other potential problem is that your ignition might be failing. The wafers do eventually bend and break and like with the key wearing out, you will one day be stranded. No worries though. ACME Locksmith can fix both of these issues.

For Vehicles You’re Buying

1. Keep The Little Metal Tag That Came With The Keys.

The tag contains a code to tell locksmiths the cuts of the key. This way, the auto locksmith can always make a key without having to pull any locks.

2. Get at Least Two Key Copies when Buying the Car, Preferably More.

First, you’ll have a spare key handy, but second, some vehicles have a maximum number of key copies that can be programmed to the car. If the maximum number of keys is exceeded, the car’s computer has to be flashed. This has to be done by a dealer and is very expensive.

Other Tips

1. Get the ACME Locksmith Free Car Unlock Decal.

2. Fords allow you to add and program up to two additional keys yourself so long as you have two working keys already. Should you not have two, they’ll need to be programmed by a locksmith and Fords require two keys to do the programming. So if you’ve lost all your keys, you’ll be buying two.

3. Need a new door or trunk lock? Locksmiths sell and install all car locks. We can also key them up so they work off of your existing keys.

4. Only keep a few keys on your key ring. Many ignitions contain wafers. A heavy key ring will make the wafers wear out more quickly. Once worn, the ignition will either not turn over or it won’t let you know how to pull your key out of it. If you have a lot of keys to various padlocks on your keyring, you can buy padlocks that work off of your auto key. Pretty cool, hey?

5. Keys stolen? ACME Locksmith can rekey your locks so that the old key will no longer open or run your vehicle. We can also remove the old remotes from the system so whoever took the keys won’t be able to unlock your car. See a complete list of ACME’s Phoenix Auto Locksmith Services“.