When you think of locksmiths, you probably imagine the professionals you call to help you get into your apartment or house when you lock yourself out, or possibly the people who install a safe or security solution at your business. While those services are among those a locksmith provides, automotive security is also an extremely important aspect of their business.
If you own a car, it’s probably one of the most important possessions you have, and you rely on it. Having your car stolen or being locked out of it can be much more than a minor inconvenience- it can be an expensive and stressful disaster.
We at Empire City Locksmith want to take this opportunity to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about what you should (and shouldn’t) do to keep your car safe and accessible.
Here's some information about how a skilled locksmith can help you make the best security systems choices for your home or business, too.
1. Can Locksmiths Duplicate my Car Keys?
With modern car keys containing chips and on-board electronics, many people believe that you must go to a dealership to replace lost or damaged ones. It’s often a time-consuming process if you don’t happen to have one in your neighborhood, and since you’re not there to buy a car, you’ll often be subjected to frustrating waits and minimal service.
However, a certified locksmith has access to the devices necessary to not only cut a new key but program transponders and chips to fully replace modern key sets or offer you key duplicates or damaged chips and keys.
Answer: YES. A qualified locksmith can duplicate your car keys. You don’t need to go to a dealer.
2. If my Keys Are Locked in the Car, Should I Call a Locksmith?
There’s a lot of “common knowledge” about how to deal with locking your keys in the car: try to “jimmy” the lock with a coat hanger or improvised tool, try other keys, or just break a window to get inside.
The truth is, every improvised method of entering your car without the proper tools or training runs the risk of permanent damage to your car or its locking mechanism, and repairing this damage is nearly always more costly and time-consuming than getting professional assistance.
Answer: YES. It will usually be quicker and will almost certainly be cheaper and safer to call a locksmith to gain access to your keys. Don’t damage your car attempting to force entry.
3. Do Locksmiths Need to be Licensed to Work as Automotive Locksmiths?
Here in New York City, every locksmith must be licensed, requiring them to show proof of their training, and must renew that license regularly. Only licensed locksmiths are permitted to purchase, own, or carry locksmithing tools such as those needed to help you gain access to your home, business or vehicle, or to create new keys.
There is no specific license related to automotive locksmithing; however, locksmiths can gain specialized certification in automotive locksmithing by institutions such as the Associated Locksmiths of Americato show that they have received this additional level of training.
Answer: YES. While any locksmith may offer services for automotive security, all locksmiths in NYC must be licensed to legally provide such services.
4. My Car Key Doesn’t Turn in the Ignition Switch, Should I Call a Mechanic?
If your key doesn’t turn or start the car properly, your first assumption might be that the ignition or other system of your car is damaged, requiring costly repairs. However, it’s at least as often the case that your key or the locking mechanism of your car is to blame. If your car uses a key to start the ignition, try applying a lubricant such as WD-40 and try again; if you use a key fob or other similar device to start your car, make sure the batteries are fresh.
If these methods fail, or you consistently have problems using your key, contact a locksmith first; they may be able to offer you a far less expensive and quicker solution than an auto mechanic.
Answer: NO. If the problem is just your key or other entry device, try a locksmith first. You’ll probably save a lot of money and time.
5. Are Car Locksmiths On Call 24 Hours a Day?
Not all locksmiths offer 24 hour emergency service! Some are located in areas where there is low demand for overnight service or lack the staff to offer round-the-clock availability.
Empire City Locksmith is proud to always offer 24-hour emergency service to access your home, business, or vehicle.
Answer: Sometimes. Empire City Locksmith offers emergency service day or night. Not all locksmiths can offer this service.