Damaged Ignition Cylinder Or Broken Housing Gears?

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Has your key all of a sudden stopped turning in your ignition? This happens occasionally and there are a few different events that could have caused it. The most common reasons ignitions all of a sudden stop turning are (1) stuck wafers, (2) broken wafers, (3) exploded spring caps and (4) broken ignition housing gears.

This specific blog post is going to discuss scenario (4) broken ignition housing gears. But first let’s quickly cover the first three option.

1) A stuck wafer can typically be unstuck. Then we remove and clean the cylinder and wafer. This is common in Chrysler ignitions.

2) A broken wafer typically requires the ignition to be drilled out and the wafer or lock cylinder to be replace. This is common in high security Honda 4 tracks. A different article will be devoted to this topic.

3) Exploded Spring Caps: if we can remove the cylinder without damage we can replace. More often than not we need to drill it our and replace.

Ok now, for scenario (4) a broken ignition house gears, lets start with the symptoms. The key and ignition all of a sudden stops working. Now, typically, we can check the first three options first. Here is the catch, when the lock is in place, we cannot always tell if it is one of the first three scenario’s or the last one. We have to first remove the ignition cylinder from the housing to separate and see if the problem is in the key and ignition cylinder or if it is in the ignition gears in the housing.

So, once the lock is removed, if the key and lock cylinder does not turn, it is more than likely the first three scenario’s. If the key and cylinder do turn outside the housing, than it is likely the ignition gears in the housing. We can check the ignition gears manually.

If the ignition gears in the housing are broken or jammed, the ignition housing has to be replaced. If this is the case, this job just became outside our normal scope of work and competency and we recommend you take the vehicle to an auto mechanic or dealer to replace the necessary parts. The good news it that your existing key and ignition cylinder still work and are available to put pack in with your new housing.

We have seen ignition gears break or stick on GM’s and BMW’s. It is also possible to happen on other vehicles.

We realize this is a very specific situation and scenario and hope it helps the few who need to understand it. Stay turned for more about scenarios 1,2 & 3.

Warning: After Market Radios can effect Key Programming

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This weeks blog post is about an issue we run into occasionally in the field when programming vehicles – after market radios.

The Short:
after market radios can effect your vehicles key programming capabilities because it interferes with the immobilizer.

avoid after market radio’s or at least know you may have difficulty programming your keys and it may cost you more to do so.

The Deep:
We had a 2003 Volkswagon Beetle that needed an additional key programmed. When we connected our programmers to the system, it was not able to pull and read the pin code.

[Side note, a pin code is an additional security code required for accessing the programming of the immobilizer. The pin code is not kept on record at the dealer so each one has to be pulled from the vehicle itself.]

We ran some diagnostics, researched and discovered that the aftermarket radio when installed spliced into on of the power wires for the immobilizer box. This causes interference with pulling pin codes and programming.

The primary way around this it to remove and disconnect the aftermarket radio so that it is no longer interfering with the immobilizer wire.

We have seen this with Volkswagen and GM’s. Note this is not the case for every vehicle, just a caution and a note to be concerned about how aftermarket radios may effect the rest of your vehicle in relation to the keys, programming and security.


Kryptonite Replaces Bike Lock and Covers Locksmith Service

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Often we have to remove bicycle locks for people who lost their keys or had a malfunction with the lock. The most common bicycle lock we remove is a Kryptonite U-lock. Last week, this specific lock had a problem with the key and we had to cut it off. Working with the customer, he checked and discovered that Kryptonite does warranty their bicycle locks for broken keys, or malfunctioning locks.

What this means for you and us, is that they will cover our, bill for coming out and removing your bicycle lock AND send you a new bicycle lock.

To say that again, our service for you will be reimbursed and you will get a new lock.

Here is the link to submit a damaged lock for reimbursement.

We just thought this was a top notch warranty service and wanted to share it with you!

5 Ways to Prevent Loosing Your Keys in the River

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During summer time, there is an increase in rafting and floating the Willamette and Mckenzie rivers. They are both beautiful and we would highly recommend it. But, we also have a lot of people loosing their car keys in the river. So here are a few different ways to prevent loosing your keys in the river.

1) The safest way is to not take your keys on the river. You can do the following:

a) Use a hide a key, or wire your key underneath your vehicle. Here is one from Lucky Line.


b) Leave you keys with someone who is staying on land and is available to meet you at the end with your keys.

c) An odd option, that we have seen, is lock your keys in the car and schedule a locksmith to come just open the car for you.

2) If you must take your keys on the river, make sure there are secured to a floating device and the raft.

a) Use a Key Buoy or float such as below from Luck Line. They cost about $5.


b) Use a water tight dry bag, with a clip for the raft. Sealine is a good brand.


If you are reading this article after the fact, and have lost your car keys in the river, give us a call at 541.632.3968 and well come out and make keys for you. Happy floating!

New 3D Pro High Security Machine

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We just received and installed out new 3D Pro Exteme Key Machine by Laser Key Products! The 3D Pro is an automated key machine operated by a computer. What makes this key machine special:

– Cut 2 track high security keys

-Cut 4 track security keys

– Cut tibbe high security keys

– Can cut standard & tubular keys as well

– Fastest and most accurate high security key machine on the market

-It is placed in our vehicle as a mobile unit so we can generate your keys in the field

Check out our video of cutting a VW 2 track key. Notice, it only takes less than 60 seconds!

If you need 2 track, 4 track or tibbe keys for Honda, VW, Lexus, Subaru or any other vehicle in the field we can cut and program them for you. Just give us a call at 541.632.3968


4 Ways to Identify your Keys and Locks

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This page is to help you identify your keys and locks for us over the phone so we may come out with the correct locks and keys to take care of your needs. Below is a step by step process, a video and images to help you identify your keys and locks.

Identification Methods

1) Name on the key or Lock: Kwikset or Schlage are the most common residential locks and keys. They can be stamped with their full name on the head of the key or face of the lock

2) Name Abbreviation: Kwikset is “KW” and Schlage is “SC” The most common keyways are KW1 & SC1. They are typically stamped on the key, see video of images below.

3) Name on the lock latch: look at the edge of your door on the latch for a name.

4) Key Head Shape: The majority of Kwikset and Schlage keys use different head shapes. See video.

Video: 3 ways to identify your hour keys and locks

If you need help identifying your keys or locks give us a call at 541.632.3968

Identifying – Left Hand Vs Right Hand Doors

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Have you needed to identify the handing of a door before? This is common when ordering or looking at hardware that is not multi handed or field changable. Below we will walk you through the different handing options and how to identify which handing you need.

There are four types of door handings:

– Right Hand (RH)
– Left Hand (LH)
– Right Hand Reverse (RHR)
– Left Hand Reverse (LHR)

The easiest way to identify which handing your door has it to do the following:

(1) Standing / Viewing Position:
(a)Stand in front of the door, building or room as you are going to enter, or go inside the space. This should also be the keyed side, where you can put in a key.
(b) Stand where you can put in the key.

(2) Identification- Right or Left – Hinges
(a) Look at the location of the hinges. Are they are on your left side or right side?
(b)If the hinges are on your left side, it is a left handed door.
(c)If the hinges are on your right side, it is a right handed door.

(3) Standard or Reverse Handed – Push in or Pull Out
Following #1: make sure you are entering not exiting.

(a) If you push in the door as you enter, it is a standard swinging door.
(b) If you have to pull the door towards you to enter, it is a reverse swinging door.

Here is a diagram illustrating the above:

Image credit: Cal-Royal

If you need additional assistance in identifying the handing of your door, just call us at 541.632.3968.

3 Ways to Prevent Locking Keys in Car While Warming it up

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On cold morning people oftern go out and warm up their vehicles. Here are three quick tips to prevent locking your keys in your car while it is warming up:

(1) unlock it with the remote

(2) manually unlock the door

(3) roll down the window

Here is a video showing you how to prevent locking your keys in your car while it is warming up:

Call us now at 541-632-3968.

4 Methods to Unfreeze your Locks when it Snows or is Icy

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When is snows and freezes locks can freeze too.

Here is a video going over your options and how to unfreeze your locks during snow and ice:

Description: Learn how to unfreeze your locks during the winter when there is now and ice. There are four different methods your can use.

In writting, you have four basic options.

1) Use a de-icer from your local hardware store.

2) Use a lighter to melt the ice of the face cap and heat up the key.

3) Have a locksmith de-ice your locks.

4) Have a locksmith open your car from the inside.

*Note don’t forget to remove the ice from your handle of edge of your door.

Call us now at 541-632-3968 to unfreeze your locks.