Category Archives: automotive

Blog posts related to automobiles, vehicles and cars. This includes, transponders and high security keys, remotes, fobiks, proximity boxes, ignitions, door and trunk locks.

Mercedes Benz Keys Now Available

We are pleased to announce our expanding ability to now program Mercedes Benz Keys!

mercedes benz key



$225 for a duplicate Mercedes Benz key cut and programmed into your vehicle.

We can also generate keys if you have lost all of your keys.

Here is a chart of the year, make, model and function we cover for Mercedes Benz:

Model Chassis Type Model Year Add Key Lost Key
A-Class W169 2004-2011 Yes Yes
B-Class W245 2005-2011 Yes No
C-Class W203 2003-2007 Yes Yes
CLK-Class W208 2001-2002 Yes Yes
CLK-Class W209 2003-2008 Yes Yes
C-Class W202 1997-2002 Yes Yes
C-Class W204 2007-2011 Yes No
E-Class W210 2001-2002 Yes Yes
E-Class W211 2002-2007 Yes Yes
E-Class W212 2009-2010 Yes No
CLS-Class W219 2004-2009 Yes No
S-Class W220 2001-2005 Yes Yes
S-Class W221 2005-2011 Yes No
Cl W215 2001-2006 Yes Yes
Cl W216 2005-2011 Yes No
Sl R230 2001-2009 Yes No
SLK R171 2004-2009 Yes No
G-Class W463 2002-2011 Yes No
R-Class W251 2005-2010 Yes No
M-Class W164 2005-2010 Yes No
GL-Class X164 2006-2010 Yes No
Vito/Viano/Vaneo X639 2004-2012 Yes Yes
Sprinter W906 2005-2012 Yes Yes

If you would like a Mercedes Benz key call 541.632.3968.

Volvo Keys, Remotes & Fobs Now Available

We are pleased to announced that we now have OEM access to program all makes, models and years of Volvo Keys!


volvo keys, remotes & fobs

Here are some general prices for OEM duplicate keys:

$160 for high security key cut and programmed into vehicle
$125 stand alone remote (must purchase key too)
$200 for remote smart keys programmed into vehicle
$280 Remote head flip keys programmed into vehicle


  • We will match or beat any local prices
  • These are estimates as the date of this post. Prices may change.
  • If you are purchasing multiple units simultaneously a significant programming discount will apply.

If you would like to get an additional key made for you Volvo call us at 541.632.3968 with the year, make and model.

P.s. if you have lost of all your keys we can come out and generate keys on site.

Broken Lexus & Honda Remote Head Key Shells

Do you have a Lexus or Honda remote head key that is cracking? Or has it already split in half near the blade? No worries, this is a very common problem and we can fix it!


The problem stems from the lack of plastic holding the brass mechanical blade that uses the turning force for your locks. This happens on remote head keys because the shells are more spread out in order to hold the remote circuit board.


What it looks like

Here are a few pictures of customers Lexus and Honda remote head keys shells that are either taped together or broken apart.

empty broken lexus remote head key shell
empty broken lexus remote head key shell


taped honda remote head key
taped honda remote head key

How we fix it

The fix for these is to provide a new key shell and cut it for you. then move over the remote and transponder chip components into the new shells. This takes less than 15 minutes.

broken lexus remote head key shell next to fixed new one 2
broken lexus remote head key shell next to fixed new one

We stock the lexus and honda remote shells so we can take care of you the same day. As of 7/15/15 you are looking at $60 to provide the shell, cut the key and transfer the components over.

If you need your Lexus or Honda remote head key shell fixed just give us a call at 541.632.3968.

Did You Lock Your Keys in Your Mercedes or BMW Trunk?

Were you unloading groceries and/or packing, then set your keys in your trunk and have the lid close? Don’t worry we did two in the last seven days, a 99 Mercedes Kompressor and 08 Mercedes C Class so you are not alone.

We can get your keys out. Even if it is a high security BMW or Mercedes with a deadlocked truck. Here is how:

First Option – Conventional Opening

The first and easier way is to come out and open the cab of your car. This works if you have either (a) a manual inside trunk release or (b) the back seats fold down from the inside.

If you have an electronic trunk release that gets locked down  when the alarm sounds or the back seats fold down from the inside of the truck such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and more. Then we move to step two.

Second Option – Bypass Method

On most Mercedes, BMW’s, Audi’s & Volkswagen’s there is a bypass method that de activates the alarm and unlocks the trunk. For security reasons we cannot show or explain to you how to do this.

Third Option – Make a Mechanical Door Key

The third option is to make a mechanical emergency key to unlock your trunk. This is the case for most Mercedes and BMW when the smart keys have set the alarm before being locked in the trunk. Yes, you do have an emergency key hiding inside your smart key or proximity box with a hidden mechanical lock on your trunk – for this very occasion.

Making a mechanical key takes about 30 minutes. Here are some shots from the last episodes.

mercedes hidden trunk lock
Mercedes hidden trunk lock under the lip in the upper left hand corner.
mercedes high security door lock
A dissembled Mercedes high security door lock.
cutting mercedes high security key
The 3D Xtreme cutting a Mercedes high security key.


Will a Used Prox or Smart Key Work or Not?

Customers bring us and ask whether the more economical used proximity box or smart key they find online will work or not.

Even though it is the correct part, the issues come during programming because certain manufacturers products, once married to a particular car, cannot be re-married to another car, where others can.

Here is the short list of when and where used proximity boxes and smart keys will work and when they will not:

Manufacturer Used Need New OEM
Acura/Honda Yes No
Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge Yes No
Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Yes No
GM/Buick/Cad/Chevy/Olds/Pontiac No Yes
Hyundai/Kia No Yes
Nissan/Infinity Yes 2013+
Mazda Yes No
Toyota/Lexus Maybe Yes

My Chrysler ignition will not turn.

Over the last several months we have received calls with customers having ignition problems on Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles. Their typical issue is “my ignition is stuck” or “my key will not turn”.

This week we had two and I had finally remembered to take pictures for a blog post. So here it is.

Chrylser, Jeep and Dodge, use an eight cut side bar ignition. This ignition is very common, and regularly gets stuck. We see it on vehicles from eight years and older. It is not exactly a design defect, but from use.

Root causes

The three key reasons your ignition gets stuck are (a) a worn key, (b) dirt/lint and (c) worn wafers. The basic fix is for us to come out, get your ignition unstuck, remove, clean and rebuild it with new wafers and springs. If you key is still making the sidebar stick out, then we need to cut you a new key by code too. Well go through the hole process here.


Removing the ignition

The first step is getting your ignition unstuck by manually going in and moving the wafers back into position. Once the wafers are in position we can turn the lock to the on position in order to depress the ignition cylinder retainer. On rare cases with multiple (I have seen three) wafers are stuck, we need to drill into the ignition housing to depress the sidebar directly. Here is a picture of the ignition cylinder and housing removed.

chrysler ignition cylinger

Stuck Wafers

Once we have the cylinder out you can see the front 1-3 wafers (right side) being stuck down. Compared the the wafer 3-8 which are higher. See picture here.
front wafers stuck down

Removing wafers and cleaning the cylinder

With the ignition cylinder removed we then remove all of the wafers and springs. Looking closely you can see the grime build up inside the wafers. Also here is a picture of the ignition lock cylinder, housing, wafers, springs and key taken apart.

dirt in waferslock dissembled overview

Adding new wafers & springs

After cleaning, we put brand new springs and wafers into the lock using a Chrysler keying kit. Notice how the new shiny wafers all pop up to the same level now.  Compare to the stuck wafers picture above.

chrysler jeep dodge rekeying kitnew front wafers active

Seeing the difference in the side bar

Here you can see the side bar that is poped up on one side, compared to the rebuilt cylinder where the sidebar is flush. The side bar need to be flush in order for the ignition cylinder to turn.

side bar raised from stuck wafersside bar flush with new wafers

Checking the Key

The last step is to check the existing key in the new rebuilt cylinder. If the key rocks and the side bar can pop up, causing the cylinder to have difficulty turning, then a new key by code needs to be cut.

Now if your Chrylser, Jeep, Dodge or ignition is stuck or won’t turn, you can understand what is going on, and how we can fix it for you.

As always, we hope this is insightful for you and if you need help give us a call at 541-632-3968.



Does Your Insurance Cover Locksmith Work?

We frequently get asked whether we take insurance coverage or not. Since it varies we figured we would write about which insurance we do accept, the situations in which they are applied and a little bit about how the process works.

To cover the highlights, we always strongly prefer to accept payment directly from you and then have you submit for reimbursement with our receipts. If the insurance company contacts us for the work and offers to pay that is also acceptable for us. We cannot bill people who did not authorize the work.

On the quick notes, we do bill State Farm car insurance for lockouts and service calls because they work with and pay non contracted vendors.

On to the more specific situations.

The most common situations we get asked about for insurance coverage are: (a) car lockouts, (b) lost car keys and (c) theft of keys and re-keying both for vehicles and homes.

Car Lockouts and Lost Car Keys

For car lockouts most insurance companies have contracted emergency roadside assistance providers that cover this. Many do cover the service call or up to certain limits for lost keys. Most have client reimbursements for these items.Here is a chart of the major and most common car insurance companies in Oregon and their coverage:

Carrier  Roadside Assistance Unlocks Key Replacement Reimburse Vendor Reimburse Client Contracted Vendor
State Farm Yes Yes service call, not keys Yes Yes Yes
Farmers Yes Yes varies No Yes Yes
Geico Yes Yes varies No Yes Yes
Progressive Yes Yes service call, not keys No Yes Yes
Esurance Yes up to $75 up to $75 No Yes Yes
21st Century Yes Yes up to $150 No Yes Yes
Oregon Mutual Optional Yes service call, not keys No Yes Yes
PEMCO Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
AAA Yes Yes $50 to $100 coverage No Yes Yes
All State Optional $52/yr or $84/service $52/yr or $84/service No No Yes
Liberty Mutual Optional Yes No No No Yes

*note, these are what we have gathered from online, phone and in person research. Our information may not be 100% correct. We strongly recommend talking in depth with each company to very and receive more details about their emergency roadside assistance coverage.

Theft of Keys and Re-keying

Occasionally vehicle or house keys are damaged or stolen. This occurrence is very policy specific. We recommend contacting your agent. But here is what we have seen.

Vehicle keys can be covered if they were damaged for the same reason the vehicle is being repaired.

Vehicle re-keys and home re-keys can be covered under you home insurance policy. Normally the cost of the deductible is higher than the out of pocket cost of going direct, but we have had customers with this coverage.

A Little Bit About the Process

Most of the major insurance companies contract out their roadside assistance to service provides like Road America, AAA or Agero. Some operate there own fleet and/or further contract to smaller local towing and locksmith companies like ourselves.

So if you really push your insurance company to initially cover all the work and then have you pay the difference of what is not covered, we do receive and work for the large service providers that you originally call us about.

Overall if you want to have your insurance cover our services you need to contact and work through them and have them contact us directly. If you have an Oregon based State Farm coverage that is current and you are the authorizing individual we will bill them directly as long as you accept full responsibility for payment if your request is denied. If you do not want to go through the hassle at the moment you can check whether they reimburse you, pay us directly and then send the receipt in for reimbursement.

We hope this sheds some light on the insurance coverage for specific situations and how it works from the locksmith perspective.

Damaged Ignition Cylinder Or Broken Housing Gears?

Home > Blog

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

Home > Blog

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.


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

Home > Blog

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.