Monday, December 8, 2014

Ford Taurus Lockout

Recently, I got a job from a locksmith company I am working with at the moment to unlock a trunk of a 96 Ford Taurus. When I called the customer to verify his location, he mentioned that he accidentally left the keys inside the trunk and closed it. In my experience, I knew this type of vehicle had a wider key-way than the older models made by Ford, so I knew picking it would not be easy with the picking tools I had. Once I got to the job site, I reached for my picking tools to try and manipulate the lock anyways. However, when I tried picking it, I noticed I did not had the tension wrench wide enough in order to apply the tension needed on the key-way.

While brainstorming other ideas to open the trunk, I unlocked the vehicle's driver side door in hopes there would be some sort of a trunk release lever hiding under the dash, on the side of the driver seat, or inside the glove compartment. Needless to say, I was not lucky to find any of those. However, just as I thought this won't be my lucky day, I noticed there was a release lever on the back seat of the vehicle. At that point all I had to do was lower the back seat using the release lever and retrieve the customer's keys from the trunk.  

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Avalon Lockout

I got a call one afternoon from a manager of a gift shop inside the air base close to where I used to live  to open a 95 Toyota Avalon. I was debating with myself if I should agree to take a lockout call that I knew I would probably not be able to complete. I was told on the phone that the owner of the car had been locked out for several hours and that both the base security police and another locksmith were making attempts to unlock the vehicle without any success. I informed the customer that I would be willing to come out and try to open her car, but there were no guarantees I will succeed.

When I reviewed my book for that particular vehicle's make and model, I thought that an under the-window tool would be the proper tool to work with. I inserted the tool, flipped the rocker button back and it sprang right back to the locked position. At that moment, I recalled reading about the Lexus GS300 where you had to manipulate the rocker button and pull up on the latch handle at the same time. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it and to my surprise, the door opened fairly quick.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Camry Ignition Tip

Like any other locksmith technician in the area more than one time, an ignition I have serviced or have been trying to install, has fit into the housing on the column pretty tight, sometimes that much that I would have to force it in. The situation creates two problems, one of which I understand, the other I am not yet certain of. It is a fact that the tight fit of the ignition will cause some issues removing it at a later time. This situation for some reason will also cause the warning buzzer to go off non stop once the driver's side door is open, as if there were a key in the ignition even if there is not.

I can't fully understand the reason for that, but I suspect it got something to do with the ignition not being seated properly within the housing. The solution is fairly easy and simple if you have a razor blade available. Observe the ignition with the word LOCK on the face at the 12 o'clock position. At the 9 o'clock position on the side of the ignition you will find a small flat piece of rubber, running horizontally alongside the lock body. This particular rubber piece which most of the time will cause the ignition to have a tight fit and ultimately cause the key buzzer to go off randomly.

If you use a good razor blade and you have the patient, you can shave off layers of the rubber piece until the ignition will seat properly without being compressed inside the housing, or with a flat head screwdriver, the rubber piece can just be removed all together. This will solve the issue and the ignition could be inserted smoothly and will not cause any problems with the key buzzer going off randomly.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Chrysler Ignition Tip

Concerning the removal of  Strattec Ignition from various Dodges, Jeeps, Chryslers and Saturns, many locksmith technicians that I came in contact with seem to have an issue with this type of ignition. The following method I will describe will not damage the ignition, although it is recommended to be careful not to lose the active retainer, so you can use this technique whether the ignition is damaged or not. The following tools would be needed to get the job done such as ice-pick and a pair of pliers, the locking type preferred.

A spring steel plate holds in the active retainer on this style of lock from the exterior.The shape of the plug found in it will prevent from from pushing the retainer in unless the cylinder is turned, but the way the retainer pin is places there is its weakness.

First, the lower part of the column shroud will need to be removed, and possibly the panel underneath the column as well. Once removed, the active retainer will need to be located and then insert your ice pick alongside the Pin. Tilt the ice pick in such a way as to pull the retainer pin and out of the hole. While this is done, grab the pin with the pliers and pull down by jerking it a little bit. The pin should pull free of the flimsy spring steel fork holding it in place, and the ignition will now be safe to be removed with little to no resistance. From there, the ignition can be replaced or an access hole would need to be drilled for the sidebar where the lock can be picked and then fit a key.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Key-less Deadbolt

I noticed recently, that in the area where I do most the residential locksmith jobs, that most of the apartments have key-less deadbolts on their doors. A lot of the times, I would get a call for a residential lockout to unlock a door, but once I arrive at the scene, I will find out that the lock needed to be handled is none other than a key-less deadbolt. These locks can only be locked from the inside since there is no actual exterior on the key-hole itself. However, it seem so often as people would leave the apartment from the patio or balcony after locking the key-less deadbolt without realizing it.
And to make thing even worse,they somehow, locked themselves out on the patio or balcony as well by slamming the sliding door. With a patio there's usually no major problem unless a Charley bar or similar has fallen down and caused the sliding door to lock itself. With a balcony, I won't take a risk usually climbing up.

On other occasion, a customer had told her 3 year-old boy to lock the door when she left and he did both the main lock and even the key-less deadbolt. What happen was he fell asleep afterwards. The mother came back and was knocking and banging on the door without being able to awaken the boy. As a last resort, I got the call from her to come. I found the best and easiest way to open this type of lock was to drill a 1/4" hole through the metal cover of the door and a little way into the wood. However, I was careful not to drill straight through the tailpiece hole. After drilling the hole, I simply stuck a screwdriver in and timed the latch. Most of these apartment types of key-less deadbolts that I ran into, seem to have their latch holes seven inches above the keyed deadbolt, with a standard 2-3/8" back-set. I set my drill bit between 2-3/8 and 2-1/2" from the edge of the door. I could see and feel with a plastic strip where the latch is located and just measure the 2-3/8" from that location. After getting the door open, I just too some epoxy and filled the small  it's a simple matter to take some epoxy and fill in the small hole I drill.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Schlage Lock Opening Tip

With many years of experience in the locksmith field, I learned several tricks opening the most common locks existed in the business from leading brands such as Kwikset, Schlage, Corbin, and more. One of the locks that I learned how to unlock fairly quick without using a specialty key was the F series Schlage key-in-knob lock or the lever set.

What I do first is grasp the knob and apply light and continuous turning pressure on both directions. In the next step, I use a small hammer and hit the face of the plug, making sure not to hit the knob or lever and risking damaging it. You will be surprised at how quickly this opens one of these locks.

After several times of doing that and once you develop a feel for the procedure, you can open those type of locks in a matter of seconds. The reason this procedure works is that the locking mechanism is spring loaded, and by hitting the face of the plug, you are actually bouncing the two locking cams into the open position for a split second. That is why you need to engage the knob with light and continuous  pressure to unlock it. Check out this link for more interesting locksmith tips.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Corbin Mortise Lockout

I had a job recently from a fellow locksmith technician to unlock an apartment door that was equipped with a Corbin Mortise lock. There was a bolt loose there and it seem like it would be necessary to drill for the cylinder retaining screw. After cutting through the screw with my drill, I unscrewed the cylinder and manipulated the bolt back with the tip of a long screwdriver.

After getting the door open, I was searching for a reason why the lock wouldn't open and noticed that the door, around the mortise lock, was bulging outward. Apparently, the door had been forced open during an earlier break-in. The lock was loose in the cutout and wobbled a little. I took the lock out of the door and found that because the lock was loose and apparently vibrating when the door was closed, the housing or cover plate screws had loosened enough to allow the cover to move, causing the bolt retractor to come out of it's slot and malfunction.

I reassembled the lock. inserted a new retaining screw, put the cover plate back on and used a little Loctite® to help prevent the screws from loosening again and put the lock back on the door. Although I did not have it in my service van, I suggested to the customer to allow me ordering a mortise lock reinforcing wrap around plate from MAG, which would cover the damaged area of the door and prevent the problem from reoccurring. For more information about similar services, check out the following link.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Store Front Lockout

A while back a locksmith company I worked with sent me a job to open a vacant storefront for a contractor that was remodeling the building. When I arrived, I found the entire outside was covered with plywood, even the doors. I had the contractor remove the plywood from over the doors, so I could access the locks.

The last time I was at that particular site, there was a restaurant there. Since then, someone had installed a high-security cylinders on the doors and I knew that I had very little chance of picking those cylinders or drilling them. On the inside of the doors the locks were operated by thumb turn. So I focused my efforts on that thumb turn in order to open the door.

I use the short end of a Z tool from my automotive opening kit to manipulate the thumb turn and unlock the door. It took a little effort to get the tool between the doors, but once I had the tool inside, it was a simple matter to flip the thumb turn, open the door, remove the cylinders, and install new cylinders with a standard keyway. Check out this company link if you are looking for a similar service for your business.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lexus Trunk Openning

I worked on a 2003 Lexus ES300 where the keys were locked in the trunk. One local locksmith said you have to get keys from Lexus, one said you had to drill door lock, and Lexus said you had to get keys from a Lexus dealer. I opened the vehicle with an under-the-window tool, then prepared to pull the panel and hot-wire the security system in the door.

on the driver door there was a plastic access port. Once removed, it allowed access to a T – 30 headed screw that once removed allowed for the easy removal of the driver door cylinder (similar to the old VW door handles but only cylinder to be removed on the Lexus). I inserted a #3 Phillips screwdriver and activated the linkage security switch by rotating the switch counter-clockwise, clockwise, counter-clockwise then clockwise. The alarm was deactivated which allowed the trunk release to function. the customer was thoroughly impressed.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

$68 Flat Price Lockouts in Portland Oregon

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If you call other locksmith company, they will usually quote you a very low price on the phone, but once they will get to where you are, they will triple the price and sometimes even more for just a simple lockout service. Flat Price Lockouts in Portland will guarantee you to provide a flat price of $68 for any lockout service that you need, without service call charges, and no hidden fees!!!

Whether you need a lockout service because you were locked outside your car in Hillsboro, a lockout service because you were locked out of your office in downtown Portland, or a lockout service because you were locked out of your home in Battle Ground Washington, we got you covered!
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