Having a functional car lock is an incredibly important part of being a vehicle owner. When an auto lock gets jammed, you lose your key, or you lose access to your car in another way, it can be a huge inconvenience and take a lot of time and money to remedy. However, knowing a great Chicago locksmith that works quickly and affordably can be incredibly helpful. Before you lose access to your vehicle, you should find a locksmith in Chicago that works with the kind of auto lock on your car. Not all locksmiths are created equal, and you want to be sure that when you make a panicked midnight phone call, you have someone reliable to turn to. It also helps if you have a basic understanding of the lock system installed on your car, van, motorcycle, or truck.
The Good Old Days Of Auto Locks
Older makes and models of vehicles will sometimes have only manual car lock systems. The most popular of these are pin tumblers and wafer tumbler locking systems. Pin tumblers are comprised of a series of small metal pins in varying sizes. The key is then cut to fit these patterns, and when inserted will allow the lock to be turned. Wafer tumbler locks are operated on a similar system, except the locking mechanism uses different sizes of one-piece wafers instead of pins. Again, inserting the proper key allows the lock to be turned and unlocked.
Modern Life Auto Locks
Modern vehicles rely on electric locks to keep them secure. Electric locks, commonly called power locks, allow for keyless entry via a remote system usually found in a key fob. This locking system allows for a button to be pressed from a distance, which communicates with an electric coil in the lock that unlocks the car. This is often signaled by a horn beep or flashing of the auto’s lights. Some cars have proximity keys which allow the car to be unlocked when the key is within a certain distance of the car, eliminating the need for the car owner to manually trigger the unlocking mechanism.
In addition, power locks many times have a transmitter in the ignition key. This transmitter allows for only particular keys to open or start the car, helping to prevent auto theft by use of alternate keys.
The newest trend in auto security is the introduction of the keyless start system. This means the auto owner has no key at all but instead relies on a key fob that electronically communicates with the car to unlock and start the ignition. While this can be incredibly convenient, not all locksmiths are able to provide a replacement key fob and vehicle owners must then go to the dealership in order to gain access to their vehicle.
With the many options of car security systems found today, it is important that when seeking a locksmith you check what kind of lock system your vehicle has to ensure that the locksmith is able to repair and replace your particular car’s system. Not all Chicago locksmiths are not able to provide replacement transponder chip keys because they do not have the specialized computer system necessary to perform repair services. If you have an electric or transmitter key, it’s important to check with your car locksmith that they are able to assist you in the event of a broken lock or lost key.