Area Served

 

24 Hour Emergency Service:

M-F - 8AM-6PM = Regular Rates

M-F - 7PM-7AM = Overtime Rates

S-S - 24 Hours = Overtime Rates

Call 706.977.2209

Shop Location - 241-B Heard Street, Elberton GA 30635

(Next to Wrights Automotive)

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Sunday
Sep012013

Broken Keys

This was an interesting and quick job. The owner of a Chrysler Van broke the key in the ignition. Luckily she was removing it as it broke and she recovered both parts. There are 3 reasons it broke. 1. Too much force ( in a hurry), 2. The wrong key blank was used by the convenience store that made the duplicate, and 3. The deep cut near the bow of the key.

Regarding #2 on my list. Sometimes hardware and department stores who cut keys don't stock all the proper blanks. Instead they stock special blanks that are milled so thin that they will work in a lot of locks. This cuts down on their inventory costs but at a price to the consumer. The problem is such blanks are very weak and they break which will ultimately cost the owner a lot of money.

This problem occurred to an out of town visitor who was stranded with the broken key. I provided road service to correct the problem at the car. The key I made was on the correct blank and instead of being duplicated, it was originated to the original factory specification for the key that was provided when the car was new. You can't get that kind of service from anyone but a qualified locksmith!

 

Thursday
Aug292013

Honda High Security Keys

If you drive a Honda you might have a "high security" key with the remote built into the head of the key. A common problem with these keys is that the plastic case breaks and the key blade separates and falls off. The car won't start when this happens because the chip in the plastic head must be very close to the ignition lock which is unlikely if the key is broken.

I can fix this for a lot less than a new key provided you still have all the parts. If you don't have all the parts I can still make you a new key. I have the only machine in the area that can make these keys.

In the last few days I have repaired several high security keys for Honda Acura's, Lexus, and Chrysler PT Cruisers. All of them had the built in remote function.

The picture shows a Honda Acura high security key before and after my repairs.

 

 

Sunday
Jun232013

Verizon Wireless Amber Alerts - Settings

This is a little off topic for my locksmith blog, but it does have to do with public safety. Recently Verizon Wireless rolled out an alert system for all their wireless customers. It consists of Presidential Alerts, Severe Alerts and Amber Alerts.

A Presidential alert is defined as "news of national authority concern".

A Severe or Imminent Danger Alert is defined as "Severe and Extreme alerts about weather events and threat levels".

An Amber Alert is defined as "alerts about the disappearance of persons (minor or otherwise)".

A Verizon user cannot opt out of Presidential Alerts and that is understandable. You can adjust the settings for the other 2 types of alerts.

The Amber alert system needs a little tweaking by those who send out these alerts. It is not uncommon to receive an alert for an incident that happened on the other side of the state. For example, last night there was one issued for an incident over 300 miles away.  I'm concerned that this wide net approach may cause people to ignore these alerts just as we all seem to ignore car alarms.

If you own an iPhone, you can adjust your alerts settings like this. Go to Settings, Notifications, and scroll to the bottom of the screen. There you can turn them ON or OFF. If you have another type of phone (I also have an LG Revere for my business phone) then you can go to this page to find out how to alter the settings on your phone.  Wireless Emergency Alerts.

These alerts are important and they override the ring settings on your phone so it is useful to know how to turn them on or off so they don't disrupt at a meeting, wedding, funeral, etc.

 

Saturday
Jun082013

Chrysler FOBIK ignition problems

Many Chrysler vehicles such as the 300, Dodge Avenger, and Jeep dont use a conventional ignition key lock. Instead, you insert a FOBIK into a slot in the dash. (see the picture)

If you own one of these cars you need to know this system is prone to failure. The symptom will be that you either cant turn it on to start the car, or you wont be able to turn it off leaving you stranded.

The problem lies with the ignition lock system module behind the dash called a WIN module. As of this date a local mechanic told me his supplier was back ordered over 200 units which gives you some idea of the problems that are occuring.

If you own one of these cars you may wish to check with your dealer to see if there is a recall program in place. 

 


Saturday
Jun082013

Chevy HHR ignition lock problems

Just a warning, if you drive a Chevy HHR sooner or later you will have trouble with the ignition lock. It will either 1) stick in the ON position, or 2) turn back to accessory but not the the OFF position. Either way your key is stuck in the ignition with the engine running. 

Problem #1 requires my immediate attention. I will replace the defective ignition cylinder with the new design which is problem free. It is cheaper and easier if you have me do it before it fails.

Problem #2 has a few causes all tied to the interlock system that tries to make sure the car is in PARK before you remove the key. If this happens to you, wiggle the gearshift vigorously and then try to remove the key. Take it in and out of park and try that. If this fails then call me and I can talk you through getting the key out. There is a port under the steering wheel that needs to pop out and then the solenoid needs to be moved by finger pressure. If you are having this issue take the car to a mechanic and get them to either replace or clean the park sensor mechanism. If you have ever spilled a soft drink or coffee into your center console, then you have your answer .