Automotive locksmiths used to have it pretty easy when someone locked his or her keys in the car. In most cases, a well-placed slim jim lock pick was all it took to pop the car door’s lock. The longest part of the process for the person who was locked out was waiting for the locksmith to arrive.
Fast forward to the automotive locks of today. Some of today’s car locks are controlled by computers and/or are rigged to car alarms. The untrained automotive locksmith or the locksmith using the wrong tools can easily damage the car’s lock or trigger a car alarm. That’s why a locksmith in Tempe or Phoenix today needs to be absolutely sure that he or she possesses the right automotive locksmith tools for the job.
Most Common Automotive Locksmith Tools
Even though they don’t work in every situation, the slim jim lock pick tools never quite go out of style when it comes to automotive locksmithing. For many auto locksmiths, these tool sets remain extremely important. A typical slim jim set includes a few different slim jims of various shapes and lengths.
Standard automotive lock pick sets also usually include a few “long-reach” accessories, which are essentially the professional version of the twisted coat hanger. The long-reach tools also come in different shapes in order to unhitch various types of car door locks. Some of these tools, known as lasso tools, are designed to loop around the external lock mechanism like a lasso.
Besides slim jims, which are slid in between the window and the car door to flip the lock mechanism, and long-reach tools, which are inserted through a cracked window, automotive locksmiths also utilize auto jigglers. Jigglers are essentially lock picks for the car’s key hole. Automotive locksmith supply companies sell jiggler sets that correspond to certain car brands and models.
Replacement Keys for Computer-Controlled Locks
Many newer cars today have engines that will not operate at all if the computer chip contained within the key is not present. When owners lose these keys, creating a new key that fits the key hole is not enough; the new key must also have the correctly programmed chip for the make and model of the car.
Not all locksmiths in the Phoenix area will handle these kinds of car keys. For customers who have lost their keys, these locksmiths shrug and tell them to call the car dealership. Savvy Phoenix area locksmiths, however, recognize that there’s a business opportunity in the automotive locksmith industry for locksmiths who can replace these types of keys quickly.
The good news is that key blanks with the correct types of chips are relatively easy to find at appropriate automotive locksmith supply shops. In many cases, just by searching for the type of car in question on the Internet, locksmiths will be able to find vendors who sell the proper key blanks for making these types of replacement keys.
Some of these types of keys also require key programmer tools. These key programmers are designed to help the locksmith program a computer chip-controlled key to correctly interact with the car’s computer.
Conclusion: Always Get the Right Tools for the Job
in some stats it’s not necessary to have a license to work as a locksmith, but having the right tools is essential. Even complex keys that interact with a computer system are easy to replace when locksmiths are equipped with the right set of tools. Find bargains on shop space, company vehicles and toolboxes, but don’t try to buy an “economy” set of automotive locksmith tools.