You probably think of locksmiths as professionals who can help you when you lock yourself out of your house, but there are locksmith specialists, such as car locksmiths, who focus solely on motor vehicles. If you need a car locksmith, but you aren't sure what range of services they offer, here are some important things to know about these auto professionals.
Transponder Keys -- Transponder keys are features in many new vehicles, and unlike standard auto keys, they have a chip that links to your car through a radio signal. Transponder keys enable you to enter your vehicle without having to physically unlock the doors. When your transponder key stops working, a car locksmith can diagnose the problem and repair it. The most common problem with a transponder key is a fault with the immobiliser, which is the device that remotely starts your vehicle. When the signal between the immobiliser and the vehicle is blocked, a car locksmith can either reprogram the transponder or replace it. If you lose you transponder key, car locksmiths can change the programming of your vehicle so that a regular car key can start your car.
Ignition -- Car locksmiths can also offer service if your ignition has issues. For example, if your ignition isn't turning when you insert your car key, a car locksmith can determine whether the wiring within the ignition has failed, which requires a new ignition, or whether the ignition can be rewired. Most car locksmiths carry ignitions for every major model, so replacement isn't usually an issue. Other common ignition problems include broken pieces stuck inside the ignition mechanism, a faulty switch and wafers that have worn down.
Keys -- When you lose the keys to your vehicle, a car locksmith can create a new set of keys for you, but it's not as simple as just knowing the year, make and model of your vehicle. In order to make a new set of car keys, a car locksmith must obtain the original manufacturer's key codes, which is the only way to make new car keys. As the owner of the vehicle, you can obtain the key codes by contacting the dealership where you bought your car. The dealership can provide you with new keys, but that will typically cost you more than what a car locksmith will charge you because dealer's labour rates are fixed, whereas car locksmiths have more leeway since they are independent contractors.
For more information, contact a local car locksmith and ask about their services.