09-Auto Locks

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Transcript of 09-Auto Locks

Professional Locksmith

Study Unit 9

Automotive Locks


PreviewWelcome to the study unit on auto locks! The repair and replacement of auto locks is a lucrative specialty service pursued by many locksmiths. Even if you dont wish to become an expert in this area of locksmithing, you should understand the operation of auto lock cylinders and be able to perform simple repairs for your customers. This study unit is designed to teach you about the construction and operation of lock cylinders found in most car models. While car models vary widely among manufacturers and model years, the basic lock mechanisms used on cars have been the same for many years. So, well begin with a discussion of these various lock mechanisms. Youll be happy to learn that the same disk tumbler and pin tumbler mechanisms youre already familiar with are the most common types used in cars! Next, well learn about the construction of car doors, trunks, and steering columns. This basic information is necessary in order for you to understand how to work with auto locks. Then, well cover a general procedure for the removal and replacement of auto lock cylinders. Well discuss why cylinders may need to be replaced, where to find them in the car, and how to gain access for their removal. Next, well review the key coding system used to cut automotive keys. Well discuss the types of key blanks used by different auto manufacturers, where to find the key codes on some popular car models, and how to interpret key codes using popular reference books such as the Reed Code Book. Finally, well cover the use of key code cutting machines. In the next segment of the text, well discuss emergency car opening. Occasionally, when keys are lost or locked inside a vehicle, it may be necessary to use special techniques to open the car door. Well cover these car-opening methods (and the tools needed to do them!) for a variety of car models. Then, well cover the important automobile security issues facing todays car owners. Rising crime rates have led the manufacturers of both cars and security devices to invent an ever-expanding variety of anti-theft items. Well discuss GMs VATS system, physical locking devices, and electronic alarms. Well also offer some common-sense recommendations on how to prevent car thefts, even if you dont have an expensive electronic protection system!



When you complete this study unit, youll be able to

Identify the various types of locks used in an automobile Describe the operation of the locking mechanism for a typical car door, trunk, and ignition assembly Explain the general procedure for replacing a typical automobile door, trunk, and ignition lock Discuss the various methods used to open a locked vehicle in an emergency situation Explain how replacement keys are made for automobiles Discuss the coding system used for automobile keys Explain the operation of the GM VATS system Discuss the most common types of automobile security systems


ContentsINTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A Growing Specialty Field The Unique Problems of Auto Locks A Golden Opportunity for Locksmiths Typical Vehicle Services What Will You Need to Know?


OVERVIEW OF AUTOMOTIVE LOCKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Automotive Lock Location Automotive Lock Cylinders Identifying Lock Cylinders


AUTOMOTIVE KEYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Keying Systems Key Blanks Key Duplication Cutting an Automotive Key by Code Finding Key Code Information

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF AUTOMOTIVE LOCKS . . 26Door Locks Trunk Locks Glove Compartment Locks Ignition Locks

AUTOMOTIVE LOCK MAINTENANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36Maintenance Services You Can Perform Troubleshooting Tips for Car Doors

REMOVING AND REPLACING AUTOMOTIVE LOCK CYLINDERS . 38Why Do Lock Cylinders Need Removal or Replacement? Should the Cylinder Be Repaired or Replaced? Replacing a Door Lock Cylinder Replacing a Trunk Lock Cylinder Replacing a Glove Compartment Lock Cylinder Replacing an Ignition Lock Cylinder



OPENING AUTOMOTIVE LOCKS WITHOUT KEYS . . . . . . . . . 68The Three Basic Methods Using Special Tools Lockpicking and Impressioning

AUTOMOBILES AND CRIME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78Some Grim Statistics How the Locksmith Can Help Automotive Security Systems How Car Alarms Work Manually Operated Alarms Remote-Controlled Alarm Systems Other Alarm System Options A Sample System in Action How Vehicle Alarms Are Installed Selling an Auto Security System to a Customer The VATS System

THE KEY TO SUCCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 LOCKING IT UP! ANSWERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 EXAMINATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 COMING ATTRACTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107


Automotive Locks

Do You Know . . .What is a primary key? What is a krypton light? What does VATS stand for? In this study unit, youll find the answers to these and many other questions about automotive locks.

INTRODUCTIONA Growing Specialty FieldAutomobiles are found in vast numbers in every area of the world, and more and more are being produced each year. Most average families own more than one vehicle, and a typical automobile contains several locks. When we hear the phrase automotive locks, most of us automatically think of door and ignition locks. However, an automobile can also have a trunk or rear hatch lock, a glove compartment lock, a gas cap lock, and possibly an anti-theft alarm system. So, when you consider that a typical automobile can contain as many as seven locks (as well as an electronic alarm system), you can see that a very lucrative market exists for a qualified locksmith in auto lock servicing! Even the smallest town provides many opportunities for auto lock repair and maintenance.

The Unique Problems of Auto LocksAutomotive lock mechanisms are much the same as the lock mechanisms in residential doors, padlocks, and so on. However, the servicing needs of the auto lock are unique in


Automotive Locks

the field of locksmithing. For example, in the average car, the drivers side door lock and the ignition lock are used every day (every time the owner enters the car or starts the engine). Since these locks are used so often, they tend to wear excessively. Typical problems include pin wear (which causes the key to work poorly or not at all), broken parts, freezing due to lack of lubrication, and even broken keys. In contrast, there are other locks on a vehicle that are rarely used. These locks include passenger door locks and the glove compartment lock. Try to remember the last time you used a key to open a glove compartment or the passenger side door! Because these locks arent used often, severe corrosion, frozen components, or excessive dirt buildup are typical. All of these situations will prevent the lock from working and will require servicing by a qualified professional locksmith.

A Golden Opportunity for LocksmithsAs a locksmith, youll frequently be called on to service and replace automobile locks. Auto lock service is one of the fastest growing and most profitable areas of the locksmithing field. Again, think about how many cars are already on the road. Now, consider the rate at which new cars are being sold each year. Multiply all those cars by the number of locks found on a single car. Consider the growing crime rate and the increasing popularity of auto alarm systems. When you calculate the number of different locks, you can see that a tremendous volume of work exists for locksmiths specializing in auto work. Lets take a look at some of the typical services a locksmith will be asked to perform on a vehicle.

Typical Vehicle ServicesThe most common reason a locksmith is called to assist with an automobile is the lockout. Almost everyone has had the experience of locking their keys inside the car at one time or another. Since youre normally in and out of your vehicle several times in a single day, its very easy to do this. For most customers, this is a minor inconvenience. However, in some cases it may be an emergency. For example, a small child may be locked inside the car. In such a case, its vitally

Automotive Locks


important for the locksmith to be able to get into the car quickly and efficiently. The second most common occurrence is lost car keys. If youre like most people, youve probably often misplaced your car keys only to find them after a few minutes of searching. However, sometimes keys are lost permanently or even stolen. If the customer doesnt have a duplicate set of keys, he or she will need the services of the locksmith. In most cases, the locksmith can travel directly to the scene, bringing along all the necessary tools to create a new key for the customer. Another typical service locksmiths perform is rekeying. Some customers may decide that they would like to have just one key to operate all the locks in their car (some cars are designed this way at the factory, but others arent). Or, a customer may want to have locks rekeyed after purchasing a used car. This will ensure that the new owner has the only set of keys that will operate the vehicle. Locksmiths are often called upon to install security systems in vehicles. This is especially true if a customer has had a past experience with vehicle crime (a theft or attempted break-in). For many higher-end car models, an alarm system is installed at the factory. However, for most cars an alarm system is only an option. The customer may decide to have a system installed long after purchase. The installation of auto alarms has been made much easier o