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wolfie
07-12-2014, 05:21 AM
Scenario: My car, which I bought used, came with one (worn) key, which I have only used as a master to get "regular use" keys cut. Still, getting keys duplicated from a worn master is not reliable. The car is old enough that the set of replacement lock cylinders has been discontinued, and it uses non-transponder keys.

If I were to get a locksmith to create a key for it from scratch with "clean" steps for the tumblers, whether through the use of tryout keys, a gizmo to measure the bitting on the lock, impressioning, or some other method, roughly how much would that cost?

Also, in the event that I need to replace a lock cylinder (damage, etc.), would an automotive locksmith be able to re-key a cylinder obtained from a salvage yard to match the others, or would I need to obtain a complete set of 4 from a salvage yard in order to still have everything on the same key?

Thanks.

TheSHAD0W
07-12-2014, 04:44 PM
A good locksmith can indeed create new keys for you, but expect to pay for the service. It'll be less expensive if the old key is still able to make the lock function, if briefly. Note, though, that if the key is that worn, the lock is likely to be worn also and this may not be the best way to go.

Most auto locks are not rekeyable, they use wafers rather than pin tumblers and replacements aren't readily available. Typically you'd buy a complete set of replacement locks, all keyed alike. You could get a set of cylinders from a salvage yard, but I'd recommend you check the price of a new set first.

wolfie
07-12-2014, 05:30 PM
My "regular use" key works reliably (once I get one that works, it works reliably, but sometimes it takes a few attempts to get one that works), it's just that I don't like the fact that I'm using a 2nd generation key where the master was worn. As for getting new cylinders, as I mentioned in my original post, the new cylinders are no longer available.

mathnerd
07-12-2014, 05:33 PM
If the lock itself is fine, a dealer should be able to create a new key with the vin. I had to do that with my old honda. It cost less than ten bucks.

Docmayhem
07-12-2014, 09:03 PM
Depending on the age of the car, and how accessible the locks are, that a locksmith could pull one of the locks and read the code etched on it.

Most locksmiths can cut a key to a code.

It shouldn't
07-15-2014, 03:10 PM
I'm the locksmith.
First of all, what kind of car is it? (Year, model)
If you have a decent key, you can go to a locksmith and see if they can decode the key for you (measure out the depths of the cuts) and cut a key to code (original mfg. space and depth info).
Keep in mind that as worn as your 'original' key is, the insides of the locks are equally as worn.

Depending on what kind of car it is there may be the original key code to be found on a lock somewhere. Exact location of the code depending on the model. There are also other avenues of approach to generate a 'fresh' key by code.
Prices depend on which approach, what kind of car and what area you live in.

For most car locks, exists the possibility to have them re-keyed, whether they be pin of wafer tumbler locks. Not all locksmiths have the keying kits this requires, though. So it's best to call around first.

Hope this helps some. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Shalom
07-18-2014, 04:57 AM
I'm the locksmith.
First of all, what kind of car is it? (Year, model)
If you have a decent key, you can go to a locksmith and see if they can decode the key for you (measure out the depths of the cuts) and cut a key to code (original mfg. space and depth info).
Keep in mind that as worn as your 'original' key is, the insides of the locks are equally as worn.

which is why, when I used to cut keys by code for old car locks, I cut them about 0.005" higher than spec.

For most car locks, exists the possibility to have them re-keyed, whether they be pin of wafer tumbler locks. Not all locksmiths have the keying kits this requires, though. So it's best to call around first.

I used to do this for a living, up to 1993 when I went back to collegeb full-time. Car cylinders weren't originally intended to be rekeyed, but there were ways around this: you basically ripped off the face of the cylinder with a plier designed for that purpose, then could disassemble the cylinder and change the wafers (aka "discs" depending on whose terminology you used). Then you had a replacement face that crimped on. (The factory face was crimped all around; service replacement faces had four tabs that you had to bend under.) I had most of the common keying kits for American, Japanese and German cars in stock in my shop. Unfortunately I don't know what the state of the art is nowadays; I haven't done this in over 20 years.