If asked what an automotive locksmith does, many people might quickly answer "Help open locked car doors when the keys are stuck inside." True, this is a valuable service provided by locksmiths.
But it is far from the varied and very helpful duties that can also be performed by these professionals. Many consumers are not aware that locksmiths do more than open locked car doors.
In today's modern world, many people have keyless entry systems. Does this mean that automotive locksmiths are obsolete? Far from it. In fact, they can save consumers a great deal of money by repairing a keyless system or even installing a brand new one.
Although auto manufacturers' guides may suggest calling the dealer and getting a new system from them, the price could end up being two to three times more than that charged by a locksmith. Why waste the extra money?
While it may be annoying to discover that that you've locked your keys in the car on a hot summer's day, there are times when this can be an emergency. On occasion, parents have exited a car only to have their children close the door and accidentally push the automatic locks, leaving the child stuck inside the car.
Very small children may not understand how to unlock the car. A locksmith can get inside the car quickly and also leave a special tool with parents that helps them break a window in a true emergency and get to their children. This kind of expertise can save lives.
It may not be readily apparent that when keys are locked in the trunk of a car, an automated locksmith can pop open the trunk of the car. But they can and they do, as a routine part of their everyday duties. They often can do so without hurting the lock itself and that is surely more desirable than amateur attempts to get through the lock, ones that leave permanent damage.
When choosing a locksmith, make sure that services are offered round the clock, 24 hours a day, and preferably even on weekends and holidays. After all, getting locked out of a car can happen anytime, holiday or not.
Some may wonder if an automotive locksmith is really needed, having been told that a coat hanger or "slim jim" tool can open the door. That may have worked in the past (but usually after many frustrating attempts) but today's cars simply are not made to allow coat hangers to get to the locks. Also, they do not work well with automatic locks.
Extra keys to cars can come in handy, as anyone who has been locked out of one knows all too well. A locksmith may be able to arrive on the job, make an extra key and get to the key locked inside the car. In very cold weather, some keys may break off inside the lock itself. Automobile owners should never attempt to extract a broken key from a lock. Only an experienced professional can do so without damaging the lock itself. They've practiced on many auto locks to learn how to do this.
Even if you discover a way to get into the car, do not be surprised if you discover damage to the car afterwards. Coat hangers can scratch paint and the interior of auto windows, potentially reducing a car's value. But by using an expert automotive locksmith, it is entirely possible to leave a car in great shape, with no sign of damage.