Commonly Asked Locksmith Questions

Consumer education is important not only for the consumer, but the business as well. Properly informing the consumer can help avoid price tag shock and unnecessary trips, phone calls, and fees. On the business side, it is easier if the consumer comes prepared with the knowledge and any required documents to make the process run smoother. As a locksmith company that values its customers and understands the importance of consumer education, the team at Green Locksmith San Diego has put together a small list of the most commonly asked questions. We hope our answers are able to reach consumers near and far who are thinking these same questions.

If I got locked out of my car, what documents or information do I need in order to obtain locksmith services?

Typically, you will need to have some proof that you do indeed own the vehicle. Proof of registration from the dealership tends to be a common requisite. You will definitely need your VIN number, car make, and LOCKSMITH SAN DIEGO car model as this tells valuable information about the lock and key technology of your auto. The VIN number gives locksmiths the “code” for the key, but not always. If the lock has been changed, the VIN number won’t help. Also, the VIN number is less important for cars 10 years or older, as the manufacturer most likely cleaned the database of older vehicles. For newer models with transponder keys, the code is not enough as the locksmith additionally needs the transponder code (or to reprogram the transponder code).

How much does transponder key programming cost?

In general, “how much does it cost?” is always the main question (and rightfully so). We wish we could give you a concrete answer, but it really does depend on the car manufacturer, car model, and where you go for the transponder key programming. You can expect to pay in the hundreds, even if you do a mail order of blank transponder keys. It requires special machinery and computers, and not even dealerships tend to have these on site. At Green Locksmith San Diego, our customer service staff and partners will work with you to breakdown the costs and get you the most cost-effective option. Generally, prices can range from $145 – $280, but can run higher for more high-end security vehicles. We purposely work with technicians who carry the latest technologies in order to perform transponder key programming on the spot.

Why can’t I just go to a hardware store to make a duplicate key for my car or home?

You can, but it might not work. Hardware stores are not in the lock and key business and usually have lower quality key cutting machines. Locksmiths’ machines can keep producing the same good duplicate key for at least several generations, while the hardware store’s machine typically can’t go past making three generations of good keys. Additionally, the workers at the hardware store are less likely to be experienced in the lock and key industry and won’t be able to properly identify correct key blanks. You can count on licensed locksmiths to take pride in their work and produce a reliable and working duplicate key.

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