Before any job starts there is a phone call and before any customer decides to order Locksmith Service there are questions and sometime plenty.
One of the most common question we are asked and most of the time it is the first question : ” I lost my car key, how much you charge?”
I always freeze for few good seconds when I’m faced with that question because it keeps amazing me every single time how many people think that all car keys are the same, a Toyota doesn’t cost like Mercedes Benz therefore, parts and service will also be different.
Another common question is “I lost my car key I just need a key to open the car and to drive it, that’s it, that’s all i need, how much you charge?” at that moment I wonder what else can a car key do?
Before answering these questions, sometimes the main problem is explaining to customers the actual situation they are in, sometimes the news are not pleasant to their ears, they didn’t hear what they wanted and in that moment you lose credibility because they think you are lying to them just to get more money, or you are trying to sell them something, but the truth is here at I-Tech Locksmith of Arlington we don’t work that way, our reputation and name are important to us and we will not risk it for $200 job or sometimes even less or more it doesn’t matter, however, some situations are more complex than the customers realize and we believe it is very important to explain to the customer the details of his/her situation in simple terms so they fully understand what kind of problem they are dealing with, especially when the vehicle’s original locks or electronics systems have been replaced or modified and the customer is not even aware of it because they bought the car that way.
So as big believers in honesty and fair business conduct we ask the customer few questions so we can get a better idea of what their situation is and if they are asking for a price over the phone as they usually do, we want to be as accurate as possible, unlike most other companies where the bait and switch tactics are employed, but even with all the effort and questions, even then many times when we get to the site things turn out to be different.
When customers are asking for a price to get an Ignition key made for their car or truck, after they get the price many times the reaction is: ?for a key?” the answer is: yes and no.
The process to make a car key from scratch in a all keys lost situation sometimes could be very challenging, in fact so much so that most Locksmiths chose to stay away from these type of jobs simply because they are either too complex, require very expensive equipment that they don’t have, or requires skills and knowledge, experience and access to data resources that sometimes these locksmiths don’t possess so they just decide their time is better spent elsewhere.
Such challenging vehicles for example are: SATURN, VOLVO, JAGUAR, MERCEDES BENZ, VOLKSWAGEN, AUDI, PORSCHE, BMW, LEXUS(several models) ACURA(several models).
These vehicles sometimes require heavy duty electronic work, expensive equipment and access to data that is sometimes difficult and expensive to access.
At I-Tech Locksmith of Arlington we are trying to cover as many vehicles as possible by investing in cutting edge equipment and constantly learning the new technologies cars manufacturers keep coming up with even when it doesn’t always make economic sense, because we want to be the best that we can be.
here are some examples of some of the electronic work needed to complete a job of a car key made.
As you can see in the picture below, this is a BMW Z4 EWS Immobilizer electronic circuitboard that we worked on, in this situation programming a key requires soldering several wires to a very specific and tiny points on the board in order to read some data and download files that are required to make a key and program it so it can eventually start the engine.
Similar Situation exists on Older Lexus model where the entire Engine Control Unit has to be removed and and a memory chip that stores the keys data has to be wiped clean and re-flashed with new files to bring it to a point where new car keys can be programmed.
These are just couple of examples that shows the extensive work that has to be done after the key has been made, sometimes to make the key is also a long process by itself and requires accessing the manufacturer security information database and purchase security information that is required when making a key when no working car key is present, or removing the lock from a door when data is not available and that looks something like this picture below:
That problem becomes much more difficult if a door or ignition lock have been replaced and there are two separate keys, one for the door and one for the Ignition, sometimes they have to be replaced all over again because now the information can not be obtained from anywhere and a key can not be made for the Ignition, if you combine that with a vehicle that is challenging to program such as those described above, the price could be overwhelming to the customer who might say I just wanted a key, why is it so expensive? the process is very long and sometimes requires expensive parts and expensive equipment until we get to the point where we have a working key that we can give to our customer, that’s why your best bet is to get a spare key while you have a working key and don’t wait until you lost everything, that might be too late and you will not be able to dodge a bullet of an expensive job.
If you have a situation that you think might require a professional Automotive Locksmith please call us today!