24/7 Mobile Locksmith – FAQ

Over the years, our general contractors, at 24/7 Mobile Locksmith, have faced different questions from our customers. We found it right to provide you with some of the more frequent asked questions, hoping it would help you make a better decision regarding your specific locksmith needs.

Should you need any additional information, please feel free to contact us.

General Locksmith Questions


What’s involved in restricted key systems?

Restricted key systems bestow all managerial powers involved with a lock or a system of locks all onto one or more specific people. This person (or peoples) is the only one who can decide whether to duplicate a key or issue a key to someone else—as well as have any designated locks repaired, replaced, rekeyed, or be serviced in general. Our locksmiths have to check with this authority figure before ever proceeding with a locksmith service: we’re prevented from legally working on any aspect of this security system—whether it’s a master key system or a single lock in an average household. Until the authority gives consent, our professional locksmiths are obstructed from moving forward. This restricted key system enables someone to have total control over the keys and locks in a particular domain: this provides peace of mind as one can set parameters around his safety (no one without permission will be able to have a key). You can bet that our expert locksmiths always respect such a system; and we can even help you establish one in your commercial or residential setting if you would like this excellent safety option.

My Yale rim cylinder sustained fire damage; can it be repaired, or must it be replaced?

Oftentimes, rim cylinders are somewhat less resilient than other, more complex cylinder. Yale makes an excellent selection of reliable rim cylinders—to which our expert locksmiths can attest. However, it is very difficult for many locks to withstand certain degrees of fire damage. Call up our professional locksmith contractors to assess exactly how much damage your rim cylinder sustained. If it is in fact minimal, we would be glad to offer any repairs that are necessary to maintain your safety. Yet, in most cases of fire damage, locks in general might need to be replaced: you would never want to jeopardize your safety; and we would never want to jeopardize your safety. We’ll inform you of everything you need to know once we take a good look at the situation.

What can you tell me about drop bolts?

To begin, a drop bolt is a long bolt whose purpose is to add more security to a door in a way that is similar to a dead bolt. You can identify a drop bolt by the door hinge-like leaves that interlock within the mechanism. These particular bolts function when these hinges are intertwined and secured by a bolt that drops into the hole between them. One major benefit of such engineering is that drop bolts are quite difficult for intruders to separate, making them ideal for both commercial and household settings. Drop bolts can be used in many settings, and they come from many manufacturers—including Mul-T-Lock, Schlage, Baldwin, Von Duprin, and many more. Let us know in what capacity you’d like to use a drop bolt and our skilled locksmiths will be glad to help you out.

How do I choose a reliable locksmith?

When it comes to your home / business security, you must be sure that there are no mistakes. You have to make sure that the job is done in a professional manner, and if there are any problems you have someone to talk to. After all, you entrust the keys to your house’s locks in the hands of a stranger. Here are some pointers:

  • Always ask for a price! – Although it is not always possible to get an accurate quote for complicated jobs. For simple jobs such as car lockouts it is pretty reasonable to get a quote, even if it is a rough one. Don’t be satisfied with service call + labor, ask what the labor is!
  • When the technician arrives make sure he has signs on his truck with the company name, company logo, and contact number. Organized companies will make sure that their logo is well shown and their customers know how to reach them.
  • Look for affiliates with known companies such as insurance companies and roadside assistance.
What is “Re-Key” and what is the difference between “Re-Keying” a lock and changing a lock?

To Rekey a lock it means that we change only the combination of the pins inside the lock. By doing so, you keep your old lock, and the old key would not work anymore. It is also possible to have the rekey two locks on the same door alike. The 24/7 Mobile Locksmith group of technicians provide two new keys for free with any “Rekey” job.

The key for my deadbolt / door knob is “sticking”, why is this happening and what can I do about it?

There can be many causes for this problem. The most common one is because the pins inside the lock cylinder are not flat and therefore it is “harder” for the key to be in the “right position”. The solution can be, changing the lock or rekeying the lock again.

What is a double sided deadbolt and should I install one on my door?

A double-sided deadbolt is a lock that in order to open or lock it you will need to use a key from the inside and the outside. Unlike most dead bolts and door knobs that have a button or flip in the inside part of the lock, double-sided deadbolts are operated with a key from both sides. IMPORTANT NOTICE: In certain counties the local fire department forbids us to install double sided dead bolts on residential doors. One of the reasons for that is in case of emergency (e.g. fire) the tenant has to leave the apartment quickly and may not have access to their keys, which are necessary to open this type of lock.

This is the second time I have locked myself out of my house, what can I do to avoid this mistake again?

Two simple solutions:

  • Keyless entry system – You can install a deadbolt that is operated by touch pad and/or a key, so if you lose your keys you can always open it with a code that you have.
  • Passage lock door knob – Most of the house lockouts occur when the button of the door knob is on the “lock” position and you didn’t pay attention. A very simple way to avoid this is to have a “Passage lock”. Passage lock is a door knob without a key or any lock cylinder. Just a simple door knob. If you want to lock the house you use the deadbolt. In this way there are no mistakes, and you should not be concerned about forgetting the door knob in the “lock” position.
What is a “construction key”?

This type of key is one that allows the holder to get in and out of a building whose locks are suited for that particular key—just like a regular lock and key. This function, however, is terminated once a different key, one that fits that lock, is employed to open up that lock. The mechanism that affects this change results from shifting a ball bearing out from a pocket within the lock down into the cylinders of the key, thereby invalidating that construction key’s usefulness. Make sure that if you have such a key after construction is done, you also have what is known as an “over-ride” key, which you should use from that moment on.

It’s really hard to open my door with my key. Should I keep forcing it until it works?

All our expert locksmiths agree that that is the last thing you would want to do. No matter what key you’re using, whether it is used for an automotive, a house, or a commercial setting, forcing any key within a lock will almost always cause that key to snap off into the lock. You don’t want to make the issue worse with the resulting lock replacements or repairs that will inevitably arise. It’s possible that the whole trouble comes from the aging and wear to which your key has been subject, and all that might be needed is a newly cut key. In any event, don’t force anything; just call up our trained professionals and they’ll discern the exact source of the problem and its necessary solution. Have patience. Our contractors will get to your side in no time, remedying the issue as fast as they can.

Can you replace the business keys I lost?

Without a doubt. Our locksmiths have all the knowledge, experience, and technology to work any form of lock rekeys. No matter what happens—even if you lost your car and home keys along with your business keys—our contractors always have you covered.

Someone’s stolen my house keys. I don’t want to have to go to the trouble of finding new locks. Is there an alternative?

Absolutely. You’re a client who’s describing the ideal case for a lock rekey. If you want to keep the locks you have, either because of aesthetic preference, or because of simple convenience, you can call up our locksmiths to supply you with a definitive lock rekey, and your safety will be just as assured. You can rely on our locksmiths to maintain the security of your home from anyone who might be threatening it. And a lock rekey is just one of many methods of ensuring your protection.

I never used to have difficulty locking my wooden door, but now it won’t close unless I shift the key a lot and put pressure on the door. What’s happened?

Oftentimes buildings settle, along with the frames and the doors attached to those buildings. What you might also be experiencing is a gradual transformation of your door itself, as wood tends to react to weather changes, like expansion in hot and humid weather, and contraction in dryer temperatures. All our professional locksmiths are completely familiar with these changes. Let them handle the operation and they’ll have your locksmithing troubles relieved in no time at all.

Are all skeleton keys the same?

When your home or offices are equipped with the same design and maker of locks, you will generally have a skeleton key that can be used for your particular building. However, not any one skeleton key can go opening every single lock. Our locksmiths have skeleton keys, or bit keys, and apply them when the occasion is appropriate. Nowadays, with growing technologies and highly precise mechanisms, these skeleton keys tend to be going out of vogue.

How do I get a hold of your locksmith contractors?

You can reach us any way you like. Find out the particular number of our locksmiths nearest you, from our website 24-7mobile-locksmith.com. Or, if you’d rather, you can call us up at our toll free number at 877-585-Keys (5397). Talk to our operators at our 24/7 hotline and let them know what kind of distress your facing, or what services need to be handled by professionals. We’re standing by, awaiting your call. And if you find e-mail to be more convenient, simply send us a letter to our address at [email protected]. Either way, we’ll send our contractors over to you as soon as possible, by appointment or in emergencies.

Why do I need to make sure a locksmith is licensed and bonded?

For your own sake, you’ll want to make sure that any professionals has the proper licensing and bonding that will keep your safety well protected. If you hire a locksmithing service that, unlike ours, has no proper credentials, you could be leaving yourself open to all kinds of chicanery. Hiring out a non-professional who has no proper licensing could be quite dangerous for you; that person is more intent on making a quick buck than assuring a customer of his or her automotive, residential, and/or commercial security. You’ll want to stick with our highly qualified professionals—the kind of people that can give you invaluable advice and assistance in any time of need, ensuring that your safety is never compromised.

Can I get a master key for my home?

There are certainly options available to every homeowner searching for the security of master key systems. There are display models that are master keyed, and our locksmiths can help you make the right decision by guiding you through all that you need to know about getting the highest forms of security for your house.

Is there anything I should do between the phone call and the arrival of your locksmiths?

Stay near a phone. If you have a cell phone, keep that phone on. Don’t try to tamper with the locks or whatever object that needs the attentions of our locksmiths. You shouldn’t have to wait long for our expert locksmiths; they try their hardest to arrive in a speedy fashion. They’re practically out the door the minute you give us your location. So sit tight and they’ll be at your side in no time.

Can I have my doors professionally painted without doing damage to the locks and bolts?

Absolutely. Simply tell your painter to be extra cautious around the entire lock mechanism. He’ll apply some professional-grade masking tape over your deadlocks, or any area of the locks or fittings. This will prevent any necessary part from being painted over, leading to difficulties our locksmiths would then have to remedy.

What’s a mortice deadlock?

The word “mortice” implies that the lock technology is placed right within the material of the door. The mortice is actually a hole in the shape of a rectangle within, say, a piece of wood, into which the lock is fastened. The alternative would be to screw the lock onto the door’s face. A deadlock implies that the lock-bolt is not held together by a spring. Instead, it is extended manually, oftentimes by a key.

Do I need to think about locks and such when I’m buying a door?

If you’re concerned with the security of your home, office, or room, you’ll definitely want to take into account the thickness of the door. Our professional locksmiths recommend a 45 mm thickness as being the most reliable. You want a properly stable door so that the locks you fit in, such as mortice locks, have a firm enough grounding. If not, you’ll be limiting the safety of your room, not improving it, which is of course what you do not want to do.

What services do you offer regarding home safes?

All of our expert locksmiths have plenty of knowledge in the field of safes—for both household and commercial applications. Our locksmiths can help you with any safe service, from beginning to end and in cases of emergency. You can count on our specialists to help you make the right selection that is ideal for your living and working specifications. And our locksmiths can apply their talents even further to installations, repairs, and replacements of any brand of safes.

Is there a lock I can buy that is immune to lock picks and burglars?

All the brands of locks that are out there, like Baldwin, Kwikset, Schlage, Medeco, Yale, etc. guarantee your satisfaction with their products; our highly qualified locksmiths offer you the same professional guarantees regarding satisfactory, all-around locksmithery service. However, there will always be the crafty, ingenious thieves who can rob from the tightest security in the most guarded museums. We cannot make absolute guarantees that any lock our contractors provide for you will be perfect, because nothing is perfect. But we do assure you that the locksmith solutions we offer you, and the commitment to excellence that binds all of our employees, and the quality lock products that are made by the best manufacturers in the world, all combine to ensure that your safety is as good as it can be—keeping your far better protected than if you were left with no security at all.

I want a lock that looks good without sacrificing function. Can your locksmiths help me find the right lock?

You can rely on the expertise of all our trained professionals. They have worked with all kinds of clientele who need all kinds of necessities secured—all kinds of requirements in the fields of aesthetics, safety, and durability. When you ask for the professional opinions of our locksmith contractors, you will be receiving the opinions of specialists who have fielded the same questions innumerable times in the past. Our locksmiths know all there is to know about all the products from all the major brands—for instance, Mul-T-Lock, Corbin, Gateman, Kwikset, and so much more. There really is such a variety of products out there that we can all but guarantee you will find the perfect lock to match all of your needs. And our locksmiths will be right beside you to help you find that lock.

What locks work best in a commercial setting?

This is a question that really depends on what kind of commercial setting. You’re right to make the distinction that a commercial locksmithing service is quite different from a household or automotive locksmithing service. But in truth, one commercial locksmithing solution would not fit just any commercial setting. When you request the help of our trained professionals, they will gladly come over to your office and take a survey of the entire operation, estimating just what would be suited to your business’ particular needs. Afterwards, we can tell you exactly what kind of locks would be best for you, which models would keep you safest.

I’ve never use a keyless lock system before, how I know I can trust it?

It’s very natural to be skeptical of something with which you aren’t familiar. And although you may not be very well acquainted with this more modern brand of technology, keyless entry systems have been providing top notch security to millions of satisfied patrons for years and years. While you may not be so familiar with this particular technology, the manufacturers are certainly names you know and trust—names like Baldwin, Schlage, Kwikset, Medeco, and so many other reliable brands. Our locksmiths would never recommend you an inferior product; you can be certain that our experts have your safety interests well in mind, and if they’re going to present you with a keyless lock solution, you can trust that our professionals and that product will secure you as would any other high-quality lock.

What kind of services do you offer someone who works in a commercial setting?

We really offer nothing different to people in commercial settings than we would to clients of households or automobiles. A lockout might be different for a car’s door than for an office door, and our locksmiths will make the proper professional adjustments, but the quality of service and the results will be the same in both scenarios. The same applies to lock installs, repairs, replacements, and lock rekeys—which include high security locks and master key systems, options regarded very highly by commercial proprietors. Whatever locksmithing services you might have in mind can almost certainly be satisfied by our talented staff of locksmiths; simply share with them what particular business needs aren’t being met, and they will ensure your safety needs are completely fulfilled.

How much personal information do I need to share with your locksmiths?

According to the precepts enumerated in our Privacy Policy—a text in which we take much pride—you are required to share only a small number of details about yourself. These details include your name, address, your telephone number, and your locksmithing request. If you are having any reservations, we want you to know that anything your share is entirely confidential. Our Privacy Policy protects you and your interests; you can place your trust in our qualified, professional contractors.

How long will it take to cut a key for me?

We could never make such general guarantees regarding time for any of our services. Our locksmiths are professionals who insist on quality and not quantity; they are dedicated to their task & to their profession. When you need a new key cut you can be certain that we’ve guaranteed your satisfaction. As to the amount of time or the number of attempts at the perfect cut, it truly varies from expert to expert.

Auto, Ignition & Car Keys Questions

Why is my key not turning my ignition lock?

There could be any number of reasons causing your ignition lock to not cooperate with your key. One of the most common reasons is that it might be filled with dirt, grime, debris, or other clogging particles that prevent your key from doing its duty. Our professional locksmith contractors recommend you try some electrical contact cleaner—the kind of product they would use in such an instance. Then, get your ignition lock lubricated with enough drops of silicone. When your key does not fit in correctly and you ignition cylinder is still giving you problems, try tapping firmly on the face of the cylinder. Many times, the springs inside the ignition lock are jammed, causing the tumbler to not pop out to meet the teeth on the key; giving your cylinder’s face a strong tap will loosen those springs and move the tumblers back into place. If none of these solutions produced the desired effect, try examining your car’s key: check for missing teeth, obscured or damaged grooves, or any arching in the key. You can correct any bends by laying your key on a flat surface and pounding it straight with a block of wood. If there are missing parts or irreparable blemishes, it’s time to call up our professional locksmiths. We can help you work out all your automotive lock ignition issues. Just have one of our specialists over to examine your car and you’ll be on the road again in no time.

Can I program my new transponder key to my Nissan Altima by myself?

Programming of transponder keys can be quite a difficult process for laymen. If not done properly, your Nissan will not recognize the serial number that’s being transmitted by the chip within you key; as a result, your Altima will not start. In order to be certain that both your car and your transponder key will work in perfect unison, we would recommend that you hand over all responsibility to our trained professionals—people who have all the knowledge and experience needed for a proper familiarity with the radio transmission, microchips, and every other technical aspects of transponder keys.

I lost my car keys, where can I get a new one?

For most makes and models a professional locksmith can make you a new key. For certain cars it is sometimes necessary to have special computers to program the new key (transponder keys and high security keys). Another option is to contact your dealer.

What should I do if my key broke off in my lock?

If you break your key off in your ignition or door lock and you do have the pieces you should keep them. Many times it is much easier for a locksmith to regenerate the key from the broken pieces than to make it from scratch. If you don’t have the key pieces, please do not try to extract it yourself because it may cause more problems, especially when it is a car key (ignition or doors). When you break a key off in a lock, most of the time you can still save the lock (This is relevant for door cylinder as well as ignition cylinder) but just need a new key. 24/7 Mobile Locksmith technicians can help you with that. We can make lost car keys on spot, including transponder keys and high security keys. Just give us a call and set up a time for us to come out, remove the key, and make you another one.

What could I do if my key is stuck in ignition?

If you get your key stuck in the ignition first thing you will want to do it leave it alone and call a locksmith. The more you mess with the ignition the more chances you would damage the cylinder and that may be more expensive to repair or replace than just to extract the key. Most of the time a locksmith can repair the ignition if needed but the more it is messed with the more chance you will need a new ignition.

How can I get my key for my car to work?

Sometime when a key to a car will not work it could be a few different issues, one it could be that the car key is just warn out and is not registering with the ignition. In that case we can either tone up the key or make you another one. Another issue people are having is when they have what is called a transponder key or a V.A.T.S. key which have chips in them. These keys sometimes may need to be reprogrammed or the chip could just be broken and in that case a locksmith can make you a new key.

What if my car key opens the door, turns the ignition but wouldn’t start the car on? What is the reason and how can it be?

When a car key opens the doors and turning the ignition cylinder but will not start the car most chances you have a key with a chip, such as transponder key or VATS key, and the key wasn’t programmed or the chip is broken. A locksmith can make you a replacement key on site and if necessary to program the key too.

My car key has a chip in it and it turns the ignition but does not seem to start the car, why?

Sometimes this issue people have is when they have what is called a transponder key or a V.A.T.S. key which have chips in them. In case of VATS keys you will be able to see a small black chip at the middle of the key. In case of transponder key you will not be able to see the chip because it is actually a computerized chip that communicates with the car. These keys sometimes can need to be reprogrammed or the chip could just be broken and in that case a locksmith can make and program you a new one.

Where can I get a new car key if I lost my only key and where can I make a copy?

Many times stores like Home depot, Wall-mart or any other hardware store can make key copies. If not a locksmith shop can copy the keys. The problem is in case you have a key with a chip, such as VATS key or transponder key. In this case the key has to be programmed or with the right chip. One option is to call a locksmith who provides mobile locksmith services so he can come to the car and program the key for you. Another option is to go to the dealer or to tow the car there.
Please note: there are certain car key the car must be present in order to program the key. I.e. most ford models 2000 and up, most GM 2000 and up and Chrysler 99 and up.

What are transponder keys and how can I know if my car key is a transponder key or not?

Transponder car keys Are keys that have computer chips imbedded in them. Car manufacturers (such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Daewoo, Dodge, Jeep, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Lincoln and more use different types of chips in their keys. All transponder chips consist of copper windings and a circuit board of some sort. When the proper key is inserted into the ignition the induction coil in the column sends out an electromagnetic field. The field energizes the transponder chip, which in turn sends a radio frequency signal back to the vehicle’s computer allowing it to start.
Transponder keys look exactly like a regular metal key, only with a cover on the top of the key. (Usually black or grey). However, other than that there is no indication of any chip that you can see. These car keys are built in a way that the key must be programmed and registered with the vehicle or otherwise the car will not start.

What are VATS keys and how can I know if my car key is a VATS key or not?

VATS car keys – Before transponder keys there were V.A.T.S. keys, which stands for Vehicle Anti-Theft System. These keys have a visible resistor chip in the blade of the key. There are 15 different values to these chips. When the key is inserted into the ignition the switch reads the resistive value of the chip on the key and sends a signal to the vehicle. VATS key can only be found in GM models.
A simple way to know if your car key is a VATS key is to take a look at the car key. A small black chip in the key will indicate that this is a VATS key.

I just found the keys to my Jaguar XF after I had your locksmiths make me new ones. Now these old keys don’t work. What’s the deal?

Most likely, the issue here involves transponder keys. Our expert locksmiths probably programmed new transponder keys for your Jaguar in order to replace the ones that were lost or misplaced. When such a service is performed, it often is necessary to erase all the previous keys that were used before from the car’s system. Once this is done, it allows new keys to be programmed in. This is done to maintain your safety and the safety of your automobile. If you want to reprogram your system to be compatible with your newly found keys it is often a very simple procedure. If you find that you cannot perform it yourself, please: call up our professional locksmiths and they will take care of everything for you.

Can I just tell you my vehicle’s identification number and have your locksmiths make a key that way?

Oftentimes, particularly in instances relating to older makes and models of cars, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is not enough for our contractors to proceed with a key cutting. If the automotive is new, for instance, our locksmiths might have an easier time operating the task just with the VIN. However, the number that is most useful to our specialists is the code number that is assigned to your car. In order for this number to be given out, the dealership must obtain all the necessary documents that prove a customer’s ownership and registration. Furthermore, in cases where an automotive’s locks have been previously changed, resulting also in new keys, a VIN is quite useless to our locksmiths. And when dealing with most recent cars, transponder technology is so often employed that a patron would also have to supply us with the transponder code as well.

My ignition is just beyond repair. Can you rebuild my car’s ignition?

Absolutely. Our locksmiths can work with any form of lock, no matter what the application—be it automotive, residential, or commercial. They’ll take care of your car’s ignition as if it were any other lock. You can count on our professionals to provide you with a functioning auto ignition.

What’s a laser cut key?

Contrary to the name itself, these keys are not actually cut with the utilization of lasers. They were formerly made as a more high-end method of manufacturing keys—often found accompanying luxury cars such as Mercedes and BMW. These brands used laser cut keys because the milling was placed on the sides of the keys, rather than running the length of the top and bottom; this afforded the customer higher security keys. This comes about because copying keys with such singular milling is quite difficult. And the challenges grow in number and complexity when one looks to replace such a laser cut key. However, our locksmiths never consider such a service to be at all a challenge. With the equipment they own and the knowledge they possess they can furnish you with the right laser cut key for your automobile—even if it’s a maker that has recently adopted such keying methods, like Saab, GM, Audi, Volvo, and Honda.

Do your locksmiths work on trunk locks for cars?

Our locksmiths are quite prepared to work on any automotive locks, no matter what might be the problem. They can certainly work on your trunk lock if it needs to be either replaced, repaired, or installed. And don’t worry for a moment if your car is by a foreign manufacturer: our experts have the skill to work on any make or model of car, from Audis and Hondas, to Jaguars and Fords.