I think I have touched on this in previous articles, but I don’t think it can ever be said too much; One key is NEVER enough.
We received another call today from a young woman who lost her only key to her 97 Ford Escort. As a locksmith, you know its hard to hold back that small sigh of “I know what is coming” when you take these calls. The problem is that Fords do not have code numbers in the vehicle. While this is a great safety precaution on the part of Ford, it is a vehicle owners worse nightmare IF the car is over ten (10) years old. Ford dealerships roll off the code information after that amount of time. After all isn’t it better to just have a newer car? But, I diverge.
As an owner that small noise a locksmith inadvertently makes probably starts the bells and whistles going off in one’s head. Yes, we know how you are going to respond when we tell you just how much it is going to cost to make a key for your vehicle. We know you aren’t going to be happy with it, and a lot of times we dread telling you; just like an owner might receive a “tell” from a locksmith to brace themselves for the cost, the locksmith gets a “tell” from the customer how well that information is going to be received.
So, lets do a little bit of educating. IF you lose the key to your Ford vehicle, then someone has to remove the door cylinder, so that a key can be made (wait for it) for the door. No, this key will NOT work the ignition (of course, there are some older Ford vehicles that use 5 cut key blanks, and the door key is separate from the ignition key; in this case, you are one of the lucky ones.) However, if you have an 8 cut or a 10 cut key, then only PART of the cuts can be found in the door lock. The rest of them have to come from the ignition and you can’t remove the ignition lock without a key, without destroying the lock. (You can buy a replacement ignition lock; oem lock will allow it to be keyed to your current key – aftermarket will give you a second key to your vehicle different than the doors. Of course, you could have your door locks re-keyed to match… )
In this case, a locksmith cuts the first cuts from the door cylinder and then must use what is known as a cutting tree to progress the last cuts. They may end up using one blank or fifty depending on how many variations they are and where your lock falls within that chart. All this equals expense to you. Rates vary from place to place, but you can easily be looking at anywhere from $100 on up.
A simpler solution, you ask? Make a spare key for your vehicle. Make a couple of spare keys, give one to some one you trust. By spending a few dollars now, you may end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars later. And if you don’t really feel you want a spare key? Well, then if you lose it, please don’t complain about the price it takes to make you a new one. Its not an easy task; time (along with experience) and materials are what you are going to be paying for.
© 2012, Shauna. All rights reserved.