Did you know that replacing a key fob can cost as much as $400? If you find yourself locked out of your vehicle and tempted to call the car dealership, rest assured you have quicker- and less expensive- options.
You can contact a car lockout service in South Austin for fast and reliable solutions if you’re locked out of your car. But how do you find a car lockout service in Austin? What credentials should you look for besides ID and a valid business license?
This article walks you through the ins and outs of this valuable service, along with some information about car lockout service prices, so keep reading for information you don’t want to miss.
Cost of Car Lockout Service in South Austin
If you require a car lockout service in South Austin, then you need to know the cost. There’s a standard $29 Service Call Fee tacked onto all services. South Austin Locksmith guarantees no hidden fees and transparency with all charges.
You can ask your technician for a breakdown of the cost so you know what’s expected before they begin any work.
Car, truck, and motorcycle lockouts start at $30. The scope of work needed and how long it takes to complete the job also affect the price. If you’re outside of the service area, there may be an additional travel fee.
If you need a new car key, you can expect to pay $90 and up on top of the service fees. Duplicate or car key copies start at $59, and ignition or lock changes start at $120.
For a programming transponder key, you can expect to pay $60 and up and ignition key extractions start at $70.
Once your technician arrives, they’ll assess the scope of work and walk you through what’s needed. They’ll provide you with an estimate for the repair time so you’re aware of the fees before they begin any work.
Find a South Austin Car Lockout Service
It’s important to find car lockout companies before you may require their services. This protects you in the event you find yourself in need of an emergency locksmith, or even if you plan on tightening your home’s security.
But how do you find South Austin car lockout services? Reviews and recommendations are essential, so be sure to find a company that’s reputable in your area. Let’s take a look at what else to look for.
Research the Company
Don’t just call the first name that pops up in your Google search- research the company before hiring them. If they have social media pages, be sure to check them out. Look for online reviews.
If neighbors used the service, ask what they liked and disliked. You can rest easy knowing that South Austin Locksmith has full transparency with pricing and offers tons of great reviews from satisfied customers.
Know What Questions to Ask
A locksmith is responsible for helping you with some of your biggest home and auto security issues, so you must ask them questions before their arrival- and ask the right questions.
Begin by asking about their service fees. Do the fees change after a certain time? Do the fees increase on nights, weekends, and holidays, or if called on an emergency basis?
Ask your locksmith if there’s an hourly rate they adhere to or if payment is based on each job. You can also ask what their labor rate is if they work hourly, and be sure to ask how much work is involved with each job.
Don’t forget to discuss payment. Not every business accepts all credit cards, and they may be a fee for charging the work. You might be more comfortable using PayPay or Venmo, for example, so don’t forget to ask about the type of payment they accept.
Remember to ask if the locksmith is licensed and insured, what type of vehicle the technician will arrive in, and whether or not they show ID. You want your technician to provide proof of identity, so be sure to ask this in advance.
It’s also important to inquire about emergency services. While it’s nice to plan when using a locksmith, some circumstances cant be planned for.
Ask if your locksmith is available 24/7 if they offer residential and commercial services, and if they’re comfortable will all types of lock changes, from windows to safes, and everything in between. You can also ask if they provide home evaluations to determine if you need updated security measures or not.
License and ID
As previously mentioned, ensure your locksmith carries identification on them, as they’re gaining access to your most valuable assets. You also want to know what type of insurance they have.
The vehicle your locksmith arrives in should represent the company name, so make sure you look out for that.
You can also Google your locksmith’s license number online if you’re unsure about their credentials. The Better Business Bureau also has tons of great resources when researching a locksmith.
Remember to obtain a written receipt after your locksmith completes any work. It should include their company’s name, a local address where they can be reached, and a phone number for the car lockout service you use.
How Do Car Lockout Services Work?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being locked out of your car, you can rest easy knowing car lockout technicians can arrive within 15 to 30 minutes, assuming they’re not busy with other jobs. But what’s entailed with a car lockout service in South Austin? And will it damage your car?
Let’s take a look.
Length to Unlock a Car Door
You can expect a traditional car door to take roughly 5 minutes to unlock. That’s it! You’ll be back on the road in no time.
However, it may not be as simple as unlocking your car door, especially if your vehicle has a complex security system installed. Although there’s no job a trained car lockout technician can’t tackle, some jobs may take longer than others, especially if your key is stuck- or broken- in your ignition. The techs will walk you through the job before starting work, so you’ll know what to expect ahead of time.
Is There Vehicle Damage?
Absolutely not! Trained car lockout technicians know how to skillfully unlock any vehicle without causing damage to it.
However, in rare circumstances, cars with deadlock features may require drilling if keys are in the trunk. But once you reinstall your license plate, you won’t see the hole. It all depends on where your keys are locked and how difficult they are to access.
Locksmiths take extra care and precaution to secure your vehicle so it’s left in the same shape they encountered it, without any excess damage.
Handling Deadlocked Cars
Deadlock functions are more common among BMWs, Land Rovers, and some of the higher-end Ford models. If you find yourself locked out of a vehicle with deadlock functions, a trained technician can help you regain entry.
Since each type of deadlock has some sort of industry standard, trained technicians know how to bypass them and have plenty of practice. Even if you have a non-traditional deadlock system, skilled techs can still figure out how to troubleshoot and bypass them so you can regain entry into your vehicle.
Types of Tools Used
When your locksmith arrives, they’ll have a variety of tools at their disposal. Each one serves a unique purpose depending on the type of car lock you have. Here are some common tools they may use.
You might see a locksmith use a wedge to create a gap between your car door and its frame. They fluctuate as per each locksmith’s discretion, but variations include plastic wedges, wooden wedges, air wedges, and rubber wedges. If your tech used plastic or wooden wedges, they’ll need some type of towel to serve as a buffer between the tool and the car itself.
Since plastic and wooden wedges are hard, they can scratch the paint, which is why they need a soft fabric barrier. The towel or rag also protects the weather stripping and plastic coating you see around your car window edges.
Soft rubber wedges are much less common, but certain locksmiths do use them. It’s all personal preference with which tools they find to get the job done the best. An advantage of soft rubber wedges is they don’t damage the car or scratch the paint.
Your technician will most likely use an air wedge, as they’re among the most common. They consist of a cloth pouch with a small rubber bladder attached by tubing. The tech inserts the flat wedge into the door jam before pumping air into it to expand the wedge.
Regardless of the type of wedge your tech uses, they shouldn’t be left in place for an extended period, as they can damage the door. This is why locksmiths work fast and efficiently, so you can regain access to your vehicle quickly and before any lasting damage occurs to your door.
Since wedges can cause permanent damage when improperly used, you should always defer to a professional lockout service when you find yourself in a jam with your vehicle. Locksmiths are highly trained individuals with the knowledge and expertise to unlock your car in record time and without any costly and unnecessary damage. They also know how to manipulate your car’s interior door locks to get you back up and running in no time.
Probes come after a wedge is placed in the doorway. It’s a thin, long tool that technicians use to manipulate inner door locks open. You have to insert it from the car’s exterior, so it has to be sturdy and thin.
A probe should be strong but flexible to adhere to the different types of locks. This part of the process might take longer, but your technician will know if it’s best to use it for the car lockout.
Your technician may use what’s known as a slim jim. They’re flat, long pieces of metal that typically have a plastic handle on one end with a hook on the other.
They’re used less often because they’re not a one size fits all and don’t work on every car. They also require a good deal of skill to finesse.
A technician needs to be skilled when using these to avoid possible damage to your car, so ensure your tech is skilled in using them. Slim jims go between the weather stripping and the window glass, although they have different uses.
Depending on your exact situation, the technician you hire will know which tools are best for the job.
Car Lockout Service in South Austin
If you find yourself in need of a car lockout service in South Austin, remember to keep these points in mind. Always hire a locksmith with valid credentials, check their ID before they perform any work, and get a quote ahead of time.
It’s also a good idea to have a locksmith lined up even if you don’t have any emergency. This way you know who to call ahead of time.
No matter what type of locksmith service you need, South Austin Locksmith is your one-stop shop. Contact us today and we’ll help you with everything from residential to commercial lockouts. We can even upgrade your existing locks to help with residential protection from theft, so be sure to request a service call.