1Will you damage my car when you unlock it since you’re opening it without a key?
No, the tools we use are designed specifically for your vehicle. This does not mean that damage cannot be done with the tool. As long as the person using the tool has been properly trained this shouldn’t be an issue. Pop-A-Lock pioneered the category of car door unlocking services and is the leading car locksmith in San Francisco. Car door unlocking is exactly as it sounds — the art of opening locked cars and helping people who are locked-out of their vehicles. Commonly called lockouts, these incidents occur quite regularly when people have lost car keys or locked keys in the car. Pop-A-Lock also opens trucks, trunks, trailers, and any auto lock on most vehicles. Given the heat in San Francisco, car door unlocking is difficult to perform correctly without damaging the rubber seal on the windows, window tint or the lock linkages inside the car door. We use specially designed tools and significant training to make sure the job is done right. However, certain vehicles that require the use of an “under the window or swan tool” can possibly cause damage to after-market tint. In these instances, we suggest inquiring about getting a key made to open. While it may cost a little more, it is guaranteed NOT to scratch after-market tint. Also, be careful of the company you use to open your car. Pop-A-Lock designed special tools to be able to open vehicles without damaging them. These are proprietary tools, so other companies cannot as easily prevent damage when they open the door.
2If I have you pick the lock to my house, will it damage the lock?
Picking the lock to your home or business will not damage the lock. By picking the lock you are simply “decoding” the pattern of your current key and smoothly opening the lock. It is not an easy task and should only be performed by an experienced locksmith who is using the right tools. A good locksmith should also be able to open most padlocks, cabinet locks, trunk locks, fingerprint locks, deadbolts and any other locking mechanism. Sometimes, the lock is damaged or has been tampered with so as to make it impossible to pick. In these instances, the lock will have to be drilled out and a new lock will have to be installed.
3What does it mean to re-key my house or business?
Re-keying (or rekeying) is the process of changing the key configuration of a lock so all existing and/or old keys will no longer work in the lock. People generally have a rekey done if they have lost their keys, want to make sure no old or existing keys will work in the lock, or they want to make sure all the locks in their location use the same key. Rekeying is the cheaper alternative to replacing all of your hardware. To perform the work, all the pins in the lock are changed to fit a new key that we issue to you. Once this process has been done, only the key issued to you will work in the lock. Note that we can make as many new keys as customers need. We can also change as many locks as requested to use the same key.
4What are situations when I would want to rekey my home or business?
You have lost a key to your home or business. You do not want a person or employee who has had access previously to be able to open the locks now. You have moved into a new home or business. You would like for all the keys for your home or business to open using a single key. You have purchased a new lock and want all the other locks to use the same key.
5What is a bump-proof lock?
A bump-proof lock is a type of high-security lock for your home or business that cannot be opened with conventional lock bypass tools. These locks were created because criminals and other illicit individuals were buying bump-keys on the internet and gaining access very easily to most locks. Bump keys will not work on a bump-proof lock.
6What is the most secure lock for my home?
The most secure lock for your home should be discussed with your Pop-A-Lock San Francisco technician. It will vary upon need and budget. There are lots of things that are not extremely costly that can help you better secure your home or business. Pop-A-Lock has offerings that should meet the spectrum of your needs from most cost-effective to highest performance, most-secure lock. It is also important to know that securing a home involves more than just installing high-quality locks. Your locksmith will be able to advise you best on these other needs.
7What are some tips you can give for making my home more secure?
Contact Pop-A-Lock San Francisco to discuss your personal concerns and needs. An easy evaluation of your home and entry points will be needed to assess the level of security you need.
8Why is it that often locksmiths are known for charging a lot more to open my locks than they quoted?
Well, there is two reasons why this happens. First are scammers. They are unlicensed, self-proclaimed locksmiths who prey on innocent people in desperate need. And then there is the problem of not being always able to exactly diagnose your specific problem over the phone.A reputable company will quote their service fee and a most likely price for repair due to their personal experiences, but can only accurately give a price after seeing your exact problem first hand. They should be able to offer a price range with a worst-case scenario. Scammers say one low price so they can use and intimidation factor once they are at your home, business or vehicle.
9Do children and other people really get locked in cars? How does that happen?
This situation happens more often than you might expect. It’s not uncommon for us to see 10 or more of these calls on any given day, and though we have responded to a few child neglect cases, typically, the situations we come across could happen to anyone. Many vehicles today are self-locking. Situations we have seen that cause a child, senior, other person or pet to be locked inside a vehicle would be: Having the wind blow a door closed and having it lock. Following a routine of shutting off the car, hitting the lock button, and closing the driver side door not realizing you left the keys in the ignition and a loved one in the backseat. You get a distracting call on your cell phone or close a trunk while getting a stroller out of it not realizing the keys are in the trunk and all the doors are locked.
10What action do I take if I accidentally lock my child in the car?
Call 911 immediately. They will forward you to the Fire Department who will dispatch Pop-A-Lock anywhere in the San Francisco area. Through our Emergency Door Unlock program we will unlock a car or home if a child, senior or any person’s life is in danger for FREE.
11What can I do if my key is stuck in the ignition and will not turn?
The safest thing is to call Pop-A-Lock San Francisco for a free estimate on repairing or replacing the ignition cylinder. DO NOT attempt to force the ignition as you may break the key off costing you more money. Pop-A-Lock can repair or replace most ignition cylinders and keep these cylinders in stock on the most problematic vehicles.
12What makes some car and/or motorcycle keys so expensive to make?
Vehicle security, like everything else, is constantly evolving. Most late model vehicles are now equipped with a type of anti-theft system called transponders. Many vehicles don’t use a conventional key and lock system, but instead use an electronic key fob. To program these types of keys/fobs, locksmiths have to invest in the equipment and training to generate working keys/fobs for these vehicles. Also, the key blanks and fobs themselves are a lot more expensive than your standard metal key blank.
13Please explain what a transponder key does.
A transponder key is a type of anti-theft device for your vehicle. Basically, it is a chip embedded in the head of your key (which is not visible) that receives a signal from your vehicle’s computer upon starting the car. If the digital signature from the computer and key match, your vehicle will start. There are several ways manufacturers disable vehicles that are transponder equipped, including disabling starter circuit and fuel pump, for example. Pop-A-Lock San Francisco is your one-stop shop for transponder keys. You may also want to check with your insurance company as some give rate deductions for transponder-equipped vehicles.
14Is it true that I have to go to the dealer to get keys to my car made?
This is 100% incorrect. The fact is that most experienced locksmiths, like the professionals at Pop-A-Lock San Francisco, should be able to generate a key for almost any car as long as they have the proper equipment, machines and training. Dealerships tell their customers this because they want you to go through them. Also, if your vehicle happens to be transponder-equipped you must tow your vehicle to the dealer to get the key made, which wastes time and money. Call Pop-A-Lock San Francisco and we’ll come to your location.
15What does it mean to do an on-site battery installation?
An onsite battery installation is a service Pop-A-Lock San Francisco provides where one of our skilled experts comes to your location – wherever you are in Alameda, and Contra Costa – and replaces your battery on-site. As an additional service, we take your old battery or core with us, since often these batteries leak and can cause damage to your vehicle.
16What if my car battery has a warranty? Would it still make sense to use your services?
If your car battery is still under warranty with the dealership where you purchased the vehicle, it could be worth your while to get a jumpstart and drive it in. But we recommend you call them with your VIN # and ask what the price will be. Even under warranty the battery is prorated and could end up costing you as much as an aftermarket battery which is made to the exact specifications of your car. Not to mention all time you’ll have to wait at the dealership while it’s in for service. While Pop-A-Lock San Francisco does an onsite battery replacement, we always start off with a free, no-obligation evaluation of your battery and charging system using state-of-the-art testing equipment.