HOW DOES IGNITION REKEYING WORKS?
In accessing the ignition cylinder, the locksmith will start by removing the dashboard panels of your car. Before doing this, the battery of the car is disconnected in order to prevent electric shock, and will prevent the rekeying process from accidentally cranking the engine or turning the electronic systems on. These are plastic pieces that require different unlocking methods and disassembly procedures.
If you are planning to do a DIY and rekey your locks yourself, you will have to know that you might be out of luck; most cars utilize a set of tamper-resistant screws for their cars, and you will need special tools for this kind of job. During the process, snap latches will need to be disconnected, which could be very tricky and have a tendency to break without the proper care and disassembly methods. This is one of the reasons why professionals are preferred to do these kinds of procedures, as they have the proper experience, training, and knowledge to undo these latches without breaking them.
This is what makes the fine line between an amateur and a professional in ignition cylinder rekeying; the process takes a certain degree of artistry and focus that can only be gained through experience. Sometimes these latches require to be manhandled as part of their design, and other times, mistreatment or mishandling will only risk the latch breaking.
After all of the necessary panels have been removed from the dash, the housing for your ignition will be exposed. It is at this time where the rekeying process will begin. The cylinder will be removed temporarily and the key will be inserted to be turned into a specific position depending on the model of your vehicle.
Ignition cylinders will be on the accessory position in most cases, but some could also be at the “ON” position, the accessory into the “ON” position, or even the “ON” into the start position. If the cylinder is faulty, you might be unable to get the key into position on your own, and this is where the assistance of an experienced and highly-skilled locksmith will really come in handy. Once the key is put into the right position, one security pin or more will have to be depressed.
These security pins are accessible through a small hole on the cylinder housing. It will take a tool with the right size in order to access this. If the cylinder gets stuck, this can be solved by wiggling the key back and forth. If the problem persists, there might be an added layer of protection in the cylinder housing, such as an additional pin or screw.
Now that the cylinder is outside of its housing, there are some extra metal parts that will need to be removed. Depending on the make and model of your car, the exact place of the part on the cylinder will be different. Oftentimes, there are several clips and castles that have to be removed, and once they are, the lock can now be rekeyed. Once the key is removed from the ignition cylinder, all of the wafers will be freed, and some which might be bound in place will have to be removed in a more forceful fashion.
The ignition will now be reconfigured to fit your new key. Once the new code is finalized, your locksmith will insert new locking parts that will correspond to the key cuts of your new key. After this, the cylinder will need to be put back together by reinstalling the clips and castles, and will be moved into the same position that is required to remove it in order to be reinstalled in the housing.
In order to see if the key is working properly, the car battery is reconnected in order to be tested. The panels will then be put back together, and the process will be hailed as finished. This is what it takes to rekey ignition cylinders.
With the code of the new key, your locksmith will insert new locking parts that correspond to the different key cuts. The cylinder will need to be put back together, then the key will be moved into the same position required to remove it in order to reinstall it in the housing. The car can battery should be reconnected to see if the key is working properly. Then the panels can be put back together. That is what it takes to rekey ignition cylinders.
DIY – Why Shouldn’t You Do It?
When you’re planning to rekey your ignition cylinders on your own, lots of things can go wrong, and you might end up doing more harm than good for our car. The panels might break, for instance, leaving you with exposed wires in your car. The latches, which should be handled delicately, might also break, which will create a problem when it comes to reassembly, and may call for permanent reattachment if the damages to the latch are severe. While the panels are off during the process, the exposed wires might have a risk of being unplugged or damaged. There’s also the risk of mishandling tools in interfering with your ignition housing, which could severely damage the car.