Car Door Unlocking FAQ: Slim-Jims

June 4th, 2012 by Jennifer

Worried about damaging your car?

If you’re locked out of your car, a friend might suggest using a slim-jim to pop the lock. A slim-jim (when it doesn’t refer to a type of beef jerky) is a long metal tool with a notch at the end. It’s slipped between the window and the weather stripping to pry up the lock rods in the door below. Sounds simple enough. What you might not know is that most modern cars (mid 90s and later) have built-in protections against slim-jims. If you use one, it might not work, or worse, you could easily damage your car. Pop-A-Lock of San Antonio can tell you from our experience repairing car door locks that it’s usually more expensive to get your lock repaired than to get a locksmith to unlock it without damage.

Here’s how a slim-jim could damage your car:

  • Damage the weatherstripping along your window
  • Break window / door seals
  • Scratch your window
  • Detach the lock rods
  • Damage electrical wiring within your car door
  • Get stuck inside your car

As a car owner, you know any necessary repairs are going to cost a bundle. Car door unlocking is one of those things, like plumbing and electrical work, best left to professionals. Pop-A-Lock San Antonio is proud to offer fast, affordable car door unlock services. Give us a call at 210-637-0303 for a free, 100% inclusive estimate today! We are a fully licensed and insured San Antonio locksmith company, and we’re available 24/7 if you get locked out.

Image credit: Tobiastoft

Help! I dropped my car keys in water

March 21st, 2012 by Jennifer

Technology and water are often a bad combination, and that’s certainly the case when your car keys meet water – whether in a pool, a storm drain, or (most commonly of all) the toilet. The key itself might be unaffected, but your remote key fob is another story. Apart from fishing them out, what can you do?

As your local auto locksmith in San Antonio, we’ve come up with a step-by-step plan of action for this tricky situation.  Want to save your keys? Keep reading.

Step 1: If you have a standard remote key fob, open it up, remove the battery to prevent short circuiting, and allow everything to dry for a full day before reassembling and attempting to use it. You may also want to try a new battery. If it works, great! Your key is saved. Phew!

Step 2: If you have a Smart key, opening it up may be difficult. Remove as much water as possible and test on your door and the ignition.

Step 3: After trying steps 1 and 2, if your remote key fob and Smart key are not working, you will need new keys. Check to see if car keys are covered by your warranty. If so, it’s time to give your dealer a call.

Step 4: If your warranty has expired, call an automotive locksmith for an estimate on new keys and key fobs. (For everyday low prices, give us a try at 210-637-0303.) San Antonio auto locksmiths can usually replace car keys and remote key fobs for less than your dealer, and since they’re mobile, they can even save you a trip to the dealership and a lengthy wait.

We hope you succeed in resuscitating your car keys! If not, Pop-A-Lock San Antonio is a phone call away at 210-637-0303 if you want new car keys or remote key fobs. We stand behind our upfront estimates and fast, affordable car key services.

Photo credit: Keys by John Loo

5 Smart Ways to Make Your Locks Safer

October 25th, 2011 by Jennifer

Need a wake-up call? Here’s one: you have a 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in San Antonio. Standard key-in-knob locks offer very little protection against break-ins. These familiar locks that you probably have on your side doors and maybe even your front door are easy targets for thieves. In some cases, all it takes to open a key-in-knob lock is a screwdriver or two! Whether you have a home or business to protect, getting your locks up to snuff is a critical part of your security. A local San Antonio locksmith can help you implement these 5 tried and true solutions that really make a difference. If you have questions about home or business security or want a free quote on a service, give Pop-A-Lock San Antonio a call today at 210-637-0303.
  1. Rekey the locks. Burglars often break in with keys. If the key you tucked under your door mat has vanished, you’ve lost your key ring, or you don’t know who could have your house key, it’s time to get your locks rekeyed. Rekeying locks is a simple, affordable service that effectively keeps out unwanted people. A locksmith simply changes the pins inside your current lock and cuts you a new key to match. Your old key will no longer work, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that the only person with a working key is you.
  2. Install a deadbolt. A good quality deadbolt is great investment to make for your home’s security. Compared to more common spring locks or key-in-knob locks, deadbolts offer increased resistance to bumping, picking, and drilling. A professional locksmith can install one above or below your existing lock.
  3. Upgrade to a bump proof lock. Bumping is a common technique used by thieves to force open locks. Most American home locks are vulnerable to being bumped. Fortunately, all major lock manufacturers now offer bump proof or bump resistant locks at a range of price points. Some bump proof locks can even be retrofitted to your existing lockset to save you money.
  4. Reinforce your strike plate. The strike plate is the hollow that the tongue of the lock fits into. It seems less important than the lock itself, but can actually be one of the most vulnerable parts of your door. Most strike plates are attached to the door frame with shallow screws, which rip out if the door is kicked. Replace these screws with longer 3″ screws or upgrade to a reinforced strike plate.
  5. Check your hinges. Stand outside your closed door. Can you see the hinges? If so, an intruder can pull out the pins and enter without dealing with the lock at all. Your door needs to be rehung so that the hinges are safely inside the closed door.
Not sure where to start? We’re happy to answer your questions and offer recommendations. Check out our website for more information on home security and business security services, or call us today at 210-637-0303 to learn what a professional San Antonio locksmith can do for your security!

Pop-A-Lock Locksmith of San Antonio New Website Is Live!

April 13th, 2011 by admin

It’s official.  We have just launched the new website for Pop-A-Lock Locksmith of San Antonio Texas — the leading San Antonio Locksmith!  There are many changes from our old website.  Primarily, we have tried to capture the flavor of the work we do around San Antonio better than we did before.  There are a lot more photos and links to places you can go to find more information about us.

As a reminder, we service the entire San Antonio area along with the many other smaller cities and suburbs surrounding our city.

We continue to offer our FREE car lockout service to all residents if a child is locked inside a vehicle.  Believe it or not, we’ve almost done 10,000 emergency door unlocks to date for free.  Find out more about our service on our emergency door unlock page.

Please take a look at our new site.  We’d appreciate hearing your feedback.  If you’re longtime Pop-A-Lock clients here in San Antonio, please feel free to send us a note, or even better write a nice testimonial for us on one of the review websites.

We look forward to continuing to help the residents of San Antonio.