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CODE-CUT KEYS NOTES
CODE-CUT KEYS VS COPY-CUT KEYS
HOW TO FIND YOUR LOCK/KEY CODE(S)
WARRANTY


Copying uses an existing key as a template and traces the cuts onto a new key blank.

If the existing key is in good condition this is fine but if the original is worn then you are reproducing the wear onto the copy. This is one reason why copies sometimes don't work well. In fact a copy will never be as good as an original, so a copy of a worn key is an even worse worn key.

Cutting to code creates a new key -- a totally brand new key. If the locks are in good condition the code-cut key will continue to operate them for many years, and additionally this key could be used to make good quality copies.

KEY CODE-READING SERVICE

- Applies to ALMOST ALL REGULAR KEYS and MANY HIGH SECURITY KEYS.

- For JAGUAR high security see here

If you do not have your key code we are often able to determine it from the cuts of an existing key (email us a photo or scanned image of the key).

Photos or scans should be in good focus and as close-up as possible of the key.

A simple rule is try to get the key to fill as much as possible of the frame of the photo.

That way you need only a low resolution (72 dpi) image, which makes a nice small file size to email. Both sides of the key are best however if you send only one side please photograph the side with the most grooves on it.

Our code-reading and code-cutting services are guaranteed to be accurate and correct.

We charge an extra fee for most code-reading services in addition to cutting and key blanks. (This procedure takes time, skill and sometimes cutting more than one key to make sure it's perfectly correct).

We provide the code to you for your future reference.


Key codes may be obtained from various places; this varies a lot depending on the age, make and model of the vehicle.

Remember that a key code is specific to your vehicle, so any numbers you find that are part of the manufacturing process for all the locks produced will not be your individual code.

These are the usual possibilities for finding key codes-

EASIEST

- in the original owner's manual (hand written or maybe stamped, or an adhesive sticker)
- on a tag that came with the original keys or a vehicle identification card
- on a plaque inside the glovebox door or elsewhere
- on the outside rim of lock keyways
- stamped or engraved on the original keys (note: not raised lettering, that's probably the key blank type not the individual lock/key code. However provide us with all information you find, it may help).

NOT SO EASY
- under a cover on the outside rim of lock keyways
- stamped on lock housing or body (may need to remove trim to access locks)
- on a paper decal or similar attached to, or near, the lock

GETTING HARDER
- stamped on lock cylinder (requires disassembly of lock)

FROM THE MANUFACTURER'S DATABASE

- refer your vehicle VIN (chassis number) to the manufacturer's database which will tell you the code(s) for the vehicle's original locks. Consult a current authorized dealer to see if this service is available for your make and model.

A fee may be payable (and the dealer may insist on providing a key).

For many British classics, the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust offers this service. Expect to pay a fee, see here (this link is outside our website) or email Richard Bacchus

Note: code-cut keys can be cut correctly only if the code information supplied to us is correct.


KEYS CUT TO CODE YOU PROVIDE TO US

We guarantee each code-cut key to have been cut correctly to the code information supplied by you.

If not, we will provide a full exchange (plus shipping costs) or a full refund.

KEYS CUT FROM A PHOTO

If we have determined code from a photo of a working key we guarantee the key to be a correct copy of that key and to work in your lock.

If not, we will provide a full exchange (plus shipping costs) or a full refund.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

Firstly, see the notes below "When You Receive Your Code-Cut Keys" and follow all the steps.

If you still have a problem with the new key email us with details.

With the lastest technology in computerized robotic key cutting equipment we provide freshly minted keys as precise as the originals.

We are confident of delivering the best quality key and will do all we can to resolve any problems you might encounter.

Please contact us at:
(see below)

MORE ABOUT CODE CUTTING
WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR CODE-CUT KEYS


The sequence of cuts made on the working edge of a key can be represented by a series of numbers (or numbers and letters). This is called the lock/key code.

A specialized key cutter or locksmith, armed with appropriate references and machinery, can cut a key from this code. The key is not a "copy", it is an "original" which will operate the lock as if it were one of the keys originally provided with the lock.

Code-cutting can be done even for a lock that is many, many years old. A new code-cut key will often overcome problems of excessive wear of a key that has had a lot of use and is very worn.

Best results are obtained when the lock is in good order. Problems may still be evident if the lock itself is excessively worn or poorly maintained.

We provide the best quality code-cut keys but the condition of the lock is outside our control and responsibility!

If the code information supplied to us is correct then the key should work in your lock(s). However, fitting keys to locks can sometimes present difficulties - especially if the locks have had years of use, or have been starved of lubrication and maintenance. We advise you to follow some basic procedures (see right).


1.
The lock should be properly lubricated and free to turn and operate its attached mechanism. Use thin machine oil or powdered graphite. A small tube with a thin nozzle is best and will fit easily into the key slot. Several drops of oil or "puffs" of graphite should be sufficient.
2. Insert and remove the new key slowly at first. Turn the key gently.
3. If the lock will not operate - is the key fully inserted until it stops? Or try wiggling the key a little.
4. If the lock will not operate with the new key after all attempts:
- if you have an existing key, compare the cuts to ensure that they are the same (except for wear on your old key).\
- if you have no existing key, confirm that the code information provided to us is correct.
- try the new key in any other locks with the same code. Does it operate any of them?
5. Gently run a fine wire brush over the cut part of the key to smooth it. Not too much!
6. If all the above has been exhausted and you are still not having success then you will need to remove the lock and check that it is free to operate OR call in a professional automotive locksmith.
7. Be aware that in some circumstances (fortunately rare) the codes provided by vehicle manufacturers or stamped on locks can actually be incorrect. In such circumstances a key made to the given code will not work.


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