Getting locked out of your car is never fun. The added complications that come with a car door unlocking are many. First, there is a clear chance of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, and then obviously, you would think twice about leaving your car even if you find a way to get back home. In other words, losing your car key at the wrong time, means potentially losing your car too.
Hence, getting help from the right local auto locksmith is key. They are basically a hybrid of locksmiths and part-time mechanics! They need to know the basic mechanics of the car, at least those pertaining to car doors, ignition systems, car electronics etc. The complexities are many. Now, today you have advanced security features, especially, in newer models of cars. For any successful car door unlocking, a professional needs to be acquainted with the latest automotive lock systems, security systems, car key transponder technology etc. Also remember that since you are in unfamiliar territory, trust is essential. You must always enlist a trusted, licensed and verified auto locksmith. This is crucial to get you out of the hassle of the auto lockout and a successful car door unlocking.
Here are the guidelines that you should follow when choosing an auto locksmith. Please note, that at the time of an emergency, the preparatory steps outlined here will come really handy.
- Planning ahead: An often overlooked aspect by most people is having a trusted 24×7 auto locksmith contact at all times. Given the incidence of auto lockouts, and commonality of jammed ignitions and failure of electronic transponder keys, it is surprising how few people have the number of a trusted locksmith at hand. In many ways it could be as crucial as having the name and number of a family doctor, plumber or electrician at hand, if not more. The fact remains that most auto lockouts and ignition jamming incidents can happen out of the blue. Hence, auto locksmiths should usually be on speed dial!
Make sure that when you move to a new city or neighbourhood, always ask your friends and colleagues of any local locksmiths that they know about. Even a simple search result is good, and you can do the research you need to choose the right locksmith. For example, if you just moved to San Jose or Silicon Valley; one of your first searches should be for example ‘auto locksmiths in San Jose’, ‘car door unlocking Campbell‘, ‘auto locksmiths near me’, ‘car door unlocking Mountain View’ etc. Keep a record of their numbers with you. Such planning makes dealing with future emergencies easier.
- Checking referrals and reviews: It’s not an easy task to choose the right trusted locksmith service from the list you gathered. Luckily, you can always see the reviews that they have on Google Maps, Yelp, Bing, and other places. Besides the star rating of the reviews, it is essential that you also see the number of reviews given. You don’t want to choose a locksmith, especially an auto locksmith that has 5-star reviews, but all given by himself and his colleagues at work! Beware of scammers, as this can potentially cost you your car, and always cross refer a highly rated (both in # of stars and reviews) locksmith service with a friend or colleague at work. This will prove to be very handy. If you are in an emergency, and don’t have time to cross refer with anyone, there are various sites like glassdoor for detailed reviews on companies. A simple search like ‘locksmith fraud in San Jose’ to give you an example, can also help you decide all the fraudulent companies to weed out.
- Cross refer the company website: After you have narrowed down the pick of your auto locksmiths further, you need to be sure of what services they offer. You also need to be mindful of the area you live in. You need to make sure that the locksmith you have selected, offers exactly the services that you are looking for, and in the area that you live, or expect to be at the time of the emergency. Preferably, you need to contact them and inquire of them about their service areas. Also check if they are available 24×7. For example, in the entire Silicon Valley area, you may find a locksmith company that does not service a particular area. Hence, check the website of the company whether they offer services in Campbell, Santa Clara, SunnyVale, Cupertino, etc. You get the point, sometimes a locksmith company might service only a bigger city like San Jose, but it also shows up on your local search results.
Every time you check the website, a follow up phone call is also recommended. With the follow up call, you can detail your emergency for car door unlocking, or other related issues and get the right price quote.
- Trustworthiness: After you have now further shortlisted the auto locksmiths that service your area, you need to check how trustworthy they are. Always inquire about their licenses. Most importantly, they need to be licensed locksmiths in the area that you live in, or expect their services. Besides, ask them if they also have insurance. This is the insurance provided by a professional, bonded auto locksmith in case anything happens to your car during their work. If possible, also inquire if the locksmiths go through constant training and are up to date about everything. If you are a resident in California for example, make sure that the company you select, are licensed and bonded for all state law requirements. If you go back to step #1, you will realize that if you plan in advance for any emergency situation by having a trusted auto locksmith already at hand, this step will be much easier.
- Timely service: Lastly, it is essential that you inquire is their average response time. Now, this can obviously vary if let’s say you get locked out of a busy intersection in San Jose or in a secluded location in an outer suburb in the Silicon Valley, a good auto locksmith should provide service that is timely and has responders available on call in multiple locations. Auto lockouts are an emergency after all, and you need a locksmith that takes this emergency seriously.
After you have taken the right steps to choose the right locksmith, it is evident that you will most likely stick with one good auto locksmith. Besides emergency services, auto locksmiths are professionals in making sure your car door locks are secured with the best and latest technology. You may even call them to have multiple copies of your car key handy with you. If you are someone that has an expensive car, and is concerned about security, auto locksmiths can also help service those needs.
In the event of the emergency itself, always make sure to ask for an estimate of the cost up front. Even though in some situations, the costs do justify the means (since the alternative is to pay up for a new car, or break in through the window!) you may not always be ready to shelve that kind of money. Hence, if you are a loyal customer and well known to the locksmith company, it is quite likely that they can give you a deferred system of payment, or in installments.
Trust is the most essential thing here, and if you feel that says “I don’t trust this locksmith.”, you should not hesitate to call another one.
We, at Real Time Locksmith, have a very professional, and fast responding team that serves all of San Jose, and other major locations in Silicon Valley. If you are in an auto lockout situation, rest assured, give us a call, and our qualified technician will show up in no time! We are a fully licensed and bonded company and have expertise in many areas of locksmithing. We do our utmost to win over your trust in no time, and you will likely have us on speed dial!