Locksmiths specialize in locking mechanisms and keys. The technicians at car dealers usually carry more generalized automotive specialties. If the problem is with any of the locking mechanisms on your vehicle, it is usually best to call a mobile service. They will come to your location for much less than it costs to tow your car to a dealer. Locksmiths can also do fine work with the lock's cylinders that most technicians cannot do. Many locksmiths also work 24 hours a day. If yo are going to call a locksmith, it is recommended that you call one with automotive training, because vehicle locks are slightly different than house or commercial locks.
Real-Life Example: There was something wrong with a pickup truck ignition. The man's key wouldn't turn and he had no way of starting his truck. He towed his truck to the dealer for several hundred dollars. The auto technicians completely took apart the ignition before announcing that the entire steering column had to be replaced. And he would have to use a different key for his ignition and doors. Total cost: $900+
The man didn't want to pay that much, so he decided to eat the cost of towing and call a locksmith (he called The Key Guy). When we arrived at the dealer and assessed the situation, we said we could have driven to the man's house and done the work there for mere tens of dollars instead of making him tow the truck for hundreds of dollars. We also could have simply replaced the cylinder in the ignition instead of replacing the entire steering column. He would have been able to keep his same original keys. We didn't charge him anything for driving out to the car dealer, and he said next time he would definitely call a locksmith first.
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