Cheap Lock & Key on Facebook
Cheap Lock & Key in Tampa providing locksmith services.
Cheap Lock & Key's
Locksmith Blog

Information about the locksmith industry.

Call (813) 545-5462 

Showing 1-5 of 16 articles.

What Is a VIN Number & Why Do Locksmiths Need It

What Is a VIN Number & Why Do Locksmiths Need It

Your vehicle's VIN# is a form of identification that allows both you and automotive mechanics to know exactly where it has been and what has been repaired. Your VIN#, or vehicle identification number, is comprised of seventeen characters that are assigned to the car when it is manufactured. These numbers never change during the lifetime of the vehicle.

The VIN# is unique and tracks everything that occurs to the car during usability. The standardized VIN# system was first established in 1981 and has been in use ever since. The character combinations are representative of multiple automotive identifiers. For example, the first three characters are the WMI or the world manufacturer identifier code.

Why is my VIN# Important?

Critical vehicle information can be determined or relayed simply by using your VIN#.

  • You can check the history report on a used vehicle.
  • You can identify a stolen car.
  • Repair parts require the VIN# to match the correct replacements.
  • In...
Read Full Article

What is a Smart Key (Also Known as a Keyless Ignition System)?

What is a Smart Key (Also Known as a Keyless Ignition System)?

A Keyless Ignition System, or a SmartKey, is an electronic method of granting access to both entry and engine control of a vehicle. In 1995, Siemens started implementing the SmartKey. It was a device available to Mercedes-Benz models only. Over the years, this has evolved and smart keys are now present in vehicles of all makes, models and varying price points.

How does the system work?

The keyless ignition is a passive RFID system, which means that the vehicle sends a code to the ignition chip from its computer. The ignition chip receives the message and, if it recognizes the code, will give the operator full access to the vehicle.

Simply put, as long as your SmartKey fob is inside your vehicle with you when you press the start button or flip the start switch, the engine should start and the car should become drivable.

Not all systems are the same.

While Keyless Ignition Systems generally work the same way, they may be set up differently, depending on the make or...

Read Full Article

Locksmith vs. Dealership for Mercedes-Benz Car Key Replacement

Locksmith vs. Dealership for Mercedes-Benz Car Key Replacement

Mercedes codes are generated directly from Germany, using your vehicle's VIN number. The key is coded specifically to your vehicle only! This is a great safety feature, because once you replace your key with a new one, the old one becomes obsolete and no longer works with your car, or any other one.

Both locksmiths and dealerships are able to help replace or duplicate your Mercedes-Benz car key, but what is the cost? There are pros and cons to working on both sides of the spectrum.


A mobile locksmith is the best when it comes to both price and convenience. They are able to bring all their tools on the road and come to any location to create a replacement key, or duplicate a current key.

Mercedes-Benz is a luxury vehicle and not all mobile locksmiths are able to access the data necessary to create key fobs. This is why it is a good idea to call and find out if they have your Mercedes Benz model on their list. Or, just call Cheap Lock & Key, as we support all models...

Read Full Article

How to Avoid Being Overcharged by a Locksmith

How to Avoid Being Overcharged by a Locksmith

Being proactive in the search for any services, whether it is a locksmith or not, is a smart choice. You can easily avoid being overcharged by a locksmith if you take time to research your options before an emergency comes your way.

You will find that most locksmiths charge specific rates based on the lock type, time of the service, and the time it takes to resolve your particular situation. Since each situation is different, it is good to get a solid estimate prior to any work being done. Take these three tips to find out how you can avoid a locksmith, who may charge you more than you should be charged!

Read Reviews

The easiest way to narrow down your locksmith choices is to read reviews of companies. Reviews, testimonials, and references all play a part in helping clients choose an affordable service. Gathering information on the company helps potential customers understand the value of their services.

Your comparison should NOT be solely to find the least expensive...

Read Full Article

Pros and Cons of Keyless Entry for Your Car

Pros and Cons of Keyless Entry for Your Car

In the Tampa Bay area, technology moves fast and the advancement of keyless entry for your vehicle is no different. Keyless entry is an added safety feature to many vehicles that require the key fob to be in the owner's possession, but does not necessarily require the owner to use the fob to open or start the car. Here are some of the pros and cons of this vehicle feature that is becoming more and more common across the board.

Pros: Operation, Security, & Auto-Locking Features

Ease of operating keyless entry.

Keyless entry makes it easy to unlock your car. As long as your key fob is on you and you're within the proper range of your vehicle, the doors and trunk can be unlocked. Simply press the button on the side of your car door handle or your trunk handle and you can gain entry. The need to search through your pockets or purse for a traditional key have been eliminated.

Added security.

Thieves cannot use your key and make a copy of it to steal other...

Read Full Article

Get Pricing

Error Submitting Form: