Information on Locksmith training, certification, licensing, and operating a business.
My name is Sean, Im a newb here. I have been doing alot of lurking around this forum and have found some excellent information. Definatley the best source I have found so far. I am looking at getting into the auto transponder business cutting and programming, and was just wondering what some of you all thought about the future of this business. Basically, will there still be a need for this business 5-10 years down the road? ( Im talking about push button start), (manufacturer using different methods for security on keys...etc. I would just like some opinions on this.. I just dont want to go all in on this, and not have a need for this business in the near future.
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It is dangerous to ask for an opinion, you generally get one. They are typically worth what you pay for them.
The long-range trend is to eliminate keys for autos, short term to be replaced by a remote, key fob style and the long term is to work on an embedded chip in the person/persons authorized to use the vehicle. Yes, I know, this is mark of the beast type stuff, which is outside the normal discussion on this forum. I have personal convictions and beliefs about this,but they will not be shared here. But as it stands, injected chips controlling computers and machines we have access to is the future.
Somtimes, though, it is better to look backwards when considering auto servicing. Most of the work you will do locksmithing in this area will be on second - owner vehicles from 5-15 years old. Even with the changes coming, there will be work to do for a while-and that will give you a chance to gradually decide what you need to do to adapt and survive.
Good luck to you, and my best advice is to not take work above your skill level, and level of equipment that you are able to afford at first. Find someone already in this business to advise/mentor you, and help you with tool decisions. Nothing can kill a business quicker than buying tools that do not earn their keep.
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I don't think so... I think that safety guidelines will require a mechanical key switch that kills the engine as this is the most user friendly interface that drivers are familiar with... Turn key switch to off, power to engine computer and spark shuts off, emergency override style...
Those "push button" to start the car things with the RFID proximity fob are nice and all but they aren't as easy to shut off once you get going -- each vehicle using such system has a different procedure to power down... Assuming something hasn't gone wrong and the vehicle's computer stops accepting control inputs...
As cars become increasingly "fly by wire" where direct control is removed from the operator, i.e. levers and buttons and such are not in the circuit they are controlling but merely requesting a command for the computer to control another output which the user does not have emergency access to break the circuit once it is engaged...
There have been incidents where throttles have jammed and engines could not be shut down with the push button start type interface... Transmission shifters which were not direct linkage have failed not allowing operators to shift into neutral... Gotta stay low tech with the operator of the vehicle able to decide manually to power off by turning a key -- or go to a rotating knob instead of a key switch which is actually in the circuit to kill the power to the engine and computer, not request a shutdown of the computer program running the vehicle...
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home depot cuts them for 50 bucks now. so you gotta count them as competition. just something to take into consideration.
Nibbler: The poop eradication is but one aspect of your importance.
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Thanks for the replies. It is much appreciated. Are there any good books, dvds, cds, classes...anything out there that focus' primarily on this type of business? Price wouldnt be a problem, as long as it covers the in's and out's of the business. I saw that Michael Hyde has a couple books out called autosmart and there also looks to be cd's as well. Starting out, Im thinking I just want to cut and program auto keys where the customer has at least one factory key, and eventually get into situations where all keys are lost. In this case, I would only need a RW 4 type device to clone, correct? And of course a good key cutting machine, of which Ive been researching the Framon, 3D pro, and Ilco products. I have heard good things about all these machines, but it can be simply overwhelming. I want to learn this business front to back before I even get the first call. Im not afraid to put in the leg work to get there either, would just like another resource, (other than this fine site of course)..
Also, the Home Depot's by me can cut auto keys, but not transponder's. Ive tried.
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Like camelgd said , most of the work you will have are cars that are 5-15 years old. I still regularly get keys from cars that don't have a transponder (pre '95). So just look at whats being done now and you'll see what you will get in the next 10 years.
Most cars now leave the factory with either an ID46 or a ID4D transponder. Some brands (Mercedes , Volvo) have gotten rid of the mecanical key and work with only the key fob.
Renault Megane used to have a key card. But that is basically the same as a usual key , even with a normal ID46 transponder.
I think in the near future , more cars will be made with keyless entry and proximity keys.
But , these are mostely the high-end cars. Lower end of the market still just uses a normal key with transponder. CitroÃ«n C2 for example doesn't even have remote controle as standard.
When it comes to transponders , you have 2 options
Either cloning of existing keys , or programming new keys into the ecu.
Both have their pros and cons.
If you want to specialise in cloning , you'll need just a cloning machine and key blanks. But there will always be keys that you can't clone. At this moment the ID48 is the one we can't do. That includes all VAG cars from around 2000.
Limitations of cloning are that it is not possible to remove (lost or stolen) keys. An at this moment remote controles can only be cloned for some vehicles. You also need at least one working key.
If you want to program keys in the car , you'll need the correct hardware and software for that particular model. That may mean you'll need to spend a lot of money to get all the gear you'll need for the cars in your area.
For some vehicles , you'll also need PIN codes. These can be very hard to get hold of.
On board programming also allows you to program remote controles. And remove (lost or stolen) keys from the system.
The main advantage of OBP is that you can program keys when all keys are gone.
Hope that helps
If you have any questions , let me know , I'll try to answer them
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