Mr. Locksmith-Automotive: When Cheap Becomes Expensive

I was called out to make keys for a 1999 Ford Taurus, it is a pretty standard job for someone that specializes in Automotive Locksmithing.
When I arrived at the job site and did a preliminary check on the vehicle I noticed that the lower cover of the steering column was removed, the ears on the ignition cylinder were broken off and the antenna ring for the transponder system was twisted and out of place. I immediately informed the client and was told that “someone else” has tried and failed to make keys for the vehicle.
An Automotive locksmith making keys for that year and model vehicle will always start with the doors, the vehicle when it came from the factory had one key that fits the doors and ignition, the only exception would be of the ignition or door locks had been changed and that 2 keys were required for the vehicle.
I was able to decipher the wafer combination for the door and then progress the cuts so that the key operated the ignition as well as the doors. After returning the twisted antenna ring to a position where it can read the transponder key I was able to program in the key and start the vehicle.
Unfortunately the client lacks the funds to complete the repair properly, and really if the job had been done properly in the first place he would not need to spend any money other than the normal fee to make and program the keys. Now the client has to come up with money to replace the cylinder and reassemble the antenna ring and column covers.
The cost to complete the job will double the cost to produce the keys in the first place.
The moral of the story is cheap is not always cheap, you wouldn’t leave your safety to chance on the lowest bidder why would leave your car locksmithing needs to the lowest bidder? In this case it doubles the original price of the repair.
Consider the fact that work done right the first time is more economical that multiple trips and additional repairs.

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