Q. How do I make sure I'm dealing with a reputable locksmith?

A. Colorado does not license locksmiths so you do need to be cautious. Ideally you would research ahead of time and have a reputable company saved in your phone. But in an emergency, be suspicious of paid ads online that promise very low rates, and remember that you can refuse service if the technician shows up in an unmarked vehicle (so you have no company name to go back to if there's a problem) and quotes a much higher price than you were given on the phone.

Q. I am moving into a new home, should I rekey the locks? They seem to be working properly.

A. The answer is YES! Everyone has someone that they trust with their house keys; this does not mean you can trust them. How many neighbors, old baby sitters, realtors, contractors or cleaning people are walking around with a key to your home? Change the locks and then only give keys to people you trust.

Q. You just unlocked my car in less than five minutes. Shouldn't you discount the price you quoted on the phone?

A. First, you aren't paying for five minutes of work. You're paying for the training and expertise the locksmith offers. Second, you've already been delayed probably 45 minutes at least, since you realized you were locked out, tried to find a spare key, and then finally called us. Do you really want the locksmith to pretend he isn't very skilled by taking 30 minutes to get you on your way?

Q. What makes some car keys so expensive to make?

A. Vehicle security like everything else is constantly evolving and becoming more technically sophisticated. Most late model vehicles are equipped with anti-theft technology designed to make them hard to steal. In order to program these types of keys/fobs, locksmiths have to invest in the equipment, training, parts, key code subscriptions and machines necessary to generate a key that works in your car.

Q. Is it true you have to go to the dealer to replace or duplicate your car keys?

A. Generally not. Pop-A-Lock of Northern Colorado automotive locksmiths can duplicate 99% of all automotive keys on the market. Dealers will tell their customers this because they want you to go through them. There are some late model automotive keys that we can’t duplicate because the locksmith industry has not yet "decoded" those keys. When you call Pop-A-Lock, we come to where you are and duplicate your key onsite. You don’t have the additional expense of having your car towed to a dealer.

Q. What is a high security lock?

A. A high security lock has a cylinder which offers a greater degree of resistance to any or all of the following: picking, impressioning, key duplication, drilling or other forms of forcible entry.

Q. Why do I have to wiggle my keys in the lock to make it work?

A. As locks age over time, the pins in a lock cylinder tend to wear down causing your keys to stick and forcing you to “jiggle or wiggle” the key in the lock to make it work. Most likely the keys you were given have been copied several times and this, plus pin wear, can cause a lock to degrade.

Q. If my home lock has to be picked, will it damage the lock?

A. Picking the lock to your home or business will not damage the lock. By picking the lock you are simply “decoding” the pattern of your current key and smoothly opening the lock. It is not an easy task and should only be performed by an experienced locksmith who is using the right tools. Sometimes the lock is damaged or has been tampered with so as to make it impossible to pick. In these instances, the lock will have to be drilled out and a new lock will have to be installed. If you have a high security lock, it will also have to be drilled out.