At times, we take the locking mechanism on our cars for granted. Whether we’re jumping into a local convenience shop or we’re leaving the car unattended for hours at a time, we barely think twice about the way we lock our car doors. Surprising, considering that our car is often one of our most valuable possessions and one that we rely on the most.
Let’s look at the different types of auto locks available, and which ones provide the most security to your vehicle. On our Specialist Auto Locksmith Training Course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to gain emergency access to 95% of the vehicles on British roads. But on top of that, we teach you how they work, how to strip them down, and how to service, repair, and rebuild them, too.
Auto Locks on British Streets
As you might imagine, there are several different types of vehicle door lock across the wide range of automotive brands that are popular in the United Kingdom. The technology used in a Ford, for example, is different from that used in an Audi or a Kia.
You might not be able to do much about upgrading the lock on your car, but it certainly doesn’t do any harm to learn a little more about how secure your door lock is.
Standard Key Entry
This is the most basic car door locking system, and it’s generally found on older cars. As well as using a key to operate the locking mechanism, there’s usually a knob inside that moves up and down.
While more modern locks provide better security, standard key entry locks are still a solid choice. They’re not difficult to change, fix, or upgrade, and cutting a spare key isn’t an issue either.
Electronic locks are a car lock that we’re sure you’ll be much more familiar with – but don’t be surprised to find electronic locks combined with standard key entry systems as well. Often, car manufacturers incorporate an entry key onto the electronic key itself so that when the electronics let you down, you can still gain access with the standard key.
These locks are found on newer models, and your car can be locked or unlocked with the push of a button. It’s a more efficient and more convenient lock than standard entry keys and it typically offers better security. However, replacement keys are considerably more difficult and costly.
This is probably the most advanced locking mechanism found on vehicles today. Interestingly, there’s no key at all. Instead, an electronic key fob has a unique code that partners with the electronics inside your car and will grant access when you’re within a certain distance. The car won’t start until the fob is in the right place.
While it may be true that it’s much more difficult to break into a car that doesn’t even have a locking mechanism, and offers a high level of security, more capable criminals can still manipulate the coding in the electronic fob.
So those are the three types of locks that you can have fitted to your vehicle, and all three will offer a decent level of security. Standard entry locks are slowly being phased out (due to their lower level of protection), but electronic and keyless locks are certainly recommended in order to keep your vehicle safe.
There are, however, another few options that you should consider when it comes to locks on your vehicle.
Steering Wheel Locks
You might laugh at such an old-school suggestion, but steering wheel locks are highly effective. It’s one of the simplest theft deterrents you can buy, and it will always add another layer of protection.
Since it fits directly onto the steering wheel, it prevents any movement of the car wheels. They’re often manufactured with bright colours, and clearly visible to deter potential burglars.
There are a variety of different locks available. These range all the way from the most elementary steering wheel locks to heavy-duty, highly advanced locks that are very difficult to manipulate.
Wheel clamps are another traditional type of door lock and, although they involve slightly more effort, they still provide owners with priceless peace of mind.
They attach to a car’s wheels in a Y-shaped lock, completely immobilising the vehicle. They’re very secure and almost guaranteed to keep your car safe, but you’ll need your own set of tools to lock and unlock the wheel clamps.
We mentioned earlier that burglars can manipulate keyless entry electronic fobs. Thieves can use electronic devices to create a clone of your electronic fob. Their device effectively ‘steals’ the coding from your fob, and allows them to use the coding as soon as they’re within a certain distance of your car. After that, access to your car couldn’t be simpler.
So, this solution isn’t a lock at all – we highly recommend storing your fobs in a Signal Blocking Pouch (also known as a Faraday bag), or an Anti RFID wallet. That way your fob will always be secure, and it won’t be transmitting any signals that could potentially be copied.
Auto Locksmith Training with MPL
There’s a lot to cover on our Auto Locksmith Training Course. It’s an intense 3-day course, but you’ll leave with all of the knowledge you need to pick, service, and repair more than 95% of vehicle locks you’ll come across.
Whether you’re brand new to the industry and looking to establish an area of expertise, or you’re an experienced locksmith that would like to learn a new skill, our course is for you. And our professional course is even City & Guilds accredited, so you’ll leave with a course certificate and a programme number.
Contact our team today to find out how you can secure a place on our popular auto locksmith course.