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Problems with keys

Against my better judgment, my wife convinced me to get rid of our reliable Toyota Camry 88 and keep the Buick Regal 95. The Camry ran like a charm for ages.

The Regal has been a bitter lemon. We’ve had several lockouts due to the battery failing or other electrical problems, and the car (which we purchased used), had no door key…only the push button remote keys.

We took it into a dealer to try to get a key made but found out the old owner had changed the locks, and so we cannot get a key that opens the door. We have to rely on these little remote control units to unlock the door.

So I live in fear that the battery will die, or another electrical problem will cause another lockout, again requiring a tow truck ($~75 minimum).

Then, there is also the concern about these little remote gizmos - are they battery operated? What happens if its battery suddenly dies?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

p.s. On the plus side, my wife bought a bicycle recently, and light rail is about to open in Seattle!

If that drivers door has a lock cylinder in it now you can put a new lock cylinder in it (with a key cut for the new cylinder).

This answer is to simple,there must be something I am not reading correctly,I must ask,is there a lock cylinder in the drivers door now? if yes why can’t you replace it?

Did the Dealer say the only way to cut a key was from the original key code? Is that the problem getting a new key?

The dealer cut a key using the original code (and charged me $14.28 for the time he spent looking it up, cutting the keys, etc.) After trying the keys in the door (all of them), and having none of them work, he deduced (guessed?) that the original owner had changed the lock. When we bought the car, there we did not receive a door key, only the two remotes. I’m not sure about your “lock cylinder” question. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my problem.

What I am talking about is replacing or recoding the lock cylinder (the part the key goes into)The lock cylinder must be removed from the door to be re-coded,this is really a simple process,I can’t imagine why the Dealer did not suggest this. Good Luck

How much should I expect to pay for this - removing the lock cylinder and recoding?

Does it have a locking glove box, and does the key work there? I ask because many years ago I lost the keys and the locksmith got the code off the lock in the glove box and made a new key. I would try calling a few locksmiths and see if one of them can make a workable key. The remote gizmos I have had are battery operated and the manual should give details on replacement, or if you have no manual and no obvious idea how to open it if you find that good locksmith I imagine he/she could help with that also. If it was a dealer that replaced the locks they may have the lock code you need.

I just don’t know why you regulars advise using locksmiths for car lock cylinder and ignition cylinder recoding.replacement,at my GM Dealer here in Tucson we had a minimun of four Techs out of 32 that would do this kind of work.

You got a lot of practice when the lot boys would loose the customer keys and the customer would demand the entire car get re-coded (along with their house,by a locksmith in the case of the house)they thought we were stealing their keys for a latter break-in. The loosing the keys thing happened quite a bit (usually they ended up in someone elses car) a good reason to just give your advisor the minimum combination of keys and remotes.

Re coding one door should not cost over $150.00

The glove box trick will not work as the customers door lock cylinder has no relation to the glove box coding (remember the customer changed the locks)who changes the glove box.It is possible that the glove box did get changed at the time the door did,but glove box cylinders have fewer tumbler inserts than door lock cylinders.

I advised it because the locksmith read the code and made me a key for a 2 dollar additional charge, basically 3 bucks, and I had a key that worked, The locksmith owns a local hardware store and has had much luck impressioning keys to make a new one far cheaper than $150 that only works on 1 door. I was telling you a true to life experience, locksmiths have to make a living too! And the glove box trick did work for me. Call Russ at a&b pro hardware and lockshp 262 658 3142 if you have any questions.

What I am getting at is the OP said the previous owner changed the locks so unless the old owner also changed the glove box lock cylinder coding it would not help,I did mention that if the glove box lock cylinder was also changed it may work.

262 Thats WI.isn’t it I used to live in West Bend and Port Washington.

Yes 262 is WI, and I thought about the changing locks and figured if someone was going to do it right they would do the glove box also, so they could lock it if they wished. I don’t know what insight you have to offer on that, and that was why I suggested to see if it worked on the glove box. Also as I recommended to the op if it was done by a dealer the dealer may have the new lock codes on file. One cheesehead to another!