Car manufacturers spend a lot of money on security, but your habits will ultimately determine how effective your car lock is. Understanding how different lock systems work is the first step toward optimizing the security of your vehicle. While newer lock systems are superior to older ones, each lock system has advantages and disadvantages and each is appropriate for different situations. Car locks are classified into three types:
Standard Key Entry Manual Lock
The most basic setup consists of a standard lock that can be locked and unlocked with a standard key. On the inside of the lock, there is usually a knob that you can push or pull to lock or unlock. Only the driver’s door can be unlocked from the outside in a strictly manual car lock system, while the others must be unlocked from the inside. Despite their limitations, manual locks are still preferred in some situations. Manual locks, for example, can be easily opened in an accident if the lock is not damaged. Unlike electronic systems, a manual lock can still function when submerged in water. Manual locks are low-maintenance, simple to repair, and extremely long-lasting. They are also inexpensive to replace, or duplicate. On the downside, because their keys are easily duplicated, they are easily accessible to thieves.
Electronic Locks with Keys
A hybrid system that combines manual and electronic components allows you to unlock the vehicle by turning keys or pressing buttons on a fob. They are common in newer vehicle models because they provide greater security than manual locks while retaining the convenience of a manual system. Cars with electronic key systems use unique codes that are difficult to duplicate. An alarm system is also included in electronic systems, adding an extra layer of security. The ease of opening a car with the press of a button is also a significant benefit. However, replacing keys or the lock system is more expensive than replacing manual lock systems because they must be coded specifically for your vehicle.
Keyless Fully Automatic Locks
The most recent lock systems are entirely reliant on electronic components like fobs, keypads attached to the door, or both. If they are completely reliant on fobs, the fob automatically detects the lock system and interacts with it as if it were operated by the custodian. This type of lock is common in newer vehicle models, but can also be installed on older vehicles with the assistance of a professional locksmith. These locks are nearly impossible to break into or duplicate keys due to the lack of physical keys. Often, only the car manufacturer can duplicate fobs. Some fobs contain physical keys that can unlock but not start the vehicle if the fob battery runs low. For the car to start, the fobs must be within the perimeter. In some cases, if you have the fobs on you, you can easily unlock the car by placing your hands on the door handle. The most significant disadvantage of fully automatic lock systems is their high cost of repair or replacement.
While automatic locks provide greater security and make vehicle access more convenient, the cost and safety in the event of an emergency may lead one to prefer manual lock systems. Niche car collectors may prefer to keep cars in their original condition, including manual lock systems. A professional lock smith can ensure the integrity of manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic lock systems and offer advice on how to improve security.