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Locksmithing/Latchkey for Automobiles.


Dear Terry

Do you feel that it can add Security to the four Wheeler vehicles viz cars, jeeps, trucks, buses etc if the latch is fixed to the front door of the driver's seat?.

Can a mechanical combination Lock fixed to the front door will add more Security?.


Hello Prashant,

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking, and it is outside of my area of expertise, which has to do with safes and vaults,  however, my views on security are basically:

1.  Good locks increase the amount of time to break in to steal anything.
2.  Good alarm systems increase the amount of time to break in to steal anything.
3.  Good safes increase the amount of time to break in to steal anything.

bottom line it is kind of like a math statement.     Locks + alarms + safes = time.

Time is a thief's worst enemy.   The longer it takes to break in or to steal, the better the chance of them getting caught.  
It takes time to break through a lock, it takes time to bypass or circumvent an alarm system, it takes time to break into a safe.

Obviously you are less well protected if your security can be bypassed in only a couple of minutes, whereas if it takes hours to break in, you have a better chance of not being a target.

The big difference between auto's and homes is that the thief does not have a choice with a building, he has to work on it where it is at, where as with a vehicle, the option is to break in where it sits, or to simply take it to another location where he can spend all the time in the world.

ANYTHING that you can add to the vehicle which will make the thief's job more difficult is "good" security.

If you are looking into providing a service to add additional security to vehicles for your customers, then you have several issues to look at, in order to make it profitable.

1.  It has to be an item that customers "HAVE" to have, which means that they will tell their friends and co-workers, so you have a continuing chain of potential customers.

2.  It needs to be repeatable.    The better you are at doing a task, the faster you become and the more profitable.    If every vehicle you work on is different, then you wind up re-inventing the process for every vehicle, thereby losing time and profitability.

3.  It needs to be simple to install, yet very hard to defeat.    For instance while adding a chain & padlock to the steering wheel, to keep someone from driving the vehicle away, may seem easy and sensible, if it can be defeated in seconds by using simple bolt cutters, available at any hardware store, then it is a "FALSE" sense of security.
One company came up with a kit you could install on many vehicles which made the steering wheel easily removable, and then locked a cap over the column.   This created a semi-permanent secure method to keep someone from driving the vehicle away.    Problem was it was only available for a limited number of, and type of vehicles that had compatible steering columns.

As far as fixing a "mechanical combination lock" to the door, to add additional security, if it meets items 1, 2 & 3 above, then it isn't a bad idea, however remember that security is ONLY as good as its weakest link.    Questions:   WHAT are you trying to secure???   If you are trying to keep the door from being opened, there may be much simpler methods, which are more cost effective.   "IF" you are trying to keep someone out of the vehicle, how does adding this lock keep them from simply breaking a window???    "IF" you are trying to keep them from stealing the whole vehicle, how does adding this lock keep them from simply towing it away???   Tow trucks haul locked up vehicles away every day, in a very short amount of time, with only a few extra tools like tow dollies to lift wheels off the ground.

Bottom line, if you are only working on ONE, individual vehicle, then most of the above won't matter as long as you are making your vehicle harder to break into, or steal.    If you are looking at creating a project or a long term job, then you have to look at all of the questions to make sure it is going to be profitable and professional.

Hope this helps,  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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