1990 928 S4

August 26, 2000

I have only one key for the 90 S4 (the prior owner was suppose to send me another key but...), so I decided I better get a copy, just in case. I remembered an email from Phil Eskildsen mentioning D.E. Lock & Key in Alemeda. I checked the Yellow Pages and found them. I called and they said it'd take an hour and cost $35 - $45 depending on the key (long or short). So I made an appointment for 1 PM, Saturday.

On Saturday I called to confirm the appointment, and talked to Dave. He said to allow 1 1/2 hours, just in case of interuptions. When I arrived Dave looked at the key. He eyeballed the cuts and wrote down some numbers on a piece of paper. He put a blank onto a holder, then mounted it on a special machine to cut the key. I wanted the "long" key, which works all the locks and activates/deactivates the alarm. This key takes 28 cuts (7 on each side, with 4 sides per key, the "short" key only takes 20. The machine has a template that marks where each of the cuts should be.

Dave made the first 5 cuts per side, then took the key out to the car and tested it in the ignition. Because the long and short keys are used in the ignition, only the first 5 cuts are used. The key worked, so he went back and made the last 2 cuts. He next tested (bad picture) the key in each of the exterior locks, first to see if it unlocked the door, and also to see if it worked with the alarm. After the key checked out ok, he sat down with a file and did some finishing work on the key to remove any rough spot and allow it to slip into the locks easier.

Dave said they have the parts to rebuild the ignition lock, or rekey any of the locks. They also can make keys for the wheel locks, with or without the original key. After he was finished he gave me a his card with the key cut numbers on it. If I need another key, he can use the card to make a new key, even without the original key. He suggested I not put these numbers on my web page...

I've never had to pay $45 for a key before, but if it takes an hour of labor and requires special equipment and knowledge, I guess I can't complain.

D. E. Lock & Key
925 Central Ave.
Alameda, Ca 94501
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Copyright 2000, George A Suennen
written: 08/27/00
rev: 10/10/02