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January 22 ,2022

Why Bump Keys Don’t Work on Cars 

Why Bump Keys Don’t Work on Cars

Lock bumping is a lock picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially cut key called bump keys. This technique has been around for decades and has been used countless times to bypass home security and commit theft.

In this post, we will explain bump keys and their working mechanism. You will also learn why they cannot work on your vehicle. Lastly, we will consider alternatives to bump keys and ways to protect your cars from theft. Let’s dive right in.

How a Bump Key Works

A bump key is most times used on standard pin tumbler locks. To understand how a bump key works, we must first understand how a standard pin tumbler lock operates.

The lock contains a series of spring-loaded pin stacks that are arranged to lock and unlock a door. This stack of pins contains the driver pin that is spring-driven and the key pin that aligns directly on top of a key. Whenever you insert the key into the lock cylinder, the top pins (key pins) form a shear line that allows the cylinder to turn. When turned, the key pins are rotated away from the driver pins thereby opening the door.

Now, when a bump key is inserted, a hammer or heavy object is usually used to strike the key to create a temporary sheer line that allows the cylinder to turn, rotate away from the key pins and unlock the door.

Why Bump Keys Cannot Work on Cars 

A bump key will not unlock a car because bump keys are designed to operate on standard pin tumbler locks which are not used in automobiles. Car locks are either slider locks or wafer locks, and these locks' mechanisms are different from that of a standard pin tumbler lock.

Wafer locks use a wafer instead of a stack of pins and the wafer must be raised or lowered to a certain height before it can unlock. Slider locks also have a similar mechanism rendering bump keys useless. If a burglar uses a bump key to unlock your car, the best it can do is damage your car lock.

Alternatives to Bump Keys

While automobiles may be immune to bump keys, there is an equivalent key known as jiggle keys that burglars can use to open your car door. Jiggle keys are designed to compromise the mechanism of non-transponder automobile locks. Criminals insert the key into your car lock and move it up and down until the car door unlocks.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Car

A way to protect your car from theft is to replace your car lock and ignition cylinder with an upgraded lock. The sophisticated mechanism of these upgraded locks will reduce the success of any attempted theft. Also, cars with outdated security systems are more prone to theft. Therefore, making sure that your car security system is well optimized is another way to protect your car from theft.

If you want a security system upgrade, the experts at Columbus Locksmith can help. We offer lock replacement, car security system updates, and other locksmith services. We are just a call away.

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