Bowling Locksmith Services now has the ability to make high security keys for your vehicle!

What is a “High Security” Key?

The term “High Security” in automotive keys basically refers to the type of blade the key has. Regular automotive keys are either single sided or double sided cuts meaning they are either cut only on the top (single sided) or on the top and bottom (double sided). These types of keys can be cut with a basic key machine or key duplicator, unlike high security keys which are “milled” down the center of the key blade using a high security key machine with a special cutting blade. (see pictures included in this posting)

People may not even realize that their cars have high security automotive keys, because there may not be any buttons to press, or even a battery to change. Automotive High Security keys have actually been around for more than 20 years.

4 Track High Security Key (ie. Honda)

4 Track High Security Key (ie. Honda)

Which vehicles have High Security Keys?

Nearly all car manufacturers today have some or all of their models equipped with High Security keys. Lexus vehicles came equipped with high security keys ever since they introduced the LS model back in 1989. VW began using High Security Keys in some of their cars in 1998, with the majority of their vehicles being equipped by 2000. Honda Motor Co. began using high security keys on most models in 2003. More auto manufacturers have begun to equip their vehicles with high security keys over the past few years.

What does this mean for you? It means the cars are becoming much more difficult to steal, but it also means that the keys are much more difficult to cut (the reason we have invested in this specialty machine to cut these difficult to cut keys). 

There are a few makes and models however which are dealer only when it comes to getting replacement or duplicate keys made. This means only the dealer can provide you with a new key. We however can provide and program keys or the majority of high security key models. Call us and see if we can save you lots of money compared to the highly inflated dealer prices for extra or replacement high security keys. We can often generate new keys even if you lose all of your existing keys.


2 Track High Security Key (ie. VW)

Call us at 757-653-6317 to have high security keys cut.


What is a Transponder Key?


Transponder keys are commonly used by a variety of automobile manufacturers in their newer model year vehicles because they provide an added security for your vehicle. The keys themselves may not appear much different than a standard all-in-one key fob, however the technology inside makes them far superior to standard automobile keys.


Transponder keys are specially designed to provide a higher level of security by placing a signal emitting “chip” inside the key. When the ignitions is turned on this chip is activated when it receives a signal from the computer in your vehicle, which is known as the ECU, or electronic control unit. Communication between the key and ECU is required to start the vehicle. If the coded message coming from the key chip is not present or incorrect your vehicle will not start or will shut down shortly after staring. This technology greatly increases the security of your vehicle’s ignition, as it cannot be started by any other means.


More details for the technophiles out there, skip this italicized section if you don’t want to geek out on the details.


Located around the mechanical key hole of your ignition there is an antenna coil. When the key is turned on the coil becomes energized and creates a small magnetic field. This magnetic field in turn energizes a small transponder chip imbedded in the plastic head of your key. The chip emits a signal to the antenna ring which the carries the information to the cars computer. If the signal contains the proper coding, it allows the car to start. The coding on earlier models was very basic, newer models can carry an 80 bit alpha numeric code. The mathematical odds of a random matching code are well into the millions. On some recent models this amount of information allows you to limit the speed your child may drive your car with a specific key or even control how loud the radio can go. Also if your keys are lost or stolen, the lost key can be erased from your cars system without expensive mechanical re-keying.


Transponder Key Programming

Replacing a transponder key for your vehicle is not as simple as getting a new key cut to match your ignition. While some transponders can be programed if you have one or two existing keys and follow a specific set of instructions if you lose all of your keys or have a car that does not offer on board programing a locksmith or dealer will have to use special equipment to tap into your cars computer and program new keys.


Why do Transponder keys cost so much?


The proper tools, training and key blanks are all required to make a key properly. When choosing a locksmith ask lots of questions and check them out thoroughly. Also, beware of on-line gimmicks selling discount keys. There are many on-line companies selling phony unusable keys and remotes much cheaper then maybe you were quoted. The old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.’ should be adhered to. Push to start cars operate on the same principle and basically rely totally on the transponder portion of the key to prevent a theft. The next generations of keys are already making an appearance. The newest keys combine remote functions, transponder technology and a laser cut high security mechanical key.


How can I get extra transponder keys or get news transponder keys if I lost my other keys.


Simple. Call us at Bowling Locksmith Services 757-653-6317. We have the equipment to cut and program new transponder keys for you. Right now we only have standard security (side cut keys) but a high security key machine is on its way (stand by for announcement in near future). We anticipate we will be able to cut and program any transponder key for you within the next month and we won’t charge you the extravagant car dealership prices. Keys with incorporated remotes are available by special order so call us for a quote.


Note: The Eastern Shore Division does not have transponder key availability at this time. If a need exists we may be able to get our Western Tidewater Locksmiths to come to the Eastern Shore to originate and program transponder keys for you.


Check us out on the web at


Top 10 Reasons to Call a Locksmith

People often think the only time to call a locksmith is when you locked yourself out of your home or vehicle. The truth is locksmiths provide so many other services other than emergency lockout services. Below are listed common reasons to call a locksmith other than lockout situations.

  1. To Rekey / Repin a Lock
  2. To develop a master key system in a building with multiple locks
  3. To fix or rebuild a malfunctioning lock
  4. To cut new keys for home or automobile
  5. To program transponder keys for your car
  6. To install new locks or electronic access systems (key pad systems, fingerprint readers, electronic strikes)
  7. To change the combination on a safe
  8. To remove broken key fragments from a lock and cut you a new key based on the remnants
  9. To cut a new key based on a key code from the manufacture
  10. Decode Pins in a lock to make a working key when none are available

To give you and idea of the services that locksmiths provide the definition of locksmith services according to legislation in the state of NC is: To give you and idea of the services that locksmiths provide the definition of locksmith services according to legislation in the state of NC is:To give you an idea of the broad scope of services that locksmiths provide the definition of locksmith services according to legislation in the state of NC is: Services that include repairing, rebuilding, rekeying, repinning, servicing, adjusting, or installing locks, mechanical or electronic locking devices, access control devices, egress control devices, safes, vaults, and safe-deposit boxes for compensation or other consideration, including services performed by safe technicians. The definition also includes any method of bypassing a locking mechanism of any kind, whether in a commercial, residential, or automotive setting, for compensation.

Don’t forget to call Bowling Locksmith Services for all of your Lock and Key needs at 757-653-6317 in Southampton Co., Emporia and Franklin, VA. or at 757-414-0202 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Also check us out on the web at

Keys do wear out with time !

Many people do not know that all keys will wear down over time and cause problems with your locks and when you try to get copies made. The repeated action raking the key across the lock parts causes minute wear that over time will cause the key to wear down to the point of not correctly working to open the lock. This is most evident on vehicles ignitions and door locks, mailboxes, household door locks, and other keys used on a daily basis.


Some may think to just go to the locksmith or hardware store and get another copy of the key made will solve the problem. However in this case you are only creating a copy of a bad key. That key most likely won’t work any better than the one you are making it from does. Your solution to this would be to have an original key cut on code cutting machine by a locksmith company. This would be a key created (not copied) with original factory specification and usually will remedy the problems of having to “jiggle” the key in the locks to get it to turn. A locksmith company can accomplish this in a number of ways, and it would be best to ask your local locksmith if they can create you an original key based off your worn or rough copy. Cutting a key by code can usually be done for a minimal cost, especially considering you won’t have to stand in the rain and fight the key in the lock for ten minutes while your children play in the mud puddles.

I recommend that when you first get a set of new keys (ie- buy a new car, change the locks on the house/business) your best idea would be to put aside one of the original keys. This could include putting a key in the safe or in a “hide a key”. Ideally the key should be used only in emergencies and to get copies made from. When you make a copy, of a copy, a key will sometimes get off by just a little bit. This same phenomenon happens when you photocopy copies of copies. If you continue to copy key copies you end up with copies of keys that do not work well. Ideally you should use that original saved away key to get copies made and use those for distribution. While most locksmiths key machines are designed to be able to make from 10-15 “generations” of keys, some hardware stores and big box stores may only be able to do one or two generations of copies.

While most locksmith companies keep their equipment adjusted and with sharp blades, big box stores consider key copying  a “Loss Leader” in that they don’t care if you have to come back for a key to be remade. They take the stance that you will likely pick up other things “while you are there” Returning that key could end up costing you hundreds! (oh yeah, I did need to buy me a new grill  while I’m here)

Locksmiths don’t like having to recut keys so they try to do it right the first time. Having a nonworking key is frustrating for everyone involved. That’s why we make every effort to do it right the first time.

Call Bowling Locksmith Services at 757-653-6317 and get that worn out key fixed. Don’t forget to visit our website at

Why Are Locksmiths So Expensive?


Why are locksmiths so expensive?


It really depends on who you call.

A national locksmith franchise or scammer call center operation may appear to be local businesses since they tend to use redirect local landlines to their call center and also display fake locations in their online advertisements.

National locksmith companies have enormous advertising costs due to the fierce nature of their advertising, taking up the majority of space in local telephone directories and the expensive top listing positions in search engine advertisements. This cost is passed on to the consumer in your bill.

You may find that these national companies subcontract work to the nearest locksmith which could be anywhere up to 75 miles away, these travel costs increase up your bill as well. It could also mean you are waiting a ridiculous length of time for your locksmith to arrive.


Use a local locksmith!

As a result of the national firms and scammers invading the locksmith business locksmiths have been labelled expensive emergency services when in fact the majority of real local locksmith businesses are reasonably priced and offer a fantastic service.

Using a local locksmith ensures you are getting a quick response and a reliable, trustworthy tradesman who works hard to uphold his good reputation. National locksmith chains are far less likely to honor part guarantees and fix future problems since it is often difficult to send the same serviceman out again.

Spotting a genuine local locksmith can be difficult with the misleading ads from national locksmith companies. However if you speak to a receptionist wanting to know all your details before issuing a quotation you are more than likely speaking to a call center. A real local locksmith will be more than familiar with the area you are calling from.

Always shop around, get a few quotations! The real local locksmiths will be far cheaper than the nationals so never go for the first quote, no matter how desperate you are to get in.

Call Bowling Locksmith Services at 757-653-6317 and get that Local Locksmith Service and Price.

Locksmith Scammers

Beware of scammer locksmiths. Check out this video from the Society of Professional Locksmiths

Any legitimate locksmith business in Virginia should have a valid business license with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. You can confirm licensure by visiting

Lock Bumping


Lock Bumping – A Dangerous New Skill Set for Burglars

Do any of the Keys above look like the ones securing your valuable or home? If so you are at risk.

Burglars have picked up a skill (originally developed by locksmiths) that has become a dangerous epidemic in the United States. This new skills is known as lock bumping. With the simple tap of a screw driver and the correctly cut key blank, thieves can quietly enter your home without detection.

  1. It is estimated that 90% of household doors in the US use an old style cylinder lock which is vulnerable to lock bumping.
  2.  Anyone can make a bump key and learn how to use it in 5 minutes or less with instructional videos that have gone viral on YouTube.
  3.  When a bump key is used to break into your house there are no signs of forced entry or damage to the lock. This makes insurance companies wary of paying claims related to stolen or damaged property due to the lack of evidence proving forced entry.

If you see what looks like your key here it is because the lock protecting your home is one of the most popular to bump. It’s time to protect your home and family against lock bumping.

If you want to learn more about lock bumping and ways to defend against it check out this YouTube video.

Protect Your Home Against Lock Bumping

Bowling Locksmith Services offers pick-resistant and bump-resistant high security lock hardware to protect your home. You can purchase these locks for self-installation or we can install them for you. Bump Resistant Locks we recommend include Master Locks Line of Home Locks with Anti-Bump, Kaba Peaks, or Medeco. Kaba Peaks and Medeco also have features which eliminates unauthorized key duplication. Your home is your single most valuable possessions. Why would you not invest in properly securing it? Call Bowling Locksmith Services today at (757) 653-6317 to upgrade your locks or visit us on the web at