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225 Lock's Skills, Tricks, & Tools: A Closer Look Inside Our Locksmith Business

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VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System) was introduced by GM on the 1986 Corvette because the Corvette had become the number one target of car thieves. Corvette thefts dropped so impressively after VATS was implemented that GM expanded the system in 1988 to the Camaro, Firebird, and Cadillac Seville. Before long, VATS was standard equipment on all Cadillac vehicles and on many other Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, and Oldsmobile vehicles. As the system was added to more vehicles, GM began using the terms “PASSkey-1” and “PASSkey-2” as more descriptive names for the system. From the locksmith’s point of view, there is no functional difference between VATS and PASSkey-1 or PASSkey-2, and most technicians still refer to the system simply as VATS. 

locksmith VATS interrogator

Each VATS key has a resistor embedded within the key-blade, and each resistor has 1 of 15 possible values. Sometimes the resistors are refered to as a Vats Pellet or Vats Chip. In order to read the resistance of the correct resistor for your car, you MUST have the key. Decoding a VATS key is very simple, but it requires that you know how to use an ohm meter. To determine the correct VATS code for your car when you lose your key, you need special equipment. The VATS Interrogator is used to find the correct resistor value for your car. (NOTE: Resistor value #1 is not used on vehicles built in 1989 or later and resistor value #1 was never used on vehicles equipped with double-sided VATS keys.)

Marks Mortise Lock

Marks Mortise Lock - Have you ever wondered how that lock works on your iron security door? As you can see there are a lot of moving parts! Therefore, it is recommened to be taken apart ONLY by professionals. We realize you may be a handyman and you're dying to remove those three little screws. But we provided a picture for you so don't make that mistake! Before (or after) trying to fix this one on your own, let our locksmith fix it for you.

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