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How to find your cars lock or key code

Why do I need a key code? Copying a key no matter how well it's done will always produce a key that's one generation removed from the original cut key.  Copying a worn key will only give you a reproduction of the wear one further generation from the original.  In some cases this is fine and providing the copy is made from a key that is in good condition there should be no problem.

Cutting a key to code creates a brand new key, similar to the one that would have been supplied with your car when new.  We have to say up front that we are presently only able to supply keys cut to code for a number of keys - however we find that these we can supply cover the majority of 40-early 90s cars we fans drive.

Finding your cars lock code can in some cases be very easy and in others require a little investigation or disassembly.  In other cases it's next to impossible and copying an existing key is the only simple answer.

Finding your lock/key code can be easy

  • You still have the tag that was attached to the original set of keys that came with your car
  • You have an original of key that fits and the code is stamped on the key
  • A previous owner wrote the keys code on paper work that came with the car

Not that difficult

  • The lock code is stamped on the lock face plate - a practice that seems to have stopped in the 70s
  • You obtain a manufactures heritage certificate and it has the lock codes on it - Both British Motor Heritage and Jaguar/Daimler Heritage offer his service for some marques.
  • Paper decal or sticker on the back of the lock has the code printed on it.

More difficult

  • Disassembly - if your lock code is not on the face it is often stamped on the barrel of the lock - this will require the lock assembly being taken apart
  • Reading the code from an existing keys cuts.  Cuts are made in a number of depths and if not to worn often the code can be read by a locksmith from an existing key

    If you have a set of original keys the lock code maybe stamped on them Finding the code may be as easy as looking at he face of your ignition lock
    Motor Heritage certificates often have lock coding as well as a wealth of additional information about your car For Jaguar cars check with Jaguar Heritage. MG, Morris, Austin, Austin-Healey, Riley etc. check.
    Sometimes you'll have to disassembly is the only answer - here the code is punched onto the lock barrel.
    On this ignition lock depressing the small brass button to the top right (through a hole in the ignition assemble) allowed the cylinder to slip out reveling the code. More disassembly reveals the code stamped on the barrel of this door lock.
    MGB/Midget - here the trunk lock sometimes has a three digit code stamped on the swing plate that secures the trunk. You'll have to remove the lock or use a flashlight to see. If your cars trunk/boot has a "T" handle lock (Mini etc) - a little disassemble should reveal the code stamped onto the square shaft of the handle.
    Hope you find this of some help finding your cars lock code. If you can help pass on any more information that may be of help to the hobby please contact us so we can update this page.

    Before I forget we've also noticed that on some locks the stamped number is incorrect.  Seems more prevalent when the part with the code number is detachable such as the MGB trunk lock. Someone has either changed parts or as the number is often "off" by a factor of 10 someone at the factory must have had a sleepy moment and pulled parts from the wrong box.

    We now can also offer original Wilmot Breedon Union keys in the following styles FNR,MRN, FA, FP, FS and FT check this page .

    If you own a jaguar car that uses a Tibbe style key we have a page dedicated to reading Tibbe coded keys


    More information on were you'll find lock codes
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