Regardless as to whether you drive a brand-new, heavily modded 4×4 or a modern passenger car, chances are you have a key fob that makes keyless entry and push-button-starts possible. Virtually every new automobile on the market today has this technology, making the insertion of a key into an ignition about as rare as a manual gearbox. However, there is one aftermarket company that insists upon offering keyed products for automotive applications: BOLT Lock.
BOLT is short for Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology and is produced by STRATTEC Security Corporation. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the former division of Briggs & Stratton was a pioneer during the early days of the automobile, eventually becoming one of the world’s largest producers of automotive locks and keys. From designing and developing, to manufacturing and marketing, these guys do it all. So if you have a mechanical lock, electronically controlled key, or ignition lock housing, chances are it’s a STRATTEC product.
So how does this apply to you and your keyless entry automobile? The average push-button start automobile’s key fob often has a physical valet key hidden somewhere within its plastic shell, which can be removed by pressing a tiny latch or release pin. This valet key is what helps make BOLT Lock so good, as it offers a locking solution unlike any other product on the market today.
This unique innovation by BOLT Lock takes this hidden key and gives it the power to open every lock produced by the brand. Merely insert the key into the lock cylinder, rotate, and the specialized spring-loaded plate tumblers within will permanently memorize your valet key. Once those unique tumblers read a key, it becomes impossible for another key to fit. No more need for separate keys for every locking component, just use your valet key for everything!
“At BOLT Lock, we feel it’s very important to let our customers know that they can still use our locks to protect their valuables even if they have key fobs and keyless start vehicles,” says Jason Buckles, sales account manager for BOLT Lock. “As automakers move forward into keyless vehicles, we are proud to already have a solution so that way we can still offer the same reliable one-key lock technology to these customers.”
To better protect vehicle owners, and provide products that are tailor-made to various automotive applications, every BOLT Lock is designed specifically for each make, model, and year vehicle. Jeep owners also get vehicle-specific locks, which include J-mount and hood locks. Being that truck and SUV owners tend to utilize BOLT Locks more than most due to trailering and locking down roof cargo, BOLT Lock has taken a hardcore approach to over-engineering its products, and we mean that in the best way possible.
Being that these are locks, they tend to spend most of their lives outdoors in some of the most grueling environments imaginable. This means that they need to be able to withstand all manner of abuse from both humans and Mother Nature alike.
“BOLT locks are built to handle harsh job site conditions such as saltwater coastal areas where corrosion is typically a big factor and are resistant to wet freezing and airborne dust, making them well-suited for winter storm conditions and desert areas,” Buckles explained. “Our U.S. competitors test their products against the ASTM Standard, while European lock makers use standards such as Sold Secure in the UK and in Germany, VdS. We test BOLT Locks to ISO-TS 16949-2009 standards, which are far tougher. This ensures BOLT code-able lock cylinders meet the worst-case combined demands of original equipment automotive manufacturers and ISO’s technical committee.”
For example, while the typical ASTM Standard test for padlocks require a 240-hour stint in a salt spray chamber, BOLT Lock submits their padlocks to 1,000 hours of corrosive abuse. Being that every BOLT Lock utilizes a stainless steel shutter and a rugged jacket, they retain the industry’s highest corrosion resistance rating, even after being left in the salt spray chamber for 1,000 hours. However, in case your BOLT Lock does seize-up at some point, rest assured in knowing that they also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
“BOLT Locks are the perfect accessory for the off-road enthusiast,” Buckles said. “When you are out on the trail, you don’t have time to worry about where you left the keys to your locks, or which key goes to which lock. BOLT Locks work with your vehicle key, taking away all of those worries, so you can just concentrate on the adventure.”
For us, keeping keys off our key chain makes it fit nicer in our pocket and we do not know if we are more thrilled about that or being able to keep everything secure with just our valet key that we always carry. There is no need to make sure that you have the key on you for any spur of the moment’s security needs as the key will always be with you and the vehicle.
For more information on BOLT and to find a product to fit your needs, be sure to check out their website.