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Lock Code Series - Must Know Info

What is a code series, and why is it important? If a lock uses a key, that key has cuts on it, which has a predetermined set of depth, and space information, and all of that information is inside the code series. Are you ready to learn more? Let's go.

The best way to describe a code series is a cypher. A cypher is a term used to describe a secret way of writing a code, or in our case, key bitting. The code series also represents a set of space and depth information for the entire series, and so if we take that information and pull it back to like the 1000 foot view, this is how it all works. However, all code series, in general, use the same information. So here you have the vehicle, and on each vehicle, it's issued a VIN. Now with the issue of that vehicle and the VIN, there will be a key code. That key code will be within the set series of the key code series that comes with that vehicle, and then when you take that information, that's where you get the key bitting, which is the cuts for the key.

While file cabinets go like this, file cabinet manufacturers like HON, and then it would be the key code for that lock-in that key code series that HON determined, then that key code would then turn into the key bitting to cut that key.


In these examples, you might be asking, 'Hey, PJ, is there any way to go from vehicle VIN, skip the key code and just go straight to the key bitting?' The answer is no, and I hope it never exists as well.


Note: All examples talk about the automotive code series.


The first example is a Mercury Mariner, the same as the Ford Escape; it's a top-rated Ford code series, 2005-2007. It uses the code series 1X-1706X. It's letting us know the split, the spacing, and depth information is, and it's also letting us know that if we encounter one of those vehicles, the key code or the key bitting that we end up decoding will fit inside of that code series. On the details out of generic code, you'll see that the key cuts, the key bitting for the 1706X code are 2, 4, 2, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5. So, if we were to cut that key for the vehicle that the code was issued to, it would work. Now, when you look at the space information and the depth information, it will be the same for all of the key codes in that code series. 


If we were to pull up any other code in that code series, everything would be the same outside the key bitting. This brings me to my next point. On the page out of the Ilco auto truck key guide, you'll see the second thing that's highlighted there: the 1999 - 1999 same code series for the Mercury Sable. But if you notice, the transponder key is different. So, the example above is on the H92 transponder key, and the one below is on the H72.




It's important because once you start to understand the code series, it unlocks a lot of things for you. So as you can see in this example, it's very true that several different transponder keys will be used in the same code series because those transponder keys use the same key blade. When you're used to programming and cutting the H72 key by code, and Ford comes out with a new transponder key that uses the H75 blade, you will be familiar with cutting that key by code or decoding. It is because it's going to operate the same way. So, as you start to learn and understand the information, your knowledge will start building on each other. And when a new vehicle comes out that uses the same code series, you essentially know everything you need to know outside of the programming.


Let's look at the Honda Crosstour. So from 2013 to 2016, as you can see, they're using that K001-N718 code series. And if you look up and down that page for a moment, you'll see almost everything on that page, once again, is that same code series. If we pull up the space and depth information for the code N718, we'll see that the space and depth information will be the same.


Once again, the cuts are going to be different, and then if we look down to the Honda Element from 2006-2011, you'll see the same code series, but you're going to see a different transponder key once again.


That's going to be the HO03-PT and in our last example is the HO05. So, it's the same information; apply it again.

The more that you're willing to get familiar and comfortable with the code series and start to understand the differences between the spaces and the depths and the little tricks as the manufacturer continues to use that same code series, then you're not going to have that much to learn. Now, all of these same principles apply to just standard code series, which is the best part. So I hope you can see by now that understanding this information, it's going to help you in decoding and impressioning locks because if you know the spacing and the depth, you know that on that Y11 key or on that H75 key, there's going to be X amount of spaces and X amount of depths. Taking that knowledge and then applying it to your other skills is where the secret sauce is for code series. I would love to know your thoughts. Thank you, and we'll see you next time.

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