Busse's Lock Service, LLC: 
                        2003 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608


Submaster key

This refers to a key that is part of a master key system. It operates more locks than a change key, but fewer than the master key. This is the sort of key that might be given to a departmental manager. It opens all the keyed different offices under his or her supervision, but does not work the locks in other departments.


This refers to an old technology that has been put to a new use. Aircraft have been outfitted with transponders for decades; this is how radar equipment locates and identifies all the planes in the sky. But starting in the mid-90's, many automobile manufacturers began installing transponder systems as anti-theft devices on cars. When the key is operated in the ignition lock, the on-board computer transmits a radio signal to the key. If the key is properly programmed, it echoes back the correct signal; the computer then allows the engine to start. This thwarts thieves who simply smash the lock to steal the vehicle. (It is less effective against professional chop-shop thieves who tow the car away.) Unlike the VATS system used by GM since the 80's, the transponder is hidden in the plastic handle of the key. Some automakers have chosen to patent their transponder technology, forcing their customers to return to the dealer even for duplicate keys. Others can be duplicated by anyone with a standard duplicating machine and the appropriate key blank; the programming of the transponder is done at the wheel of the vehicle. Other keys require an expensive “cloning” machine in order to duplicate the keys. Busse’s can copy both of the last two types of keys. But be prepared for sticker shock; prices for transponder keys are significantly higher than for the ordinary car keys of days gone by!

If your transponder keys have been lost, however, you may be in a for an expensive lesson. In most cases your vehicle is immobilized until the dealer connects their computer diagnostic equipment to reprogram your transponder module. Roadside locksmith services simply cannot help in most of these situations. Even if a copy sounds expensive, it is a real bargain compared to being stranded while your car is towed to the dealer!

Tubular lock/Tubular key

This refers to locks and their accompanying circular keys that are often used on bicycle locks, vending machines, and electrical devices. “Ace” and “Kryptonite” are two common brand names associated with this technology. Such locks can also be found on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Laundromat washers, showcases and countless other devices. Generally, these keys can be copied by most locksmiths; in many cases, keys can also be fitted when the need arises.


Underwriter’s Laboratory. This insurance industry agency tests and rates products for safety and functionality. Every electrical appliance in your home carries a UL approval tag, showing that meets minimum safety standards. UL also issues ratings to safes for burglary-resistivity and fire-resistivity. Even some locks (those installed on insulated fire doors) must be UL rated for that purpose!

Valet key

Most late-model cars use one key for the entire vehicle. Many also come with a special key which only operates the doors and ignition; the key won’t work the trunk or the storage compartment (glove box or console). This is a valet key. It allows you to have someone park your car without letting them snoop in the storage areas. In many cases, the handle is gray instead of black. In other cases, the handle or bow is a different shape. For specific information on the valet key for your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual. A well-equipped locksmith can make both valet keys and master keys for most vehicles.