top of page
  • buffalocks

Rescuing Old Faithful: A Locksmith's Tale in Buffalo, NY

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Got a call Friday evening -

"Buffalock and key, Eli speaking, how can I help you?"

"Hi my key won't turn in the ignition, can you help?"

"Sure, what car do you have?"

"Its a 1990 Buick Century. The ignition is stuck."

"Ok, where are you? Are you in Buffalo?"

"Yes, I'm in Buffalo, I'm right next to you locksmith van, that's how I got your number!"

Having only one locksmith van, I quickly deduced his exact location - not only is he in Buffalo, NY, but he is right outside my house. Turns out the guy, we'll call him Sean, took his cat to a regular checkup at the Central Park Animal Hospital. Gladly all is well with Socks, but not the same could be said about trusty Old Faithful. A stuck wafer was the issue as was quickly determined by scoping the ignition. That meant this Buick needs the attention of a professional locksmith.

There are a few "tricks the trade" to try in these kinds of situations. Usually they'd get you going, but replacing the ignition lock cylinder ASAP would still be recommended by any locksmith worth his salt. I tried them all but to no avail and informed Sean the ignition lock cylinder on his Buick Century would have to be replaced, which for this year/make/model car, would mean having to take the steering wheel off. Having done the procedure 100+ times in the years I've worked as a locksmith, I was sure of my ability to get the job done in a professional manner but having sold my old lock shop about 6 years ago and only recently picking up the trade again, I was a little worried about missing a tool I forgot I need for the job... Proffering to over deliver rather than under I told Sean it would take about 2 hours to complete the repair. I was also a little worried about being able to source the ignition lock cylinder after calling AutoZone and being informed they don't even have a part number in their system for this particular ignition lock.. Well, another look at my stock automotive locks I suddenly noticed something I missed on my first look over - a brand new in the bag Strattec original ignition lock cylinder, with a part number exactly matching what I had in my notes for a 1990 Buick Century!

I'm glad to say that 30-40 minutes later I called Sean to tell him the job is done. I offered to come pick him up, he gladly accepted, and about 30 minutes later he was back in his car, fired it up and was on his way. Could've been much worse a way to start the holiday weekend! So, if you get stuck with ignition lock issues, lost keys or any other key and/or lock related issues in Buffalo, NY or within a reasonable driving distance, you know who to call. I will do my best to make inconveniences such as these as easy to get through! Any time, any day!

Steering wheel off the column in order to replace the stuck ignition lock cylinder
Buick century steering column

*I tend to forget to take more pictures of my work, but I assure you, when I was done the steering wheel was back in place!

19 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Scott Moore
Scott Moore
Jan 05

I take it you also work on VATS cars? Got a 95 Century I'm working on, pretty sure it would need a VATS key, I'll be in touch when I'm ready to get a key made

Jan 05
Replying to

I do! Done countless of them, I'm here when you're ready. Assuming the ignition works fine its a 50-50 chance I'd be able to scope it and wouldn't need to take the steering wheel off.

bottom of page