Losing your car keys can happen at any time. It might be when you’re loading groceries into your trunk, at the gas station or while driving home.
Getting a replacement key can be costly. There are a few things that will determine how much you spend. One of the biggest factors is where you go for car key making services.
Get a New Key
No one knows for sure what causes Transponder keys service to disappear, but it happens at the most inconvenient times. Whether you are at the gas pump, loading groceries into the trunk or simply walking out of the front door, you can lose your key in a split second. It’s a good idea to always have a spare key. Leave it in a safe place like your home or the office, and make it part of your routine to empty your pockets before leaving your car.
If you need a traditional key, you can usually have it cut at a hardware store for about $10 or at an auto locksmith. If you need a high-security key with an embedded microchip, you will need to go to the dealer to have it programmed. This is a time-consuming process that costs more than just getting a duplicate. Check your vehicle’s warranty and roadside assistance coverage to see if it covers this service.
Replace a Lost Key
Not too long ago, misplacing–or even losing–your car key wasn’t a big deal. You could get a new one at any hardware store or locksmith and the process was relatively inexpensive. However, as cars have become more technologically advanced, so too has the cost of replacing a lost key or fob.
With some exceptions, it can take up to an hour to get a replacement key. It starts with the dealership ordering a key (or, if you don’t have a spare, having it ordered), then pairing that key with your vehicle’s computer chip.
AutoZone offers a quick alternative to the dealership by offering traditional keys for most makes and models of cars. A store associate selects the correct key blank, then uses a machine to copy the original contours of your current key. It takes just minutes to make a traditional key. That key, however, still needs to be programmed to start your car. So, keep a spare key at home or give it to your spouse so you never have to worry about getting stranded again.
Replace a Broken Key
There’s nothing worse than a car key that breaks off in your lock, leaving you unable to open the doors or start the engine. If this happens, you need to call an automotive locksmith for replacement keys.
You may find online sites that offer cheap “car key replacement” services, but you’re better off going to a local locksmith or vehicle dealer. They’ll give you an exact price, including any taxes or fees that may apply.
They can also copy your broken key, resulting in a new one that will work in the door locks and ignition. This is especially useful for cars with smart keys, which have a micro-chip to start the engine. However, you’ll still need to have the new key programmed to work with your car’s electronics. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace the chip as well. This is a more expensive option. However, it’s still the quickest way to get a replacement key.
Replace a Transponder Key
If your key has a transponder on it (a plastic head embedded with a computer chip) then you’ll need to replace that as soon as possible. These keys help prevent car theft, enabling the vehicle to start only if the chip on the key matches up with the receiver in your car.
If you lose the original, then you’ll need to go to a locksmith or dealership that can copy the frequency from one of your spare keys. If you don’t have a spare, it’ll be much more expensive to get a new car key made.
To program a transponder key without the original, you’ll need to remove the chip from the fob and put it on a piece of tape. Using the tape, position it close to the ignition. Then, turn the key on and off quickly eight times in ten seconds. This will reprogram the key and make it work again. You may need to repeat this process twice to get it working with the help of the Certified locksmiths.