Losing or misplacing car keys can be a stressful experience. Not only does it leave you stranded, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming if you use dealer services.
However, there are alternative options available for getting replacement car keys that are more affordable and convenient.
In this ultimate guide, we will explore different methods and resources for obtaining replacement car keys.
Key replacement services are essential for anyone who has lost or misplaced their keys. Whether it’s for your home, car, or office, losing your keys can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Fortunately, there are professional locksmiths and key replacement services that can help you in these situations.
We will discuss everything you need to know about car key replacement services and choosing the right service provider.
Different Types of Car Keys
Traditional Metal Keys
Before 1995 most car keys were just basic metal flat keys. The cost of replacing a car key was similar to replacing a domestic house key. No laser-cutting machinery or key programming equipment was required.
Many cars used to be stolen by hot wiring or bypassing the ignition barrel. In 1996 it was decided that all cars had to be equipped with transponders. Transponder chips store a code on the key. The code would be transmitted from the key to the immobiliser coil.
If no code or the wrong is recieved when the key is turned, the engine cannot start. This was a real technological breakthrough at the time
The blades also went from double-sided to Lazer cut, this increased the keys security and durability.
Remote Key Fobs
Remote key fobs introduced central locking remote buttons on the key. Flip remote keys also made an introduction. Flip remote keys are the majority of car keys in circulation today.
Proximity keys are remote keys that have no blade to turn the ignition. You simply press the start button on the ignition to start the car. Although there is always an emergency blade stored in the key. The door handles also unlock as you walk close to the door handle. Beware, a lot of cars that use these keyless keys are stolen frequently. It is recommended to use a key pouch to blog the signals being sent out of the key when not in use.
Find out what type of key your car uses. The type of key your car uses may determine the cost and process of replacing your car keys.
Dealership Car Key replacement
Lost car keys can be replaced at the dealership and this used to be the only option.
It’s expensive and time-consuming, for E.G. if you have lost your BMW key the dealer will have to order the key from the country of origin, in this case, Germany.
The key can take up to 2 weeks to arrive in some cases. The car will have to be towed to the dealership, which is an additional expense. Often the dealership may also charge a storage fee to have the vehicle there.
One more thing to note: If the car’s ignition or ECU has ever been replaced the dealer key won’t work!
If you don’t have the key code or if the dealership option is too costly, a locksmith may be your best bet.
Auto locksmith car key replacement
Getting a lost car key replaced by an Auto locksmith is the fastest and cheapest option.
A mobile Auto locksmith can have your lost car key replaced, usually within an hour of receiving your call. Auto locksmith services are also a lot cheaper than dealership services.
Preventing Key Loss
Always have a Spare car key
The best defence against lost car keys is to make sure you always have a spare key. It is also alot cheaper to cut a spare key than replace one.
Key Tracking Devices
It is advisable to fit a little tracking device to your bunch of keys or a Bluetooth tag, especially if you are brave enough to only have 1 key.
You should occasionally visually inspect your key to make sure there are no cracks in the key blade. Its never advisable to have your car key on a very heavy bunch. This causes extra fatigue on the blade when the car is driven. Your door locks should be lubricated once a year, a dry graphite fine lubricant is recommended.
If you need a replacement car key an auto locksmith is your best option. It’s the cheapest and fastest way to get back on the road. It’s advisable to call to speak to a technician.
Can you get a car key replaced without the original key?
Yes, An auto locksmith carries various lock picking, key cutting and key programming equipment. They can make you a new car key in under an hour.