Nowadays, cars are a necessity of life. You need one to get about anywhere anymore. Whether you are running errands or just heading to or from work. You are likely relying on a vehicle of some sort to get around. Breaking a key, or losing one, is more impactful to your everyday life than you would think. It is a living nightmare. Without a spare, you can be left stranded, and your first instinct may be to panic. Well, don’t. You are still able to get a copy of your key made. Even if your original key is broken or lost.
The Type of Key Needed To Be Replaced
First off, the type of key you need to replace makes a difference. For starters, any key predating 1981 probably needs a simple key from a standard block cut. However, the newer-model cars will have different types of keys. These keys are known as transponder keys. It comes with the programmed chip as an added safety feature. When you are getting a replacement transponder key, it takes more than just a simple cut. You would need to properly program it to turn on your car. In order to do this, you will need to find a locksmith that can cut and program a replacement key for you.
There is a new type of key that changes things a bit. The smart key. Though this key doesn’t always resemble a key, it is still required to start the matching vehicle. These keys look like fobs and don’t turn the ignition like traditional keys. These, like transponder keys, must be programmed.
Replacement Keys Without Original
You still have options if you lost or broke the original key. For starters, you can go directly to the dealer for a car key replacement. However, this is an expensive route to take. You may also need the vehicle present for the replacement key to be programmed. If that is the case, then you are going to likely have to pay for a tow truck.
Your next option would be a locksmith. Of these two options, it is generally the cheaper way to go. In fact, a lot of dealerships will use locksmith services to cut and replace keys for them. A lot of locksmiths possess the ability to cut and program almost any key.
Information Your Locksmith Will Need
Any experienced locksmith possesses the ability to replace almost any key. However, they will require a bit of information in order to accurately duplicate your key. This information includes:
- (If Possible) Key Identification Number
You may also need to provide the title as proof of ownership. You shouldn’t have a problem informing them of the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Once you have provided this information along with a title or your registration, you will need to read off the VIN to them. This is found on either the doorpost on the driver’s side or on a metal plate on the driver’s side of the dashboard.
If possible, the key identification number is helpful information to provide. This number is also known as the key code. It is usually in the car’s manual. Though this information is useful to have, it isn’t required.
In the event, your keys were stolen, or you suspect as much, make sure you inform the locksmith of this. They are able to reprogram the car so the old keys won’t work any longer.
Will You Have to Worry About Tow Costs
Some locksmiths, they are not mobile and require you to bring the vehicle to them. So if you were to go with one of these businesses in the industry, yes, you will have two costs. Now, there are some locksmiths that will come to the car and use the latest tech to create a duplicate key on the spot and program it accordingly.
While losing or damaging your key can be a devastating event in your day. You do have options on saving money, time, and stress with a locksmith. They are usually about 50% cheaper than dealerships and can come straight to you in some situations. No matter the vehicle, key, or whether or not you have the original, getting a replacement key is possible. You should also consider having a duplicate on hand in case you do lose the original. Don’t wait till it’s too late; think ahead and make a spare.