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What Are My Options For Car Key Replacement?

There are many reasons why you might need to replace your car keys. Whether it’s because they’ve been lost or stolen, or maybe you want a fresh set made, there are different ways to go about the process. Here are your 15 best options for car key replacement:

1) The dealership

If you’re still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, don’t bother with this list. Just call up your nearest dealership, and they’ll be happy to replace them straight away. Generally, if your vehicle is out of warranty, it will cost around $200 for each new key you need, sometimes more depending on what type of security system is equipped in your car. It’s also worth noting that if one remote requires replacing (if your car has more than one key or remote), the remaining ones will also need to be replaced simultaneously.

2) A locksmith (Like Us! Call AZ Car Keys Now!)

If you don’t have a warranty, there are still options out there for replacing your keys. Often, local locksmiths can make new keys on-site for an inexpensive price. However, you want to make sure that they’re reputable and not going to try any funny business with your vehicle, which is why it’s important to get multiple quotes before deciding on one in particular. I would recommend finding someone who has a mobile service (they come to you) since it may save some time/money depending on the distance they need to travel.

3) A hardware store

Go into your local hardware or automotive parts store, and they’ll be able to make you a replacement key. This option is great for those looking for an inexpensive way to fix their broken keys or replace lost ones. Just bring in your spare and let them do all the legwork; it’s that simple! The price will typically run around $25-$50 depending on what type of car you have, but the convenience is unbeatable.

4) A locksmith shop

For more experienced users, skip the local hardware store and try a locksmith shop instead. The drawback, of course, is that you’ll have to pay a bit more, but you can guarantee that your keys will work as intended without having to worry about getting overcharged. Shop around for the best price and service before deciding on one in particular; although, most locksmiths should offer competitive rates if they’re worth their salt.

5) A new dealership

This option is only applicable if you’ve recently purchased or leased a car from a dealership and didn’t purchase the additional security plan/service at the time of sale/lease. So if you’ve lost your keys, fell on hard times, and can’t afford them, or just trying to avoid any additional fees, then stop by the dealership, and they’ll help out! In these cases, dealerships are usually required by law to provide replacement car keys (at no cost) as long as you still meet all terms of your original contract.

6) The internet (i.e., KJB Security Locks)

Another option is to go online and buy a brand new set of replacement keys from a website like KJB Security Locks for the most affordable price possible. If you want to save money and take care of it in a matter of minutes, then this is your best bet! Granted, it’s not going to be as cheap as buying from your local hardware store, but sometimes that extra savings isn’t worth the time/effort/hassle of driving around for deals on replacement lock-sets.

7) A junkyard or recycling plant

Suppose you’ve ever taken your keys into a locksmith or dealership for replacement, then you probably know that they won’t cut the key from the main device. This leaves one option taking them to a wrecking yard/recycling plant and letting them remove them for you. Note that these places usually charge by the pound and not by the number of keys, so expect to pay around $5-$15 per key for this service. However, you’ll get exactly what you need without any hassle whatsoever, which is why this is a popular option for those who don’t have the time to mess around with their keys or can’t afford to pay for a replacement lock-set.

8) A convenience store key cutting machine

I’ve heard from my friends that they took their broken/lost car key into the local 7-11 and had them cut it from the ignition cylinder. And while it’s not ideal, you can usually get away with doing this as long as your key isn’t so mangled and barely hanging on by a strand of metal wire; because if it doesn’t work, then you’re pretty much out of luck at that point. Nonetheless, once they make your new key, remember to treat it like your old one.

9) Home Depot, Lowe’s, ACE Hardware.

Yes, if you’re in a pinch and need to get your keys cut ASAP, then most hardware stores will be able to do it for you without any hassle whatsoever. The price, of course, isn’t going to be as cheap as what you would find at your local convenience store. Still, these places usually have all the right equipment to cut just about anything that resembles a key (including having someone else present when cutting/making new ones). Just note that they probably won’t be making them on-site so expect some additional time before they’re ready for pick-up.

10) Local locksmith/auto-lock specialists

If you’ve ever needed to have your car unlocked in a hurry (and didn’t want to pay the price of the dealership), then you already know that there are plenty of 24-hour lock & car servicing places around that can help out with their mobile units; especially if it’s an emergency. The downside is that they usually charge double or triple what your local hardware store will charge, but it’s better than nothing if you don’t have time to spare!

11)A friend who works with keys/locks/tools

Sometimes all it takes is one good set of eyes and hands to make a replacement key for your car. It’s not ideal, but if you know somebody who knows how to work with these sorts of things, have them look at your old/broken set and see if they can help out with making a new one. Just note that this may also require the same fees as using a local locksmith or hardware store unless it’s substantially cheaper or completely free, depending on their profession (i.e., jeweler).

12) Removing the broken key from the lock cylinder

Assuming you still have the remaining section of your broken key left; you can always remove it yourself by following these steps: -Use common household products like Vise-Grips, needle nose pliers, or a wrench to grip the head of your key -Slowly turn the pliers in a clockwise direction until you feel that the tension is released. You should then be able to pull out your old key without too much fuss easily. -Once it’s out, take your new one and insert it into the lock cylinder before turning it in a counter-clockwise motion

13) Simply breaking off the remaining part of your worn-out key

If you have enough keys left past where they broke, then bend them back and forth a couple of times until they snap off cleanly at the break. Then you should be able to pull it out and put your replacement key in its place -don’t forget to take it out before trying to start your car! This method works best if you have a newer car with a plastic ignition barrel instead of an older car with a metal ignition barrel; since the metal ones are going to be harder to work with.

14)Taking apart the ignition barrel handle

Assuming that none of these other methods work, you can always take apart the actual cylinder itself, even for more advanced users only. And while I never recommend dismantling anything unless you know exactly what you’re doing, I’ve found that there are already plenty of step-by-step tutorials online showing people how to do this properly, so feel free to check them out if you want (don’t blame me if it explodes or something though).

15) Using a locksmith tool to bypass the issue

Finally, you can always take a quick trip to your local hardware store and pick up one of those little tools designed for breaking into/lock-picking cars. They’re only around $5-$10. They come with their instructional DVDs, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that they work like a charm, especially since it doesn’t require taking apart the lock cylinder or anything complicated. You stick it inside and give it a few twists before pulling the piece that was blocking it out; then, replace your old key with your new one and push down on the handle until it is pops-up. It’s way easier than it sounds, so I highly recommend getting one of these things if you ever encounter this problem again in the future!

So there you have it, 15 options for car key replacement that you can use whenever your old keys break off inside your ignition tumbler.

A couple of them are pretty obvious (like buying a whole new set), but most of them require just a little bit more thought and effort on your part to pull off. Please note, however, that although some of these methods may work 99% of the time, they don’t always guarantee success (especially with older cars). And even if they do work, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to save you a ton of money either. In the end, it depends on your specific situation and how desperate you are for a solution, so make sure to weigh all your options before deciding which route is best for you.

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January 20, 2022
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