Lost your car key and have no spare?
Losing the only key for your car can be stressful but, there’s no reason to panic. There is a way to get a new key made for your car in a few hours.
I will explain everything you need to know about car keys and how to get a new one.
Let’s start, what is a car key?
In old models it is just a simple metal key without any electric security features.
The newer keys (from 1996 in most car makers) there is an immobilizer system in the vehicle that prevent me car theft.
What is an immobilizer and how does it help with your car security?
Immobilizer is a security system that is installed in cars to protect from theft by ensuring that the key that turns the ignition is the right key. Now, how does it work?
There’s a chip inside the key and there’s a reader ring around the ignition that communicate with the key, the key have to be programmed to the vehicle to disable the security system and start the engine, otherwise the engine won’t start.
What type of key have you lost?
If you’ve lost your key for older models, that is very easy to fix. Take a ride to your car dealer (take your ID and registration with you) the dealer should have the relevant information on file and he should be able to cut you a key right on the spot , no towing needed. For less common car keys(usually cars before 1994), You might need to switch the ignition because the dealer will have no records of your key. In that case, a locksmith would be the best option to recover the key or switch the ignition without towing. A locksmith will come to your location 24/7.
Transponder key requires programming to the vehicle PCM. Whoever makes you the key will need to be physically at the car location to connect a programmer to the car and program the key. A locksmith would be the fastest, easiest, and lowest cost to get it done. A locksmith will come to your location no towing needed and will usually get it done in a few hours vs the dealer that may take days. A locksmith will do it after hours and weekends and can often recover some older models keys that a dealer can’t.
Smart key / push to start keys
If you’ve already called your car dealer, he probably told you he is the only one that can program smart keys. Wrong! A locksmith can program any smart key like the dealer and also will come to your location and for lower cost.
A smart key is still a key and locksmiths are moving on with technology and can program electric keys same as dealers do.
Who should you choose, a dealer or a locksmith?
A locksmith comes to your location and the dealer won’t.
A locksmith will make your car key at your convenient time and the dealer won’t.
A locksmith can make any key that the the dealer can for lower cost.
I would choose a locksmith over the dealer in case of a lost car key.
Ok so now that we have established that a locksmith might be the better option, what should be your next step?
Search google for a locksmith near your location. I would recommend you not to click on ads, they might be scams. Instead, support your local businesses. Go to maps (google, my business listings)
Look at the rating of the locksmith you would like to use. If your state requires locksmith license search your locksmith on the locksmith license website to see if they’re licensed.
When calling the locksmith ask if they’re Insured and the TOTAL rates for a car key and all other fees, and availability that works for you.
Now we got service schedule next is to get your ID registration and insurance ready for the locksmith so he can verify you’re the car owner.
The process should take about 15-45 minutes to complete.
Ask a locksmith for a second key so you won’t end up with no key for your car again.
We would love to help!