Car Key Replacement

Car Key Replacement

car key replacement

Car Key Replacement Explained

In the past, a replica key would simply be cut from an existing die at a local locksmith shop. This would take but a matter of minutes and this replacement key would work in the exact same manner as the original. While this is still common practice, electronic keys need to be programmed by the manufacturer and integrated with a specific car. Although this may be covered while the vehicle remains under warranty, if the key is lost or damaged when this warranty expires, the replacement cost could be substantial. Nonetheless, as key-less remote systems become more popular, many predict that technicians will eventually have the capability to cater to this emergency situation.

Steps to be Taken when a Traditional Key is Misplaced or Lost

It is wise to always have a copy of the car's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) available at all times, along with  the make, model and year of the as this will help streamline the replacement process when visiting a local replacement store. The locksmith is then in a matter of minutes able to manually cut a replacement car key, reflecting the exact specifications needed to manufacture a working replacement. However, substituting an electronic key may prove to be more difficult and time consuming. While having a copy of the vehicle's information is still critical, there are other unique steps that need to be taken to acquire a replacement. The first priority is to determine whether a local serviceman has the ability to provide electronic replacement parts. Some professionals, depending on the computing technology available to them, may only be able to provide a copy of the key as opposed to manufacturing an original. The sophistication of the key will directly equate to how easy it will be to replace. Should a local serviceman prove unable to perform this task, another worthwhile option is to call the car's manufacturer. They will undoubtedly provide a replacement, but it should be noted (as mentioned in the article above) that this process may prove costly. The same can be said should one lose a key fob. As many drivers are in the habit of attaching this car remote entry device to their key chain, both the electronic key and the fob will often times be lost simultaneously. Thankfully, both car manufacturers and third party websites will be able to provide replacements for both devices. In fact, online resources will frequently prove to cost significantly less than obtaining a replacement through a manufacturer. Once the electronic keys are delivered, they can easily be programmed without the need of a skilled technician. All instructions will be provided with the new key although the vehicle's owner's manual will also prove helpful. Reprogramming is generally simple and can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.

To summarize -  Basic steps to replace a lost electronic key or key fob:
  • Always having the VIN, the make, the model and the year of the car available.
  • Determining if a technician may be able to provide a replacement.
  • Contacting the manufacturer or a third-party, trusted website.
  • Reprogramming the key and the associated fob (if necessary).