If you’re one of those people who is prone to losing their car keys (or just forgetting them in the car), you need to keep a spare key handy. However, obtaining a spare can be expensive if you go to the dealership. Thankfully, there are other ways to save money by getting your replacement key from an experienced auto locksmith.
Before you call a car locksmith, get the vehicle identification number, or VIN, for your car. It should be on the dashboard or engine bay. If it’s not there, you can also find the VIN in your vehicle title or insurance paperwork. You will need the VIN to make a new key, because the car has a special code that it needs to start.
Then, check your pockets and other places where you might have lost the key. If you still can’t locate it, look for a small key chain or other piece of jewelry that might have the key on it. Also, don’t hesitate to look in places you don’t normally check, such as the back of a purse or in the shoes you were wearing when you left the house. It’s a good idea to search in your home, too, especially if you live alone. You never know if the key has been stolen and someone else could have it in their possession, or if it fell off the key ring.
In most cases, the best option for replacing a lost key is a locksmith. They can often do it cheaper than the dealership, and they may be able to do it sooner. They’ll need the VIN and other details about your vehicle, such as its year and make.
The type of key also determines how much it will cost to replace. Traditional keys, which were used before the ’90s, have simple metal blades that fit into the lock and turn to unlock or start the car. These can be duplicated by most locksmiths. However, if you have a key with a transponder chip in it, or a key fob that controls the locks, it will require a special machine to program a spare and start your car. These machines are usually only available at the dealership, and some will charge for the labor to do it.
Some key fobs and remotes can be programmed with directions that come with the vehicle, but you’ll need to have a professional re-program them after the first time. This is because the original programming will wear off over time, and the key may not work properly. Also, if the key is broken or bent, it will need to be removed by an experienced locksmith to prevent further damage and possible further lockouts. Fortunately, this isn’t a very common problem because most key fobs and remotes are designed to be strong and durable. But, even these can be damaged by water or heat exposure. To prevent these types of problems, they’re usually designed to be resistant to heat and water, and they have a plastic shell that protects the internal components. Car key replacement locksmith