Spare Car Key

spare car key

An interesting article that everyone should read before he’s calling a locksmith…

So you lost your car key?

10 years ago when I knew nothing about car keys I thought these items cost, well $1, $2 perhaps?
And I was partially right.

First of all, the implementation of security systems like transponder, chip, RFID, was not widely spread through all car makes and models.

Secondly, I already had a key, so getting a spare key was only a matter of going to any locksmith with the capabilities of coping keys.

It did in fact cost me about a buck to get a spare key back then. That was no longer the case 4 years later when I lost my Ford F-250 key.

I replaced my car key for an outstanding $253. This is when my research on the matter begun.

Through my work as a mechanic, I have established good relationships with reputable locksmith companies. Here is some good information I have learned and hope helps you find the best solution that works for you:

It is better to prevent than cure!

Replacing car key from scratch is usually way higher than making a spare car key. As has been noted earlier, when you actually have one working key and just need a copy, a locksmith can gets the cuts out of the existing key.

Get a second key now; if you lose the only one you have, a new car key costs in average about double because it is more difficult for a locksmith to get the biting or cutting specs for your vehicle.

A good place to get spare car keys is by calling your local auto locksmith. Specialized locksmiths have a greater selection of transponder, VATS, PATS, and laser car keys. They use the VIN# or key code to make the car keys.

Know Your Key Code

What is a key code? A key code is a number or string of characters that tells special machinery how to cut a key. Each car key has its own unique key code. Having the key code will save you money when using the services of a locksmith because it facilitates their job.

Save your car key code now, as all car makers have limits of how far back in years they have key codes saved in their systems.  One day eventually,  it will be impossible for you to find it once your car reaches 10 years old.

Having a key code will typically save you good amount of money.

Note :Not all keys are made the same!

The world of spare car keys is full of variety. Getting keys made for 2 cars of the same year and of the same make does not necessarily mean they cost the same. Ask a locksmith or a dealership on-line or on the phone if the key for your auto needs to be programmed.

If your vehicle uses VATS, transponder, PATS, chip, and how much it costs.

Buying on-line or with a local locksmith is usually the way to go, you get the same key and is usually cheaper.

To Key or not to Key: Locksmith or Dealer?

Do you know how much more expensive it is to have an automobile dealer replace a car key versus a Locksmith?

Some dealerships charge $200 or more to replace a transponder key (keys from newer cars). This is a common issue across the United States.

The expense is not from cutting the car key, which only costs a dollar or two in parts and labor. Much of the cost comes from the cost of the key code and the electronic chip in your vehicle’s key itself.

If you have a perfectly cut key without the correct programming for the chip, you can put it in the ignition and turn the car key and nothing will happen. Your car won’t start.

Car Dealer Key Made

The dealer will charge you a marked up price for the transponder chip as well as a higher base pay to cover the salary of the worker. This cost gets passed on to you, the consumer.

Shouldn’t you get a discount for bringing your car to them?

A better option is to buy your replacement car keys from a locksmith.

Key Made With a Locksmith

A locksmith will use the same equipment as a dealership but will charge up to half the price to replace your key.

Many Locksmiths will even come to you. The most important part of getting your car key replaced is making sure the chip inside the key is programmed properly.

Always test your new key before leaving the locksmith or as soon as you get home with your new car key.

Contact the locksmith immediately if you have any problems unlocking the door or starting the car.

If the car does not start it may mean there was a problem with the programming or even the cutting of the key. And eventually, you will need to get the replacement car key replaced again.

The sooner you contact the locksmith the greater your chances are for resolving the problem

For more information please enter our Car Key Made