Getting your new car keys after losing them ….. make you realize, how important are they, in your daily life. Even when keys stop working, due to some reason like breakage or dead battery, you cannot imagine going out without your car and situation also becomes very discomforting.
It is your ticket to mobility, and you’re stuck in it is gone or dead. But there are many different ways to replace a misplaced or malfunctioning car key. But you must be aware that replacing car keys can also be expensive, unfortunately!
Method 1: Replacing an Older One
Step 1: Get VIN
- Write down car’s VIN number. This is necessary to find someone who can replace the key. In most cars, the VIN is located on the driver’s side dashboard and is visible through the window. Sometimes it is located on a rear wheel in the front of the engine block or the trunk or door jam, or the frame of the car between the carburettor and windshield washer.
- Another way to find VIN is to look into the number of car insurance information.
- A VIN is a 17-digit letter/number which came into existence after 1954.
Step 2: Check the Vitals
- Check and write the year, make, and model of the car. You’re going to need this information no matter which option you chose to get a new car key.
- This information helps in finding the specific kind of key that you need to open the car as keys are supposed to be unique, and in case of vehicles, they are timed too!
Step 3 : Call a Locksmith
- Give a call to a nearby auto locksmith as this is the first option you must try. You can get the best deal on a new essential them him. The keys provided by him is about half the cost that will be provided by the manufacturer or dealer. And, as a favour, they don’t charge to visit the car.
- Hardware stores aren’t generally well equipped to create new car keys. Locksmiths have more sophisticated machinery for making keys. The locksmith will open the car and after checking will make a new key.
- The older the car, the better the chances that a locksmith will help you to replace the key.
- A good locksmith can help make a new key fob to depending on how sophisticated the key was.
- They help in reprogramming the replacement key with the instructions on how to do it manually.
- Ensure to bring other critical fobs associated with the car as they don’t work until the new key is programmed. Locksmiths and dealers do have specialized equipment that few vehicles may need to program keys.
Step 4 : Go on Online hunt.
- Check for online options for discounted replacement keys / key fobs. Sometimes online replacements are less than those you may get directly from the manufacturer.
- More straightforward the key, the easier it will be to replace.
- Look for the reputable dealer on eBay for companies explicitly intended to replace car keys. The older cars have more chances for replacement.
- Amazon is an excellent place to start. Although be aware some cars require specialized equipment to cut and program.
- Compare programming charges of an online company with that of the local locksmith.
Method 2 : Replacing a New Electronic Car Key
Step 1 : Check warranty
- Do check the guarantee/warranty papers to see whether replacement is covered by a product warranty or insurance company. The manufacturer or distributor can only replace a very new or high-end vehicle key.
- Check out for a discount through the warranty. Take car’s information, a valid photo ID, and any other document related to the car while going to the dealership and hope for the best!
Step 2 : Get the key programmed.
- Visit local locksmith depending on the sophistication of car key. You might get a new electronic key programmed by a locksmith, but these days new car keys have a microchip to prevent piracy.
- A key with a transponder in it may cost $50.00 – $120.00 depending on car and service area/locality.
- Manufacturers started using transponders in the 1990s, which is the key to help ignition. The wrong key won’t let the car to start as chips in the head of the key will not communicate with the car properly.
Step 3 : Search “aftermarket.”
- Search for ‘aftermarket electronic car keys’ on the Internet browser, try to buy an aftermarket replacement car key. There are plenty of options available online.
- It is possible to get a new car key for 75 % less than what the dealer would charge you. Ensure to get it cut and programmed, recheck the prices for anything before buying anything.
Step 4 : Go to the Dealer
- You may get a new set of keys from the dealer, but it cost you above $200.
- It is the best option to readily get out of the situation, although it may be the costliest one.
- Visit local dealer – if the car is Honda make, go to a Honda dealer, if the vehicle is a Ford go to a Ford dealership showroom, etc.
Step 5 : Reprogram it.
- Program new key to the car for a specific vehicle should not be done without a specialized technician.
- The instructions are usually included with the original key.
- Owner’s manual will come handy in this situation.
- Depending on the car, reprogramming generally has few steps involving opening and closing the doors, turning on/off of lights and other electronics, for this press a series of buttons like a code.
Method 3 : Replacing a Malfunctioning Electric Key
Step 1 : Heat or moisture condition
- Extreme heat or cold weather can cause the electric key to stopping working properly. Even the sweat produced during running with keys in your hands can malfunction it.
- Don’t hurry up, sometimes the heat and moisture effect goes by itself, and the keys might come back to life on their own.
Step 2 : Resetting the keys
- Reset all the keys. A key fob may stop working correctly after a change or repair to car’s electrical systems like replacing the battery.
- Find the owner’s manual for your particular car, and you may get it online too. Reset all the keys according to the instructions provided.
Step 3 : Replacing the battery
- Replace the battery if the keys are working poorly over a few days.
- A replacement battery for a key fob is usually cheap and can be found anywhere like online, auto-locksmith or dealer store.
- Ensure to take make, model, year, and VIN of the car with you. Most batteries are simple to be replaced by yourself. Only you have to unscrew with the Philips screw at the back of the key, replace the old battery with the new one!
- You may go to the dealer, but they may charge for labour when they install the new battery.
- Check car’s warranty to see whether battery replacement is covered under it or not.
Step 4 : Reprogram the key.
- You can get help from locksmiths or car dealer if you don’t want to take the risk yourself, but the simplest solution is generally to follow the instructions provided in the owner’s manual.
- Usually, the reset involves pressing a series of buttons in a particular order. Beware, it may vary from car to car. Check owners manual.
The above article will seek your queries answered. So it will be complete with rectifying or replacing the keys of the car.