The bad news is that car keys can get lost. The good news is that nowadays you can have your car key made again even without the original. And that applies to transponder keys as well. This is very important since most car keys today are high tech. Nothing like the old fashioned ignition car key. So although you will need credentials to prove you are the owner of the car in either case, with transponder keys you also need a tech that can program it. Up until recently, if you didn’t have a spare key, you couldn’t replace it – at least not easily. But today, things have changed and this is possible.
Where can you replace the lost car key?
A dealer is always an option. But an expensive one. It’s best to find a local car locksmith. Don’t forget that dealers charge more and you will still need towing service. So it will be a double expense. The auto locksmith will come to your location and will charge a fraction of the dealer’s price. Just make sure to ask if they can replace your car key by providing the model, year, and make.
What car locksmiths need to replace keys?
Apart from the car’s model, make, and year, the locksmith will need the following information:
- The vehicle identification number (VIN), which is usually found at the doorpost on the driver’s side or on a metal plate on the dashboard.
- You will also need to prove ownership by providing either the title or registration. Have some personal identification with you.
- Some locksmiths might also ask you about the car key identification number, which is in the manual.
Don’t forget to mention that you don’t have the original key anymore or a spare key for that matter.
Does it make a difference if this is a standard or transponder key?
It’s really important to find a local locksmith with experience in the missing key. Standard ignition keys are completely different from transponder keys. All you will need for standard ignition key replacement is a regular blank and key cutting. But when it comes to new technology, things change. And so you must make sure the locksmith has the knowledge and equipment to help you out.
- If you lose the transponder key, the new one must be cut and programmed. Since these keys differ from one brand & model to the other, you will also need the right key replacement. So let the locksmith help you and don’t choose any blank on your own to avoid mistakes and thus extra expenses. The new car key is cut with precision based on the specs of the manufacturer. Then, it is programmed to operate with your car only.
- If you lose the smart key/fob, the locksmith won’t have to cut a new one but will have to program the device.
Now, if the car model is old and uses a simple ignition key, the locksmith can also rekey locks and ignitions for security purposes.