Most people have misplaced their car keys at one point or another. If that has happened to you, you probably looked frantically in your pockets, purse, and all over your house until you found where you had left it. In some cases, however, you may not be able to find your key no matter how much you search, or your key may have been stolen. Lost or stolen keys can also prove expensive and increasingly advanced car key systems mean the cost of getting a spare set has been rising. However don’t panic as there are many options available for replacing your lost car keys:
Online Key Replacement.
These services are able to cut keys based on the VIN number you provide to them. You can order right online and have the replacement key within days and possibly even rushed overnight for a premium fee. Once you receive the key you can program it to your car without a technician. Depending on the car, reprogramming usually involves opening and closing the doors and/or turning lights and other electronics on and off.
Lots of new cars also include telematics systems that go by names such as OnStar, mBrace, and BlueLink. These subscription services can remotely unlock and start your car, either through an app on your cell phone or by making a call to the automaker.
Check with your insurance company.
Most insurance policies are sold with “roadside service coverage”. That means that your insurance company will either pay part or all of your bill. Your insurance company can contact one of its trusted car key specialists to get you some quotes. But it’s worth checking to see what level of cover they provide and what you’ll pay if you claim.
One method people resort to when they lose their car keys is car dealerships. It’s a true and tried method, and for a reason: it works! You will need to have your car towed to the dealer. Then you will need to pay the cost of having another key made and programmed if it has a chip or transponder, If you bought your car several years ago, the dealership might not still have information about your vehicle in their records. However, this process is expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient. What most people fail to realize is that there is another option available; working with car key specialists.
Working with Car Key Specialists.
Find and call a car key specialist using a local telephone directory or by calling information. Explain your situation to the car key specialist, noting the type of keys. They will give you the best deal on a new key, about half as much as it would cost to get a new key from your manufacturer or dealer. They’ll open your car and then proceed to make you a new key. While hardware stores aren’t generally equipped to create new car keys (as opposed to simply copying them), car key specialists usually have more sophisticated machinery.
To create a new copy of the key, the car key specialist will ask for some information about your vehicle, including the year, make, model, and VIN number, so have this information handy. Please also be prepared to show proof of ownership, such as a picture ID, along with either your vehicle title or registration papers.
They can provide replacement keys for most models and can also program a transponder, which will allow you to switch off the cars immobilizer and start the car with a new key. A car key specialist can also reprogram the car itself, so that lost or stolen keys will no longer work. Many of them also have mobile services, so they can come to you and perform any necessary work at the car. Your car key specialist might also be able to repair or replace your ignition if necessary.
The Keyless Key.
The latest innovation in modern car keys is the keyless, or proximity, key. It’s a device you can keep in your pocket or bag that’s recognized by the car, unlocks the door and allows you to start the car simply by pushing a button on the dashboard. It’s convenient if you have your hands full of shopping or the kids, but this can come at a cost. Most car key specialists avail this option.
Whatever you decide, treat your keys as valuable possessions. Don’t leave keys so they’re easy to find in the house. It’s also a good idea not to keep your key with your name, address or registration of the car. Have nothing that identifies where you live or who you are.