Misplacing or losing your car key can be frustrating. But all hope is not lost in case you cannot find your car key.
You can still get a replacement key even if the original one is lying in an unknown location.
But how is that supposed to work? How do you get a replacement car key if you’ve lost the only copy you had?
How To Get A Replacement Car Key When You’ve Lost The Original
To get a replacement car key when you’ve lost the original, first, gather all the information you can about the original key and also the year, make, and model of your vehicle. With that information, a trained locksmith should be able to make you a replacement key, but more complicated keys may take several days.
You only need to find a good locksmith to help you with your problem. That and a little patience.
It is a must to remember these tips to help you replace your missing car keys as soon as possible.
Steps To Replace A Lost Car Key
Step #1: Determine the Car Key Type
It is crucial to identify the most obvious specifications of your car key before calling your locksmith or your car dealership.
Knowing what it looks like is the first and most crucial step to speed up the key replacement process.
There are several types of keys for every vehicle.
- Mechanical Key – This is the most common car key in old car models. They are the basic twist and go keys that do not have specialized encoding. Locksmiths can make these using any machine that cuts metals.
- Remote Key – This is the kind of key that can lock and unlock your vehicle from a distance. These keys utilize a radio transmitter or infrared signal to deliver an encoded message to the receiver installed inside the car. A remote car key usually operates using a battery. It also comes with a button located on the key fob to disable the vehicle’s alarm system.
- Transponder Key – This key has a built-in electronic transponder chip located on its head. It works by transmitting a unique code to the vehicle’s immobilizer. Then, it will activate the ignition if the code matches the car.
- Valet Key – Created specifically for valet parking purposes. It can only provide access to lock and unlock the car and turn on the ignition.
As a rule, car keys are linked to the vehicle to serve its purpose. It means each car has its customized type of key to work. Because of this, every kind of key is different from each other.
Step #2: Contact a Locksmith or Dealer
Automotive locksmiths can solve your missing key problem. These are professionals who are skilled in unlocking any vehicle.
But aside from opening doors and turning on the ignition, auto locksmiths are also capable of doing other things, such as:
Removing Broken Keys
Car keys are often made with soft metals, making them prone to breakage if used with excessive pressure.
It may also snap if you force it to turn in the wrong direction.
If your car key suddenly breaks while in the lock or the ignition, taking it out would be close to impossible.
You would need the expertise of automotive locksmiths to fix the problem.
Replacing or Duplicating Keys
Automotive locksmiths can copy or replace any car key.
Aside from primary metal keys, they can also copy the more complex ones like transporter keys.
It can be another option if you need a replacement key for Jeeps or other vehicles.
Program a Car Key
Nowadays, more locksmiths have become knowledgeable in reprogramming transponder keys.
It will help you get inside your vehicle and ignite its engine even if you lose the original key.
It is also a good idea to leave a spare one at home if you need an extra key.
Fix or Replace Car Ignition
Automotive locksmiths are skilled in solving car ignition problems.
Most of the time, issues with the ignition involve the cylinder where you insert the key.
They can fix the wiring or have it replaced during complicated problems.
The services of automotive locksmiths are usually more affordable than buying replacement keys from the dealers.
Their introductory rate per hour is between $50 to $100, but it can increase to $125 per hour if you need their services after hours.
Step #3: Gather All Information About Your Vehicle
After calling your trusted locksmith, you need to collect all the necessary information about your car’s essential features to help the experts work on your new key.
One of the vital information you must provide is your Vehicle Information Number (VIN).
This set of numbers lets you and other auto experts know more about your automobile.
The VIN can track everything that happens to your car.
These numbers will stay as your vehicle’s identification detail throughout its lifetime.
You need to provide your VIN to check the car’s history or whether the vehicle has been stolen.
Locksmiths also need this set of numbers to match the exact replacements, particularly the alphanumeric code printed on the key.
Other necessary details you need to provide to your trusted locksmith include:
- The make and model of the vehicle.
- The year of manufacturing.
- Car registration number.
- Car title.
This information will prove that you are the car’s real and rightful owner.
Once everything is verified with the local vehicle database, the locksmith will begin working on your car key replacement right away.
Step #4: Wait for Your Car Key Replacement
Completing all the necessary pointers to have a key replacement, like identifying the car’s key features and calling a reputable auto locksmith, are the first steps to replacing your car key.
Once you have accomplished everything, all you have to do is wait patiently until you get your hands on your new keys.
Remember, the key replacement process may take some time.
Auto locksmiths need to verify if you are the car’s actual owner before they can work on your replacement key.
It means they need to spend some time checking if the VIN you provide matches the information posted on the vehicle database.
So sit back and wait for a while until the key replacement procedures are accomplished.
Then, you only need to wait for your locksmith’s call to pick up your new key so you can enjoy driving your car again.
By learning these tips, you will realize that the lost car key problem does not mean that it is already the end of the world.
While this problem may cause a lot of trouble, you can still solve it by working with the right expert.
So whether you are looking for a key replacement for your favorite Kia automobile or other vehicles, the highly skilled automotive locksmiths are there to provide you with a second chance to enjoy your car take you anywhere you want to go.