Everyone loses their keys eventually, and when they do it’s critical to know where to find new ones.
This is as true for owners of Chevy vehicles as it is for everyone else.
However, you can purchase a new key.
Where can I get replacement Chevy keys and how much will they cost?
New Chevy keys cost between one and five hundred dollars. They can be bought at any Chevy dealership, or by an ALOA certified locksmith. While it is usually cheaper to get new keys from a locksmith than the original dealer, keys from the dealer are more likely to match the originals.
There are many different kinds of keys that have been used across the history of Chevy vehicles.
Let’s take a look at the price of replacing each of them and the best place to go to get that done.
Coded Transponder Keys
Most cars that have been produced since the eighties have had a coded transponder key that most people never really think about.
In fact, Chevrolet’s 1986 Corvette was the first vehicle ever to have this remarkable anti-theft system.
Essentially, at the end of the key is a tiny coded transistor that tells the ignition that this is the correct key.
Without that transistor, even if a key were completely identical to yours in shape it wouldn’t be able to start the car.
This is the reason that even though you could probably pick the lock to get into your car without a key, you would probably need to get into the electrical systems to start it.
While this is very useful for preventing theft, it can make it a little harder to replace a lost key.
Fortunately, professionals at your local Chevy dealership or any locksmith will likely know how to program a new key to your ignition.
However, this will cost you extra during the replacement process, as programming a key takes time, effort, and expertise.
Including the cost of programming a key, this can cost between a hundred and two hundred dollars.
It will usually cost more for luxury models than it does for more economic vehicles.
With any kind of mechanical key, it’s more financially efficient to make a spare of the key than it is to have a replacement made.
If you have a key for the locksmith to use when casting the key, you can probably save fifteen to twenty dollars on the production cost.
You could also get your key replaced at a Chevy dealership, but it will probably be much more expensive to do so.
It’s almost always cheaper to have a transponder key replaced by a skilled locksmith instead.
You can find qualified locksmiths on the ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America) website.
They’re more common than you’d think, and there’s probably at least one in your area.
You may also be able to get a transponder key replaced at a hardware store, but you might have to program it yourself depending on whether the particular store you visit has someone qualified to do it for you.
Remote Key Fob
Key fobs are cool inventions that allow you to start or unlock your car from outside.
This technology comes at a cost though, as key fobs take a lot of time to replace and require more programming than transponder keys do.
You can save some money by buying a new key fob from a locksmith who can use generic non-branded parts to cut down on costs.
This isn’t a sacrifice of quality, as the advantages of the brand-name parts are mostly aesthetic.
For a Chevy vehicle, this will cost between three hundred and three hundred and fifty dollars.
However, if you do want a spare key fob that matches your original, you can get one that uses the brand-name parts from any local Chevy dealership.
This will increase the cost by thirty to fifty dollars, depending on the model of the car and your preferred button configuration.
Switchblade keys are a combination of a key fob and a transponder key.
These cost less to replace than key fobs, but can’t be used to start your car remotely.
Switchblade keys are interesting because there are situations in which you might need to replace the remote part of the key and not the actual key or vice versa.
When this happens, you can replace the part that is damaged rather than the whole key to save money.
Like with key fobs, you can decrease the price of replacement by going to a locksmith who can sell you third-party parts for the remote.
Combined with the cost of remaking the key, this can cost between two and three hundred dollars.
If your switchblade key breaks, take it to a locksmith and have them repair it.
Bring your spare key with you as they can use that key as a reference or switch the broken parts of your normal key with your spare one.
However, they will still have to spend the time and effort programming the transponder and the remote, which increases the overall cost.
At a dealership, this will probably be much more expensive because they will be ordering the key in its entirety rather than making a new one on-site and using Chevrolet branded parts.
This will likely cost three hundred to three hundred and fifty dollars to replace a Chevy switchblade car key.
How To Replace Your Key
If you have lost your original key and all of your spares, you’ll need to know certain things about your car when you go to the dealership/locksmith to get a replacement.
You will need to know your vehicle’s VIN, which is a 17 digit number that can be found on the inside of the driver’s side door.
Using this number, the dealer/locksmith can get a digital blueprint for the key directly from Chevrolet, as they keep a record of all the keys they make.
The locksmith/dealer will have to pay to be allowed access to this blueprint that they will make you pay.
This is one of the main reasons why it costs so much to replace a car key.
You’ll also need to bring your ID and proof of ownership so they know that you didn’t steal the vehicle they are making a key for.
It costs a lot of money to replace car keys, but it is sometimes a necessary expense.