Do you need to get a new car key cut? Maybe you’ve lost your car keys, need help with a lockout, or another similar service provided by an automotive locksmith. Either way, this post will save you time and frustration. It will explain your options for getting a new key for your car and how to get that service at the best price.
Even if you’ve lost your only set of car keys, the good news is that you might be able to get a new set. Depending on the type of car you have and how old it is, you may need to call either a locksmith or the dealership for replacement keys.
Call the car dealership
If your vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you might try calling the dealership first. Most dealerships will cut and program replacement keys for free, but there could be service fees attached.
Contact an automotive locksmith
If your vehicle is no longer under warranty, or if you’d prefer not to go to a dealership, call an automotive locksmith. Auto Locksmiths are experts at key cutting and programming and generally offer 24/7 mobile services.
Meet them at your vehicle
If you’re having a new car key cut, you’ll want to meet with a locksmith at your car. This ensures that they have the proper tools on hand and can cut the key while you wait. Also, make sure to take all of your old keys with you.
Program the key to your vehicle
If you’re replacing a key fob or transponder key ask for help programming all of them. Most locksmiths will have a computer where they can easily program any number of remotes for you in just a few minutes.
Things to keep in mind
The first thing you need is the code for your vehicle’s ignition lock cylinder and the VIN (vehicle identification number) for your vehicle. If you’re not sure what this is, ask your insurance agent or local dealership.
You will need to have your registration ready to prove ownership of the vehicle along with identification. Some locksmiths may require that you bring your keys with you as well.
The locksmith will charge you a fee for the work, but it’s usually less than what you’d pay at an auto dealership. You can also save money by getting a second set of keys made at the same time since they’ll be programmed to your car as well.
No matter what type of key you have, transponder or standard metal key, it’s a good idea to get a couple of extras made. That way, you’ll have one to keep at home as a spare, and another to give a trusted family member to hold for emergencies.
If you don’t have your registration, a good locksmith will be able to look up the VIN on their computer and verify that it matches your vehicle. Also, make sure you have the proper type of key fob or transponder key. If you don’t have your old keys on hand, it could take a little longer to get another one cut.
How to prevent lockouts in the future
- Have a spare key hidden on the outside of the vehicle. A magnetized box with a hidden key can be placed somewhere on the vehicle to be retrieved in an emergency.
- Keep a spare key at home or with a trusted friend. Someone that can bring you a spare key is a lifesaver in a crisis.
- Carry an extra key fob in your pocket. As long as you can open the door to your vehicle, you will never be locked out.
- Change to keyless entry. A number code can solve your problems if you lock your keys inside your vehicle. As long as your key is close by (inside the vehicle) you can start the engine.
If you’re in a similar situation and need an immediate solution, calling a professional locksmith to get a new car key replacement is your best bet. Don’t forget to follow up when it comes time to replace the ignition switch.