Some car insurance companies and warranties cover key replacement costs. In addition, some auto clubs offer breakdown coverage and roadside assistance that includes key replacement services.
Many people experience sticker shock when they discover how much it can cost to replace a modern car key fob. This is largely due to technology.
Lost or Stolen Keys
It’s always a bad feeling when you reach into your pocket and realize you’re missing your car keys. To make the process of finding or replacing them as seamless as possible, we recommend taking a few preventative steps.
First, check all your pockets and bags for your key. Then try to think back through your day to recall where you might have lost them. Remembering as much detail as you can will help you locate your keys more quickly.
If you have an older car without the more advanced transponder keys (chips built into your key fobs that communicate with the vehicle’s ECU to open doors and start the engine), you can usually purchase a new key from a locksmith or even a hardware store for about half the cost of a dealership or manufacturer’s price. However, if you lose a smart key or need a replacement that requires pairing with the vehicle, be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars in dealership fees.
Sometimes a key gets bent or snapped and doesn’t work. This can also happen to keys that use laser-etched or wireless codes the car scans to ensure they’re the correct key. These high-tech keys usually have to be reset or replaced by the dealer, but they can cost more than a traditional key and fob.
If you can find your car’s VIN, it may be cheaper to get a replacement from the manufacturer. Some insurance plans, like USAA’s, include this service. Others, including some Nationwide policies, have coverage for lost or stolen keys. You can also ask your locksmith for a recommendation, and many auto shops offer key replacement. For simple keys without a chip, many AutoZone locations can replace them right on the spot by copying your existing key. They’ll select the right key blank for your year, make and model, and a machine will trace the original contours of your key to copy it.
Oftentimes, Car Key Replacement DC are just worn out and no longer function properly. They may bend, snap or even break apart in the lock, which makes them difficult to use or even lock into place. This can lead to a number of problems, including security issues or a malfunctioning remote that prevents you from locking or starting the vehicle.
If this happens, the best option is to call a locksmith. They will be able to replace the key for you and program it to work with your car. In some cases, they can do this without having to file a claim with your insurance company. This will keep your rates from rising in the future, which can be a huge benefit for many. In addition, it can save you time and money when compared to having to go to the dealership. It’s important to remember that, however, not all locksmiths will be able to provide this service.
Many cars have a key fob that allows drivers to lock and unlock their vehicles and start them by pushing a button, but these devices can be hard to replace or program. If you lose your car key fob, you’ll likely have to go to the dealership or an automotive store to get a replacement and have it programmed, but that can be expensive.
Fortunately, you can save money by using an auto locksmith instead. They have the tools and knowledge to program new keys and fobs for a much cheaper price than the dealership.
Before you can have your car key fob replaced, you need to know your vehicle’s VIN number. You’ll typically find this on the dashboard or engine bay of your vehicle, but it may also be found in the title of your car or insurance paperwork. If you don’t have the VIN, call your local automotive locksmith to get help finding it.