Lost Key Replacement can be a nightmare, but it’s not the end of the world. There are a few different options for getting them replaced.
The most cost-effective option is to call a locksmith. They will generally charge less than the dealership. However, this isn’t a guarantee. There are some key fobs that are more expensive to replace than others.
1. Call a Locksmith
A locksmith can help you out when you have lost your keys. They can provide you with a new set that are just as secure and functional as your old ones. They can also give you advice on how to prevent further key loss, like having a spare set or keeping a record of where your keys are at all times.
It is important to call an automotive locksmith instead of just any locksmith. This is because different cars use a variety of types of keys. A good locksmith will know the ins and outs of all the different car keys on the market. They will need some information from you, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the vehicle make, model, and year.
If you manage properties, it is a good idea to get a locksmith to change all the locks in your rental property. This will help you avoid break-ins and theft.
2. Visit Your Dealership
Many people lose their keys on a regular basis. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to get a spare key made ahead of time. This is especially true if you have a key fob. These types of car keys have a complex computer chip in them that requires a special key to be used in order to pair it with the vehicle’s system. They also tend to cost more than basic keys.
If you have a smart key or fob it is even more important to keep a spare in case it gets lost. It takes a long time to pair one of these types of car keys with your vehicle’s system. It can take up to a week or two.
When you first realize your keys are missing try to remain calm and retrace your steps. This will help jog your memory. If you have a family member or friend with you have them retrace the steps as well.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Losing your car keys is frustrating and expensive. However, there are several options to help reduce the costs of replacing your keys, including the Key Replacement Cover Add-on in your car insurance policy.
This add-on covers the cost of a new set of keys/lock/lockset in case they are lost, stolen or damaged. You have to intimate your car insurance company within the stipulated time (typically 30 days) after the loss/damage of the keys/lock/lockset in order to file a claim for this coverage.
This is a relatively inexpensive add-on and can make a world of difference when you lose your keys. While it may not be a perfect solution, it is a good option to consider for those who regularly lose their car keys. It can also save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive car insurance rates from filing an auto insurance claim for an unavoidable loss. Especially since many companies increase their clients’ car insurance rates after filing an accident claim, this is an easy way to help prevent your auto insurance rate from going up.
4. Buy a New Key
Most modern cars come with key fobs that have embedded chips to unlock doors and start the car. To work, the chip must be programmed to the vehicle’s computer. Typically, only dealerships and licensed locksmiths can digitally program new fobs to match the code.
If you have a spare, this is probably the best option since it is fast and affordable. However, if you don’t have one, you may want to think about getting a smart key or remote starter instead. These keys allow you to lock and start your car from a distance. They are also less vulnerable to theft.
Most AutoZone locations have the equipment to cut and program replacement keys for most makes and models. You don’t need to have the original key, though; the associate will use your vehicle identification number (VIN) to make sure you get a new, compatible key. If you have a smart key, an AutoZone associate will also help you pair it to your car.