How to Replace Lost Car Keys

So you’ve lost your car keys—what now? How to replace car keys.

It can really cost an arm and a leg to replace your car keys, especially if the key in question is one of those high-tech newfangled ones. So before you spend your hard-earned cash on replacing a lost key at a car dealership, make sure you’ve exhausted every other possibility. 

The first thing you should do is write down you car’s VIN number. This is so you can find someone who will help you replace the key. In most cars, the VIN is located on the driver’s side dashboard and is visible through the window; however, it can also be found in other places. 
If you’re not sure where yours is, look up the location online. Then, write down the year, make, and model of your vehicle. All of this information is absolutely crucial to making any replacements. Once you’ve gotten all of that information, it’s time to take action.
Here are a few ways you can save money when replacing your key:

1. Start by asking a local, certified locksmith like if they can make you a replacement key.

Unfortunately, many hardware stores aren’t generally equipped to actually make new car keys (as opposed to simply copying them), locksmiths like us have much more sophisticated equipment. If you lost a key fob, a good locksmith may be able to help you make a new one–but this of course depends on how sophisticated the key actually was. Older fobs tend to be easier to recreate. Additionally, we will be able to help you reprogram the replacement key, though your manual should also have instructions on how to do that. If you have any other key fobs at all associated with that particular vehicle, be sure to bring them with you as well.

2. Alternately, you could look for discounted replacement keys/key fobs online.

Factory replacements can sometimes be bough online for less than it would cost you to get them directly from the manufacturer. Of course, here again it is important to buy from someone reputable, such as a dealer on eBay that has many positive comments. If you can’t seem to find a reputable dealer, save time, money and frustration by looking for companies intended specifically to replace car keys. Again, the older the vehicle and simpler the key, the easier it will be to replace.
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3. You can also search the internet for key replacement services.  

They usually have keys on hand and ready and will be able to cut keys based on the number you give them. As before, use the VIN data to make sure they key you get is right for your car.
When you do get the keys, you can program them to work with your car without a technician’s assistance. The instructions are usually included with the new key, but your owner’s manual may be of use here as well. The process of reprogramming usually involves opening and closing the doors and/or turning lights and other electronics on and off a certain number of times, depending on the model of car.

Last but not least, you should check to see if key replacement is covered by your warranty. This could be especially important if you have a very new or high-end vehicle and cannot have the keys replaced by anyone but the manufacturer/distributor, you may be able to get a discount through your warranty.
Losing your car keys can be frustrating and stressful but contacting a good locksmith as soon as possible will help you resolve the issue and get back behind the wheel in no time!
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