Even if you are an organized person that rarely misplaces your things, you might at some point find yourself tearing your house apart looking for that lost car key. Also if you happen to own a newer vehicle you will now have to face the frustration of possibly losing your key that is attached to a remote. When replacing your keys there are a few different options, and these options will depend on the make and model of your vehicle. To prevent theft the newer models have a transponder that is able to communicate electronically with the vehicle. Some of the models may also have a fob that is not attached to the key, most of the fobs for the newer vehicles will have the locked, unlock, trunk, and alarm buttons. When you purchase a new key it will need to be programmed to the ignition to work otherwise, it will not even start the car.
Car Key Replacement Services.
There are several different reasons that could take place that would force you into getting a new set of keys. You could just need to replace a set of lost keys, even though you have spent the last three days looking for them. You could also just want to get a spare key just in case one day you actually do misplace your keys. The key could also be damaged and you may just need to get it replaced. Whatever the reason is Diamondback Lock and Key can make just about every possible type of key.
How Much Does Car Key Replacement Cost?
Getting a replacement car key can range from $40.00 to $400.00 depending on what year, make or model that you may have. Most car keys are somewhere near the middle of those two numbers.
Are Your Car Key Replacement Services Near Me?
Yes. We have locksmiths all over the valley ready to come and perform car key replacements or create spare car keys. We are normally able to come to your location in less than an hour.
Reason For Needing a New Key
- Your keys could have snapped of in the ignition or door.
- You could have lost your keys or you could be locked out.
- Always a good idea to get a spare for the future
- The chip could be broken or lost to the transponder
Locksmith Services are Reliable and Prompt
One of the benefits of calling a Locksmith service is a quick service that they can provide, this is convenient especially if you are late for work or you have an important meeting that day that cannot be missed. They provide prompt service without the hassle unlike the dealership, which can leave you waiting and feeling frustrated. Almost every time that you call in we can have a technician out to your area in under an hour, and if it is an emergency we will get someone there even quicker. We can also provide you with a warranty on all keys, and this is to guarantee that you are not left stranded. Make sure to ask about the warranties that we offer with your type of service.
We Service All Of These Arizona Cities For Car Key Replacement
Our Technicians are Equipped with the Latest Key-Programming Technology
On some of the newer models, the programming can be a little different, and if that is the case it is helpful to make sure you have a locksmith who is up to date on the right equipment. Our technicians are all trained and knowledgeable in all the latest technology dealing with replacing your car key.
How Much Does a Car Key Replacement Cost
Our keys have always been notorious for disappearing when we need them most. We remember putting them in our pockets, placing them on the side table, or hanging them on the hook. However, when you go to reach for them, they aren’t there. Before the 90s, you didn’t have any issue going to a hardware store, locksmith, or dealership and getting a replacement key. However, this also made it easy for cars to get ransacked and stolen. While we do get added security with key fob technology, it came at a cost, costlier key replacements for your car.
Below you will see a rough rundown of what you will be forced to pay for a replacement key. Also, we have some alternatives that you can consider to lower your bill a bit. The prices are averaged out, and regional prices may vary.
Keys and Fobs
Most modern cars come with a standard electronic key fob. They go by remotes or transmitters as well. They have become an integral feature of the key set. The average cost of replacing a key fob ranges from $50 to $100+. The price varies based on the design’s complexity and the automaker. Once you get a new fob, it has to be programmed. While some dealerships will charge labor costs, some do it free of charge.
However, the fee that you may face can be avoided. Some owner’s manuals will show you how to program the key fob on your own. The process of programming the fob may only consist of a few buttons being pressed in a specific order. If all else fails, Google is your friend.
A less expensive alternative when replacing the key fob is aftermarket fob remotes purchased from locksmiths or online. However, like all aftermarket products, buyers beware. They may be less expensive, but sometimes the quality isn’t what it should be.
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Around the time of the late ’90s, transponder chips were inserted into the plastic head of the key. This chip would emit a signal to an ignition receiver. If the chip detected is giving off the wrong signal, the car will not start.
The shank of the transponder is always either a laser-cut or basic car key. The biggest difference between a transponder key and a basic car key is that the chip inserted into the transponder key requires programming before the vehicle will respond to it. The machines needed to program these keys are found at dealerships and some locksmiths. However, you may have to pay a small fee in order to see the key get programmed.
In the case of a few vehicles, the key fob and transponder key is all in a single unit. While this adds to the convenience, it makes it much more difficult to find a replacement while adding to the price you’ll have to pay.
As an example, let’s take a basic transponder key for an older F-150. The dealer may quote about $150 for the new key and another $80 for the key fob. At a locksmith, you are likely going to pay a little less. If you are more concerned about the access to your vehicle (Or lack thereof due to locking your keys in the car), then you can order a basic key that will perform all functions as the transponder key except start the engine.
If you have a bad habit of losing your keys or locking them in your car, then consider saving money on a third programmed key as a spare. Two is useful, but having a third could save you in a pinch. Several brands of vehicles allow you to have third-key programming on your own. You can do this by following the instructions given in the owner’s manual. If the owner’s manual doesn’t detail the steps for programming your key fob, then try searching online.
There is one method that is claimed to work on many vehicles;
Step #1: Insert one working key into the ignition.
Step #2: Turn it to the on position and hold it there for at least 3 seconds.
Step #3: Repeat the process with the second key.
Step #4: Insert the third (new) key and repeat the process a third time.
Before you try this method and spend money on a third key, make sure that you are able to reliably use this method with your vehicle. The dealership or a locksmith can answer this question for you.
Laser-cut keys are more distinctive in comparison to a basic car key. The shank of a laser-cut key is thicker and has a few carved-out grooves. Unfortunately, the machines required to cut one of these keys are significantly higher in price than a basic key-cutting machine. As a result, you won’t find these machines at just any locksmith or hardware store.
There is a transponder chip installed in the laser-cut keys. So, they must be programmed by a locksmith or at the dealership. When you choose to have a locksmith cut or program a key, make sure they are a member of ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America).
Rising in popularity are the all-in-one laser-cut keys. These keys, as mentioned before, are a lot more pricey. They also need to be replaced by dealers. With labor included, you are looking at $145 to over $200.
Switchblade Style Keys
This is a style of the key that has the shank folded into the fob until it is needed for use. It is released by a button and can come with a shank that is basic or laser-cut. An advantage of this style of the key is the ability to purchase replacements separately. If you break the shank, you can simply have a new one cut for about $80. However, if you lose the key/fob altogether, then you are looking at a replacement costs upwards of about $300. That is after programming is factored in.
This style key is known as a smart key. It isn’t a traditional car key, in the sense that there is generally no shank. It is intended to be inserted into the dash or kept in a pocket or in a bag. With it in their pocket, the driver may enter and start the vehicle with the push of a button.
The biggest security function of the smart key is the rolling security code system it uses. The system works by randomizing the correct code. This will prevents code grabbers from hacking the code. The computer inside the vehicle will recognize the code that the smart key is emitting and verifies it before it will start the engine.
One of the first major automakers to utilize this technology was Mercedes-Benz. The term ‘Smart Key’ was coined by them. Since they first used this tech, their whole lineup of vehicles uses some form of a smart key.
Let it be known that even though this key style has great security, it is not theft-proof. There have been cases of high-tech thieves having their way with vehicles using hacked smart keys.
While these smart keys are handy and convenient, they do limit the options for getting a new key. You have to go to a factory parts reseller or the dealership to purchase a replacement. Not only does it make it harder to find a replacement key, but the cost can range from $220-$500. Just remember, while it is easy to carry the key in your pocket or purse, these are the places we lose them when we think we won’t.
Best Be Safe
After going over this, you can see that the price of key replacement for the modern car key is quite high. Sometimes it is wiser to be ahead of the game and have a spare key made and handy in case you lose or break your current car key. Always remember, you may be able to program the key on your own, so always check the owner’s manual and follow instructions found online if needed.
Lastly, In the event that you only have one set of keys, and you lose them. You will have to get it towed to your local dealership. This can cost you upwards of $1,000 to replace your car locks.
How much is a car key replacement?
It depends on the key needed. It can range from as low as $80 to as high as $500.
How do I replace my car key?
Normally, you can go to a local dealership to purchase a replacement key. You may be able to find a locksmith that can help, but that’s a rare chance. While you won’t have prices you would normally get with a hardware store, you are almost guaranteed to have a perfect key replacement.
Can I get a Replacement from businesses such as AutoZone?
Yes, there are some businesses like AutoZone that replace car keys. However, the fob and key may be generic in parts and will look different compared to the one that came with the car. With that being said, it IS a cheaper alternative. Locksmiths like Diamondback Lock and Key are always the best bet.
Can a key be made for my car from the VIN?
Absolutely. You are able to use the VIN to have a key made. There is a catch though, you have to first show proof that you own the car to the business you have performing the service. You can’t order a key online for some newer vehicles. This is because the car needs to be present when the key is cut.
How Are Car Keys Made?
Compared to replacing a house key, getting a duplicate of your car key is a more difficult process. Especially with the new car keys, we have nowadays. For example, in older model vehicles, you could have a key cut like you would any other key. However, now, you have laser-cut and transponder keys that require programming. The programming can sometimes be a simple process that can be done at home; that being said, there are some keys that require a locksmith or dealership to program the remote.
Different Types of Keys
There are many types of keys, and making them requires different processes. The basic keys are for cars that were made prior to the ’90s. These keys were cut and fit to the ignition, and the door lock (sometimes trunk also) in the same manner as a household key would be cut.
After that came the sidewinder key, a laser-cut key that appeared similar to basic keys. However, there are unique to the vehicle’s VIN, offering a higher level of security. These keys require some exceptional hardware in order to cut a sidewinder key.
Nowadays, keys to modern vehicles are inserted with a transponder chip. These transponder keys offer a special level of security. They prevent the car from starting by any other key than the one with the correct corresponding transponder chip.
It isn’t uncommon for vehicles to come with two sets of keys. A set that will turn the vehicle on and a set that will unlock the doors. Moreso, these keys might not even have a physical key attached. These are usually vehicles with keyless remotes that allow you to enter and start the car with a single button push.
Requirements for Cutting Keys
After you have determined what kind of key you have to have, you need to buy the required materials. You will need a key blank and remote. Depending on which key you have, you may only have one or the other. Make sure that what you are buying is ideal for the vehicle you have.
However, the materials aren’t the only thing you need to get a modern key replacement made. Ou also needs a bit of information as well. For starters, you will need to know the vehicle’s make, model, and year. Then, you will have to provide the locksmith/dealer with the VIN. This number is found on the dashboard of the car or on the driver’s side door.
While there are several home improvement shops, car stores, and mechanic shops that can duplicate a key for you, they cannot recreate laser-cut keys or program particular styles. On top of that, you will almost always need the original or a unique key to duplicate.
Replacing and Programming Keys – Locksmiths
Since key-cutting has become such a complex art, finding the right place to do it will require some phone calls. Trying locksmiths first before dealerships can save you a ton of money and stress. Here are a few tidbits of information about working with Locksmiths for replacement keys:
- Prices vary depending on vehicle and key style
- You can get key blanks and upgraded hardware from locksmiths.
- Most Reputable Locksmiths Help Reprogram and program key replacements.
- They can build the new key.
Replacing and Programming Keys – Dealerships
When it comes to replacing and programming keys, a sure-fire way to get it done is to go to your dealership. They will always have the resources needed to have a spare and new key made, cut, programmed, or reprogrammed. However, they are the more expensive option. There are rare cases that you are required to go to a vendor for a replacement key or fob.
If you are looking for a basic key, then feel free to visit your local hardware store. However, for a more advanced key, you need a locksmith. Key cutting is an increasingly complex process as technology advances. As these advances come, so make the advances in making these keys. This requires costly equipment and machines to make and program the special key designs that make our vehicles run. Dealerships will always be a guaranteed bet to replacements. But for a cheap alternative, find a good and qualified locksmith that will charge so much less for nearly the same result.