Lost car keys

There comes a point in time when you will misplace your car keys; it happens to everyone. However, there are also times when you actually lose them for good. This could be a problem since it is quite expensive to replace the modern set of car keys. This is due to the fact that these keys come with costly integrated anti-theft technology and they need to be "programmed" to your vehicle before they work! What this means is that it could literally cost you hundred of dollars to replace a lost/stolen car key. The amount it cost to replace keys nowadays may come as shocking news to many car owners since it usually cost less to do it in the past. Before now, when automobiles have not been computerized, you could simply call your dealership when you lost your car keys, give them your VIN number and they will hand you a brand new set of car key and you will pay just about $10 for the whole work. Today, the case has changed; things are now much more different than the way it used to be.

Pretty Penny For A Modern Car Key Replacement

Gone are the days of simple and inexpensive car key replacement and there is a pretty good reason for that. With your old car key, someone can easily make a copy and steal your car or whatever that is inside your car. Thieves used to steal car as means to gain access to your house because many people depend on garage door opener to get in and out of their house without a key.

The need for improved security and convenience made automakers to start replacing the old "dumb" keys with smart ones also known as chip keys in the 1990s. The chip keys come with an embedded computer chip and each vehicle is programmed in such a way that it can only accept input from a key with a known chip. The benefit of this new key is that someone requires much more than just the exact duplicate of your key to gain access to your car - they need time and resources to re-program your vehicle to recognize the new code in the new key they made. Programming a car to accept a new key can take as much as 30 minutes, and as you can imagine, a car thief don't have much patience (and expertise). The requirement it takes to program your vehicle means that you need your local dealership to get a replacement key. The dealership can use your VIN to cut a new key (ensure you go along with proof of ownership or else they will reject it) and then they can program your vehicle's computer to be able to recognize and accept the new key. According to the Consumer Reports, it can easily cost more than $100 for programming and replacement of car keys.

What About The Key Fobs?

Most modern vehicles come with standard key fob transmitters for keyless entry. The cost of replacing key fob greatly varies and it mostly depends on the car make and model. You can get the generic versions for less than $20 from many online stores and the dealerships provide the basic remotes for less than $50. However, when you add the cost of programming, it could bring the total price to over $100. However just like the replacement keys, you may require to do programming at the dealership if you have lost all the keys and fobs in your possession.

Alternatively, if you still have the keys but lost the fobs, you can always program a replacement fob yourself. Your local dealership can easily explain the process to you. However, you can easily find out from internet with a little search if someone has cracked the code for your model and is willing to share it with you.

Key/Fob Combos Are Expensive

If your vehicle is making use of combination of key and fob or you have a "keyless" vehicle, which imply that you just need to have your fob in your pocket to gain access to your vehicle and start it - replacing it can be really expensive. In most cases, you can only get the combination key and fob directly from the dealership and it can cost as much as hundreds of dollars. One Jetta driver was shocked to discover it cost $600 to change a key/fob combo.

In some rare cases (like the case of Uber-luxurious automobiles) a dealership may need to change multiple components on your vehicle just to replace your keys. There has been cases where replacing a key in an ultra-premium cars (such as high-end Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz) cost more than a thousand dollars to replace after every other fees have been paid.

How You Can Escape These Costly Charges

Losing your car keys will always remain a possibility at least until someone discovers a device that can find keys that's as high tech as the modern keys themselves. One of the best ways to keep track of your keys is by developing a routine with your keys like putting them in your purse or clipping them to your belt. Apart from this, there are other things you can do to keep your car key secure



  • Avoid sharing your only set of keys with another driver - in most cases, this will lead to confusion and you may not have idea when you misplace you car key.
  • If you have original pair of your keys, many vehicles will permit you to program replacements keys yourself. This means you can effectively avoid those expensive programming charges if you buy a replacement key now before the need for it comes. Go ahead and program it, then put it in your drawer in case the need for it arises.
  • After-market code pads which are key entry pads with number (just like the Essex AKE-5) that permits a driver to enter his car by pressing in his own 4 digit code is available for most vehicles. When you go to the gym, on a hike or for a social gathering, you can leave your keys in your vehicle and make use of the key entry code to gain access to your car.



Now you've known what to do when you lose your key car, if you want to avoid these charges totally, stick to the best plan - which is "never lose your car keys"



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