Things to know if you lost your car keys
Experts recommend having a spare set cut well in advance before you need it, because it can be a lengthy and costly process to get done. Car keys now-a-days are highly specialized pieces of equipment. You cannot just walk into a hardware store and get a new car key cut for $5 anymore. As vehicles become more and more electronic, they become harder for the average Joe to work on. Car keys used to be cut in a manner similar to house keys. However, you will not find these types of keys on any newer vehicles today. You can still get a basic car key cut that will cost you about $20, but this key will only work on your doors and trunk. If your car was made after 1995, a basic car key will not be able to start the car. However; it may be advantageous to have a basic car key, capable of opening your doors, in the house in case you ever lock your keys inside of your car!
Most cars produced after the year 1995 will come with a transponder chip key, which is an expensive electronic chip in the key itself. Your car will not start unless it recognizes the specific transponder chip for your vehicle in the car key. This makes it difficult for robbers to start cars by using a generic cut out of a key. However, this also makes it equally difficult on you to get a replacement key made. A spare set of transponder car keys will cost, at minimum, $100 due to the cost and labor that it takes to insert the chip into the key. With transponder car keys costing quite a bit of money to replace, you should not get in the habit of losing these too often!
Electronic Chip / Remote Start Fob
Rather than a transponder key, your vehicle may come equipped with an electronic chip instead. An electronic chip is similar to a transponder key, but it will not have the key shank attached to it. With a remote start fob, you simply push a button to start your car that is located on your fob. These types of keys are also costly to replace, because of the technology that goes into one. It has to be specific for your make and model of car. Replacement remote start fobs may also cost $100 or more depending on your vehicle type.
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You should not delay in purchasing a spare set of car keys if you don’t already have one. Having a spare set of keys around the house can save you a lot of pain down the road. Although you may have to pay a little extra up front if you have a transponder key or a smart fob, it is worth having the peace of mind of always being able to use your car.