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Lost your keys? Here’s what you do next!

Have you ever had that moment when you went to grab your keys and you thought, “Oh no! My keys are not where I left them. I think I might have lost my keys!” And then, my friend, if you are like me, you start to panic a little.

I often wait til I am supposed to be well on my way, and so, a little thing like misplaced keys can seriously derail me. So, before you panic and trash the house looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack, let’s look at some practical tips for finding those lost car keys.

What do you do when you have lost your keys?

The very first thing to do is to have a plan. Keep a record somewhere handy of some key questions that are useful.

  1. What kind of Car do I have?
  2. What is the license plate number?
  3. What information do I need to know to replace the keys?
  4. What kind of key do I have?
  5. What are my options for replacement?

Here's the thing. The answers to the questions aren’t just useful when your keys are missing. It is important to have this information handy should you need to file a police report about your car for any reason.

Things to Know

In the world that we live in today, there are several different types of car keys. There are traditional keys, transponder keys, switchblade keys, and smart keys. Traditional keys are most likely the key to the house you grew up in, and it is a classic. Transponder keys have a different head than traditional keys, and it contains an electronic element to lock, unlock doors, and the trunk. Switchblade keyfobs have a spring-loaded key mechanism to allow for easier transport and makes for a handy fidget if you need one. Smart keys, as they are called, are known more commonly as “Keyless Ignition Keys.”

The cost of replacement varies widely depending on the type of car keys that you have lost. Traditional keys will be the easiest and cheapest to replace, unusually for less than $20. Key fob car keys and switchblade fobs require a trip to the dealership and will usually cost $125 or more. Transponder keys and smart keys cost from $200 - $350 to replace and also require you to have your vehicle towed to the dealership so that the new key can be paired with your car. Now that you have a better understanding of the types of keys and the replacement costs associated with each, let’s look at the steps to take now that you have lost your car keys.

Steps To Take

Always start by retracing your steps. Often it is as simple as checking all of the places that you have been to find your missing car keys. Sometimes though, you retrace your steps and you just can’t find them. In that case, here are the steps that you will need to take:

  1. Have a plan.

    • Hopefully, you have a spare key. In that case, you can use your spare key to access your car and get where you need to be or what you need out of your vehicle.
    • If you don’t have a spare car key, and you need to get into your car ASAP, take your situation into consideration. You may need to call the police, break a window or call an automotive locksmith to get into your car.
  2. Order a replacement.

    If you have time on your side, ideally a few days, then you have additional options that will help you access your vehicle.

    • Go online and order a replacement key. Make sure that you order an OEM key fob replacement. They are high quality. It is important to note that you do not want a knockoff key fob that will not last.
    • Call your automotive professional and have them shop cut and program the replacement. This option is a great option because they will help you choose the best option for your vehicle, your situation, and your schedule.
  3. Be prepared.

    It is always a good idea to be prepared and have at least two sets of keys/ key fobs for each of your vehicles. Having a spare set will save you time and money.

Conclusion: Finding a Lost Key

There are several ways to help yourself when you have lost your car keys. Retrace your steps. There is often success in retracing your steps. Another popular way to avoid losing your keys is to place them on a keychain or lanyard.

Have a spare in a safe place, and always have a Chipolo device on your keys because sometimes they slip into places you wouldn’t think to look. Having a plan to find your lost car keys will save you time, energy, and money.

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