Have you lost your car key? Did it have a chip or a transponder in it? If so, then you will find that getting a duplicate key is not so easy. Earlier replacing car keys used to be very easy. If you lose a car key, you need to just get a locksmith or even go to the hardware store. You could get your duplicate car key easily.
The situation is different now since chips are added to the car key for enhanced security. The chip keys have a digital code that uniquely identifies your car. This ensures only your car can open the car and no other key can. This makes your care more secure. At the same time, it creates a problem getting a duplicate key, since you get chips for the duplicate key.
Duplicate car key with chips
If you have a car key with chips, then you may need to go to the dealer to get a duplicate key. The dealer would take time and also charge a hefty amount. The dealer would charge you for the key, the chip, and for programming it. Before getting into the question of duplicate keys, it is important to know about the chips.
What is a chip?
A chip key is also known as a coded key or a transponder key. The key incorporates technology to make the car safe so thieves cannot steal it easily. Your car ignition will start only if the key with the chips is used. The chip within the key emits a signal to your car. Only on receipt of the signal, the car would start. This feature ensures that even if a thief has a duplicate key, it won’t start because it doesn’t have the chip.
How to duplicate a car key having chips?
If your car key has a chip, then don’t worry. You can still get a duplicate key without having to go to a dealer and spending a lot of money. There are different options you have that are listed below:
- Get the key online: Buy a car key online. You can get the best possible price when you buy online. You must know that you will only get the key, it will not be programmed.
- Get it from your local dealer. The VIN or vehicle identification number can be used by your dealer to create a key with the code. This calls for paperwork and may take quite some time. It is also expensive.
- Get it from a locksmith: Yes, your local locksmith can also help you duplicate a car key with chips. Locksmiths are also technology savvy and can program a key for you. Your locksmith can program the key that you bought online. The locksmith can also make a new key for you if you want and program it. The locksmith would have an inventory of keys based on the model and make. Once the key is found, it would be programmed so the chip works fine with your car. The entire process won’t take more than a few hours and will be less expensive than getting it done at a dealer.
Some tips to duplicate car key with chips
- The most important thing you need to do is to go to a reputed locksmith. The locksmith must be an authorized vendor and should be licensed.
- Make sure the locksmith is a member of a professional organization for locksmiths. This ensures you are dealing with a reliable locksmith and won’t be cheated.
- Check your user manual. It will explain what you need to do if you want to get your car key duplicated. Following this instruction is important. Some cars allow only up to 4 duplicate keys. So, do check this out before proceeding.
- In case your car key is bent or damaged, never try to fix it yourself. Take it to the dealer or a locksmith to get it fixed.
- Chip keys don’t have batteries, they are powered by radio signals. This is a fact you need to be aware of.
- The replacement of a car key with chips should cost anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on your car type and where you get the replacement done.
- You may note that Walmart cannot make a duplicate car key. Home Depot can go it and may charge around $40, but they do not have keys for all makes and models.