Replacing a car key used to be very easy some years back. Any locksmith or hardware store could make a car key for you and it was not required to go to a car dealer. The situation has changed today. The reason is that car keys now make use of technology. This ensures safety preventing car theft and easy duplication of car keys by thieves.
This has become a problem for car users though. An electronic engineer found this out in a difficult way. The key for his Toyota Prius car was in his pocket and he went for a dip in the sea. When he came out, his key was missing. He went quickly to get a replacement and ended up spending $600.
Why car key replacement is costly?
Our friend the engineer had to pay a heavy cost for replacing his car key because it had a proximity key. This allowed him to unlock the door easily. The ignition keys have a transponder to communicate with the vehicle. This is not just for convenience but ensures the best level of security to prevent thefts.
The car key usually has a hob with buttons to help lock and the unlock the door by pressing a button. This hob can be integrated with the key or may be a separate part in the key. While ensures convenience and security, it also comes with a cost. So, if you have to replace the car key, then you need to spend money.
You may need to spend a minimum of $200 or more than to get your car key replaced. The actual cost would depend on the design of key, the technology involved, and also on the make of the car. For instance, a Lexus car key would cost you $374. This would include the cost of the key, hob, and programming costs. A BMW car key would cost you $500.
Technology has enhanced car security but this comes at a price. However, you don’t have to always pay a huge sum of money to get a replacement for your car key. There are different things that you can do to save on costs. All these measures can be helpful in reducing the amount that you spend to get a duplicate car key.
Technology has enhanced car security but this comes at a price.
However, you don’t have to always pay a huge sum of money
to get a replacement for your car key.
There are different things that you can do to save on costs.
All these measures can be helpful in reducing the amount that
you spend to get a duplicate car key.
Get a replacement key online through a website that offers replacement keys. This would be convenient if you don’t need the key immediately and are willing to wait. For instance, the replacement car key for a Honda Accord car would be around $200. This cost would be applicable when you buy from a dealer.
If you buy it online (eg: a website like KeylessRide), then you can get the car key for $54. There was another version (off-brand) that could be bought for $40. This takes care of the key and you need to now program it. This would cost you around $80 (to cut and program the key). The total would thus be $134. So, your total savings is $66.
Here is one more way by which you can save money – that is by doing the programming yourself. If you know some basic concepts, then you can learn how to program online. There are plenty of video tutorials and resources online. You can learn programming through them and program your key. This will help you save a substantial sum of money.
Just search for the model and make of your car with the words programming of car key. This will help you find resources.
Let’s assume the car key works but the fob is not working. In such a case, simple fix of replacing the car battery is enough. It will cost you just $10. You can get them at RadioShack or even at retailers and drugstores.
If replacing the battery doesn’t help, you may need to replace the electronics of the hob. If you ask a dealer, they would quote you $80. You can remove the electronic from the new hob and transfer it easily to the old hob or buy it online for $35. This will again help you save money.
You may note that there is an inexpensive solution whereby a dealer can help you open your car door, but you won’t be able to start the car. This will help if your key is locked inside the car.