Are you looking for a way to replace lost car keys? As with most things, we rarely realize how valuable our car keys are until we notice that they’re missing. Without your keys, you’re stuck and you would have to go through a lot of inconveniences to replace lost car keys. But instead of beating yourself up over this unfortunate situation, it’s best to focus on the next step that you should take. Let us help you with that.
Related article: Lost Car Keys and No Spare: What to Do in this Situation?
Lost Car Keys: What to Do?
One of the first things that you should do to replace lost car keys is to get the needed information about your vehicle. Such information will be necessary when you will be looking for a professional who can help you in replacing your lost car key.
Gather Your Car’s Information
Look for the VIN number of your car. It has several locations on the vehicle. Check the dashboard of the driver’s side. It should be visible through the car window. Also, check the rear wheel well as well as the front of your car’s engine block. Other places that the VIN number could be found are the door jam or trunk. You can also look on the car frame between the windshield washer and the carburetor.
If you’re not successful in finding the VIN of your car in those areas mentioned, you can also check the vehicle information on your car insurance papers. It is on the top left corner of every page of the document. Remember that the VIN is a combination of 17 letters and numbers.
Letters not included in the VIN are Q, O, and I because they could be confused with the numbers 0 and 1. But it is only applicable to models made after 1981. If you have a car that was made before 1954, note that those do not have VIN numbers.
When you’ve got the VIN, it’s now time to look at the model, make, and the year of your vehicle. Whether you’ll go to a car key replacement specialist or the dealership to replace lost car keys, you’re going to need these pieces of information. They are necessary because it will let the specialist know what specific type of key is needed to open the vehicle.
Call a Car Key Replacement Specialist
It’s best to call a professional who can help you to replace lost car keys. Between going to the car dealer or manufacturer and a locksmith, it’s better to go to a locksmith first. They will most likely give you a better deal for a new key. It may cost you half the price of what the dealer or manufacturer will charge.
Another good thing about calling a car key replacement specialist is that they usually don’t charge a fee to visit the car. They will open the vehicle and then go on to replace lost keys. If you have an older car model, you have better chances of getting a replacement key because it will be much easier for the locksmith.
If in case the car key you lost is a key fob, don’t worry. An excellent locksmith will be able to make you a new one. But you have to take into consideration how sophisticated that lost car key was. Also, the locksmith can help in reprogramming the new key.
Programming the key is something that you can do yourself. Your manual most likely has the instructions for this. When programming, bring other key fobs that connect to your car. It’s because those may not work until your new car key has been programmed. To be sure the programming is done correctly, it is best to let the locksmith take care of it. They have specialized equipment to program keys.
Go Online to Look for Cheaper Replacement Keys
Factory replacements of aftermarket keys may be available online and they could be much cheaper compared to going to the car manufacturer to replace lost keys. Firstly, go to an eCommerce site that is known to have reputable sellers.
Don’t forget that the older your car model, the simpler its key and therefore, easier to replace. You may find that there are plenty of choices when it comes to replacement keys. You may even get a new set of car keys for a fraction of what you would pay if you go to your dealership.
But when buying replacement keys online, know that you’re still going to have the key cut and then programmed. So, before you buy online for replacement keys, go around your area first so you can check the cost to have the car key cut and programmed.
Related article: How to Get an Affordable Car Key Replacement?
One tip to remember to replace lost car keys is to go to the dealer when you’re out of options. It’s because getting a replacement key from the dealership is going to cost you double. If you’re going to buy keys online, do as much research as possible to make sure you will buy the right keys and that you’re buying from a trusted seller. Lastly, while you’re at it, ask the car key replacement specialist to make you a spare so you don’t have to go through all this trouble if you lose your car keys again.
Related article: Car Key Replacement 24/7 Service in the Greater Toronto Area