car key replacement

Can I Replace Lost Car Keys Without the Original?

Replacing a lost car key without the original will require a high level of expertise. Hence, the reason for the high cost of car key replacement.

In theft cases, we advise you to inform your auto locksmith immediately. Your auto locksmith will reprogram your car key identification number to your new keys. This way, your car won’t operate with the former keys.

But, in cases where you lose the keys, there may not be a need to pay the cost of reprogramming. But, there’ll be a need to replace your lost car key without the original.

In this article, we’ll explore how to replace your lost car key without the original. Please read carefully.

How to Replace a Lost Car Key Without the Original

Replacing lost car keys without the original is a different kettle of fish. Normally, when replacing lost car keys, auto locksmiths consider the availability of the original keys.

But, in rare cases where the original car keys are lost, they have to consider other factors before replacement. If you have to deal with this situation, here’s what you have to know:

Be ready to verify car ownership

An auto locksmith will require you to provide the following before proceeding with the car key replacement.

  • Vehicle identification number(VIN): The VIN is like your fingerprint, it’s unique to your car. You can find the VIN on the dashboard at the driver’s side or on the engine bay. For some car models, you can find the VIN in the user’s manual.
  • Key Identification Number: Providing information about the key identification number during car key replacement is usually optional. In cases of theft, the key identification numbers help your auto locksmith reprogram your car. This way, old car keys will not work with the car. You can find the key identification number on the car’s manual.
  • Personal identification: To show ownership of the car, your auto locksmith will demand to see your name, photo, address and a means of identification.

Your car model and type of key

Cars come in different models. And, as you may well have guessed, different models come with different types of car keys. A more sophisticated car will mean a more sophisticated car key.

When replacing lost car keys without the original, an auto locksmith will consider the type of car key. There are generally two types of car keys:

Remote car keys

Remote car keys are the most common. Before now, cars used non-remote keys, so it was easy to change car keys and steal cars. However, this is not the case for cars with remote keys. Cars with remote keys function differently.

This type of car key has a chip that emits signals designed to be recognized by the engine’s ignition system. Failure to recognize these signals will lead to the car not starting. Remote car keys do not only control the car’s ignition system, but they also control the car’s security alarm system.

Because of the functionality of remote car keys, car manufacturers program them to the vehicle. What this means is that each remote car key is unique to each car. Typically, replacing lost remote car keys without the original will require a high level of technicality.

Common examples of remote car keys are:

  • Basic keys: They are the basic remote keys programmed with your car. Basic car keys are not difficult to replace even without the original car keys.
  • Keyless fobs: These are basic keys with fobs in them. They do not contain keys but instead emit signals that control the car. They can be difficult to change without the original key.
  • Switchblades: Switchblades have keys folded into a handle. When you press a button, the key pops out. Unlike other car keys, switchblades have replaceable parts. Hence, it is easier to replace them.

Non-Remote car keys ( Transponder Car keys).

On the other hand, non-remote car keys do not require any signal recognition. Hence, there’s no need to program them to your car. For this reason, it is easy to replace lost non-remote car keys without the original.

car key replacement without original

Choose a replacement option

There are several replacement options to consider when replacing lost car keys without the original. Some are more affordable and will deliver a replacement key speedily. Here is a  list of cost-effective methods of replacing your car without the original.

  • Auto locksmiths: Employing the services of an auto locksmith is the most effective method of car key replacement. An auto locksmith replaces car keys, the ignition system and whole locks. Auto locksmiths are more trained to use different methods for different locks. For this reason, they have different equipment for all car key types and models.

Not only do auto locksmith replace locks, but they also:

  • Copy and cut car keys
  • Change and repair damaged locks
  • Program remote keys
  • Repair broken keys
  • Roadside assistance services: Roadside assistance services are quick and cost-effective. However, unlike auto locksmiths, roadside assistance locksmiths do not have comprehensive access to equipment. So, without the original car key, they don’t have the capacity to replace lost car keys for some models.
  • Car insurance provider: Car insurance providers are another option when replacing lost car keys without the original. However, not all car manufacturers provide insurance for car key replacements.
  • Local garage: These are usually the last resort on the list of car key replacement methods. Local garages are affordable and quite reliable when replacing lost car keys with the original.

Some local garages have the equipment to get spare car keys without the original, others do not. If you get lucky, your local garage may have equipment that works for your key type and car’s model.

Relate Article: What to do if You Have a Broken Key in Your Car Lock

Cost of car key replacement without the original

Replacing car keys when you have the original costs less than when it is lost. When you have your car keys, all you need to do is duplicate them. The cost of car key duplication ranges from $100 to $500 depending on the sophistication of the car key.

On the other hand, the cost of car key replacement without the original ranges from $350 to $100. However, this pricing is a function of several factors including:

  • Key type and car model
  • Method of car key replacement
  • Location
  • Time of the day
  • Time of machine used for replacement

Wait for Replacement

Getting a spare car key when you have the original takes an hour or less. On the other hand, getting a spare car without the original will take a longer time frame.

Depending on the level of expertise of the replacement company, the available equipment and location, you may spend days waiting to get a replacement car key. Averagely, car key replacement (from an excellent car locksmith service) without the original takes 12-24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Replace a Car Key Without The Original

Here’s what you need to know:

Are there other car key replacement options?

Yes, brand dealers also replace lost car keys without the original.

How does the time of the day affect the price for car key replacement?

Most car key replacement services have working hours. For some replacement services, they may charge more after closing hours.

How does location affect my car key replacement price?

Different places have different costs of living.  If the cost of living in your location is high, you can expect this overhead to reflect in the cost of car key replacement.

Do I need to worry about towing my car to an auto smith?

There is no need to tow your car if you are locked outside. Auto locksmith services have emergency services to cater for that. You can also try roadside services if any is within your reach.

Related Article: Car Key Stuck in the Lock: How to Fix it and Cost

To Wrap It Up

The first thing to do after misplacing your original car key is to inform an auto locksmith. An auto locksmith will ensure there are no cases of theft after losing the original key.

Furthermore, when replacing a lost car key, it is essential to expect a variance in how long it takes. For car keys with more sophisticated designs, the auto locksmith may need an extended timeline to deliver a replacement set. However, for basic car keys, getting a replacement set is a speedy process, even without the original.

We emphasize the need for a professional car key replacement service provider. A professional auto locksmith will have all the equipment to duplicate all car key types irrespective of the model. In addition, they can seamlessly create spare keys without their originals.

To enjoy professional services like this, choose Car Key Replacement CA. We have the tech and experience to replace all types of car keys — without the original. Contact us today!