Not long ago, losing your Car Key Replacement wasn’t that big of a deal. Now, many cars require specialized key fobs that can only be programmed at the dealership.
Dealerships may be able to help you replace your Car Key Replacement, but they’ll likely charge you more than a professional locksmith would.
Mechanical keys use a simple switch that activates when the key is pressed. The key’s plastic housing has a stem that holds the keycaps and a spring that keeps them upright. When a key is pressed the mechanical switch sends a signal to the computer that says “this key has been pressed”.
A mechanical car key has cuttings along its edge which matches a pin pattern within the lock’s cylinder switch. Although a wrong key might fit the lock rotation is disabled until the correct pattern is matched.
A locksmith will cut a replacement mechanical key for your vehicle using one of two techniques. The more traditional method is called ‘mechanical duplication’ whereas the laser cut key is more advanced. This uses a process known as Dye Sublimation which heats the plastic, causing the dye to sink into the material creating a very durable key that is much more difficult to tamper with. This type of key also comes with a master key which allows the locksmith to programme a replacement for your vehicle.
In most cases, if you’ve bought your car within the last 10 years, it has a transponder chip embedded in its key. Transponder keys are a significant upgrade in anti-theft security over a traditional blade key.
Basically, when you insert the key into the ignition cylinder and turn it, the microchip in the head of the key sends out a signal that gets picked up by a ringed antenna around the ignition barrel. The vehicle then checks to make sure that the code sent by the key matches the one stored in its computer system.
If it does, the car will start. This makes it impossible for thieves to copy your key and use it to start your car. If your transponder key stops working, you should always call a locksmith that has experience with this type of key. They can cut and program it for you at a fraction of the cost that dealerships charge.
Keyless Entry Remotes
You’ve probably seen people in the parking lot pressing buttons on their key fobs, which produces a chirp and flashes the car’s lights as a signal to let it in. This system has become quite common and offers some peace of mind when you park in a busy area or worry about leaving valuables inside your car.
These systems work with a short-range radio transmitter that sends a 40-bit code to a receiver in the car. If the code matches what it expects, the receiver responds and performs its designated function (locking the doors, starting the engine, etc.).
Programming the car’s onboard computer to accept a new remote fob is a highly technical process that varies between different cars, but generally includes turning on and off the power several times while depressing one or more fob buttons. You can find detailed instructions in the car’s service manual.
In the past, losing your car keys was a simple matter of calling roadside assistance or finding a locksmith. These days, it’s much more complicated. Some cars require a new key to be programmed, which requires the vehicle to be brought into the dealership.
A dealership can make a replacement key for you, but it can be expensive. It also takes time because the dealer must order a new computer chip and pair it to your car, which could take a few days.
A locksmith specializes in car key duplication, so they can typically make the replacement on the spot. A locksmith can also provide a better warranty than a dealership. Additionally, many locksmiths offer mobile service, which means they’ll come to your location and do the work there instead of at a shop. This can save you money on towing, and it’s often faster. It’s also a great way to avoid dealer add-ons like paint protection, mud flaps and window tinting.