There’s nothing more frustrating than locking your keys in the car. Perhaps the only thing more frustrating is breaking your keys on the ignition. Every day, drivers tend to have these common mishaps or even lose their keys altogether. Unless a spare key is available, they may have to pay up to $200.00 for replacement car keys at their local dealerships. Unlike the past where car keys could easily be duplicated local locksmith venues, today’s keys are simply more digital advanced. This includes the fob, which is a remote or transmitter on an electronic key. Replacing car keys also depends on the model or vehicle you own. For example: Lexus dealers can charge up to $375 for a new key, fob, and programming. BMW dealers provide the same replacements for as high as $500.
Replacing Basic Keys
Basic car keys went out of mass production in the mid-to-late 1990s. These keys, of course, had or have no security features – other than unique cuts. The long metal part of the key also has grooves that resemble any house or business key. If you need these types of keys, locksmiths can easily copy them at around $3 per key. He or she will simply use the same equipment that cuts other keys. If you prefer to have a dealership do it, it should cost no more than $13 for each basic key. The only difference dealerships offer is that they can press the automaker’s branding on the keys.
Most modern cars require key fobs, which are also known as remote or transmitters. This is an integral part of the key set, and having it replaced can cost anywhere from $50 – $90 at most dealerships. However, it may cost a bit more depending on the automaker and complexity of design. Remember, unlike basic keys – all fobs will need to be programmed for your specific vehicle. Most dealerships offer this service for free, while others charge based on an hour or labor or less. If you are being charges for programming, there is a way to bypass this fee. In fact, most fobs can easily be programmed with a specific combination of button presses on the remote. In addition, certain key turns in the ignition can also help in programming the keys to correlate with the starter. Simply check your owner’s manual for instructions or search the Web for this information.
Transponder keys are also synonymous with most modern vehicles. In fact, manufacturers began to place transponder chips in the plastic head of the key in the early 2000s. The function of the chip is to emit a signal to a receiver in the ignition. If the receiver, however, detects a wrong signal – the vehicle will not start. This could be due to a faulty chip in the key or some other mechanical problem. In these cases, you will need replacement transponder keys to get back on the road. These keys are usually laser-cut but can also be basic in design. All dealerships do have the necessary equipment to program or reprogram the key. While some do it for free, others may charge up to an hour of labor or less.
These costs usually associated with replacing transponder keys are around $160. This does not include the additional fob, which will run about $75. In order to save costs, try working out a deal with the dealership, or speak to a licensed locksmith. You may be able to pay much less having an automotive locksmith perform this service than an expensive dealership.