“Car key replacement is an absolute must if you own a car,” says Mike Deutsch, editor-in-chief of CarPeople Magazine. “There is no easier way to restore your car to its factory function than through the use of a new key. Not only will a new key replace your lost or broken key, it will also provide you with peace of mind that your car’s safety is not in danger.” But, if you plan on replacing your own keys, you should be aware that there are many pitfalls waiting for you. The following article contains some tips to avoid common car key replacement mistakes. By following these suggestions, you should be able to avoid most of the common car key problems.
You’ve probably been advised by a locksmith to change the ignition and then use a new car key for the ignition. That’s great advice! However, many people do not heed this advice. In fact, many times, car key replacement may be the wrong solution.
Installing a new key or even changing the entire ignition switch is not a good idea. Instead, you should focus on fixing the problem, which usually involves replacing the remote head in the center console. If the problem is confined to the ignition, your next step is to check to see if the battery needs to be replaced. In this case, car key replacement is not the right choice.
Another mistake is selecting a universal keyfob or remotes with programmed codes. Some cars have been sold with keys that have programming already installed. The problem with these “programmed” locks is that if you try to use a universal keyfob with one of these locks, it won’t work. This is because the locks have been programmed to accept only certain codes, and those codes are set by the locksmith when the car is serviced. Trying to use a universal keyfob or a programmed lock means that you will have to pay the shop to make a change for you, which can run up to $50.
Even if the vehicle hasn’t been sold yet, it might still have been modified at some point. If so, you can still find a good locksmith by asking around at auto shows, classified ads and by word of mouth. Asking around is especially important if you’re concerned about getting a good price for the car keys or the services that you need. Locksmiths who have been in business for more than five years will most likely have a list of happy customers. You can also inquire about their track record with vehicles similar to yours and see how many similar transactions they have completed. If they are unable to provide you with any references, or tell you anything negative, then you should consider going elsewhere.
If you have a newer model vehicle, it’s more likely that the original manufacturer’s transponder keys will work with newer locks. Many auto locksmiths can also change transponder keys, which is another reason why you might want to go to one place for all of your car key replacement needs. A smart locksmith may also be able to perform a more extensive security service and install a system that will allow you to arm and disarm your vehicle from a remote control center without having to open the door and disassemble it yourself.