How to make a car key replacement? First Ways to do it!
You never realize how valuable your car keys really are until you lose them or they stop working. They’re your ticket to mobility and to turn on your vehicle, when they aren’t around, you’re stuck. Luckily if you find yourself in a pickle there are plenty of ways to replace a misplaced or malfunctioning car key. Unfortunately, replacing car keys can also be really expensive in some cases – but not all!
How to replace an older car key?
Get your car’s VIN number.
If you are going to find someone to replace your car key, you will have to get the VIN number of your car and write it down. Most cars have their VIN located on the driver’s side dashboard and is visible through the window, but it may also be located on a rear wheel well or the front of the engine block, in the trunk or door jam, or on the frame of the car between the carburetor and windshield washer.
- If you’re not sure where your VIN is on your vehicle you can also look up the number on your car insurance information. It should be in the top left hand corner of each page.
- A VIN is a 17-digit letter/number. This started in 1981. Before 1954 there were no VIN numbers at all.
Write down the year, make, and model of your vehicle. Knowing this is always going to be helpful if you are going to do anything related to your car, especially when it comes to your car keys. Each specific car has a specific key, even cars with same make, model and year can have different types of keys.
Call a nearby auto locksmith. This should be your first option. They generally will give you the best deal on a new key, about half as much as it would cost to get a new key from the dealership, which tend to be very expensive. Normally they charge a small fee for visiting you wherever the car is, like any other mobile service. They’ll open your car and then proceed to make you a new key. While hardware stores aren’t generally equipped to create new car keys (as opposed to simply copying them), locksmiths usually have more sophisticated machinery. The older your vehicle, the better the odds that a locksmith will be able to help you with a replacement key.
- If you lost a key fob, a good locksmith may be able to help you make a new one – depending on how sophisticated the key was. Additionally, they should be able to help you reprogram the replacement key, though your manual may also have instructions on how to do that. Be sure to bring any other key fobs associated with that vehicle with you, as they sometimes won’t work until the new key is programmed. Some cars require specialized equipment to program keys that locksmiths and dealers have
Look for discounted replacement keys / key fobs online. After market keys or even factory replacements can sometimes be found online for less than it would cost you to get them direct from the manufacturer. You may have success with a reputable dealer on eBay, but otherwise look for companies intended specifically to replace car keys. Again, the older the vehicle and simpler the key, the easier it will be to replace. Amazon is a good place to start. Although be aware, some cars require specialized equipment to cut and program. Call around to see who would be willing to cut and program a key bought online before you purchase one. Also compare programming charges with the cost of a whole new one from the locksmith.