Not very long ago, it was a nightmare for anyone who would have misplaced or Lost Their Only Car Key today; things aren’t too different. Most people tried to make sure that they had multiple copies of their car keys. However, as technology has advanced, so has the associated key, which has also become more expensive to replace.
How your car key is replaced depends on many factors, notwithstanding the fact that in some cases, it takes time to replace the key. In this article, we’ll take a look at five primary types of car keys and how they can be replaced.
The Traditional or Old-School Car Key
It is a purely mechanical car key, which isn’t very secure but works perfectly. Put it in your ignition and turn to start your car.
If you lose the key, just about any automotive locksmith can replace it. It also only takes a couple of minutes to retool a new key right there and then. Unless you have a very obscure lock and key system that dates back several decades, most locksmiths should be able to help you. The cost of a replacement key is also a few dollars.
The Car Key Fob
Back in the day, the first-generation fobs were more of a convenience. Press a button to lock and unlock your car, but the vehicle still used a traditional key.
People who lose their fob can still unlock the car and get it started. Plus, fobs are cheap to buy aftermarket and easily programmable. So, no special tools needed. They are readily available at dealerships and automotive parts store.
The FOB with Switchblade Key
Many auto manufacturers combined the two, i.e., a fob with the key to into a spring-loaded key that folds back into the fob. Replacing the switchblade fob is comparatively expensive. You’ll be looking at paying somewhere around a hundred dollars. The good news is that if you visit a car dealership or a professional locksmith, they can easily cut and program a new key for you, which takes a couple of hours, though.
The Transponder Car Key
It was introduced back in the 1990s as an anti-theft device. The transponders are now the ignition keys with a plastic head with a computer chip. Each time they wirelessly connect, it allows the ignition to fire up the engine.
Losing it means that your vehicle will need to be towed to the dealership, you’ll have to prove ownership of the vehicle and then buy the key. The new key will need to be electronically paired with the vehicle.
The Smart Key
Referred to often as the “keyless ignition,” the smart key is directly associated with the start button of the vehicle. It works via a proximity sensor in the car, which knows when the key is nearby. It will then unlock the vehicle and be started by pushing a button.
If the key is lost, it will have to be taken to the dealership. The key will then have to be ordered and paired with the car. It is amongst one of the most expensive types of Automotive Keys to replace, costing an average $400.