Losing your car keys can be a frightening experience. Thankfully, it can also be an easy fix if you know what to do.
First, check everywhere you can think of, even places you wouldn’t normally put your key, like in your jacket or the pockets of your pants. Next, retrace your steps.
What to Do
When you reach into your pocket or purse and can’t find your car keys, it is a heart-stopping experience. The first thing you should do is a simple and thorough check around the area where you last had them. Look in your bags, pockets, in the house, and even under the seats. You might have knocked them out of the pocket of your jacket or dropped them on a counter when reaching for something else. The second step is to go over your day, taking note of what you were doing when you lost your car keys.
This will give you a clue as to where they might have ended up, and it may also help you figure out how you lost them. If you were driving and lost your keys in the street, there is a very good chance that you will need to call for a tow truck. If you are not on a highway and can’t find them, the next thing to do is make a phone call to your breakdown cover provider to see what their procedure for car key replacement will be.
It is also worth calling the locksmith to find out what type of key you have and how much it will cost to replace it. This is because the process of replacing a car key or fob varies depending on what kind of vehicle you have.
If you have a traditional car key, it’s usually fairly inexpensive to get a new one made, especially if you can remember where you put it. However, if you have a modern key fob that does more than just lock and unlock the car, it can be incredibly expensive to get a new one from the dealership.
Sometimes a car key will simply wear down until it no longer works, or the remote built into the key can break. This happens because they are so intricately designed that they can’t just be hacked into with the right tools, and there are often wireless codes in the key fob that the car reads to ensure it is the correct one.
Call a Locksmith
In most cases, a locksmith should be the first person you call in the event of losing your keys. They’ll be able to help you gain access to your home or car and can re-key the lock if necessary. They’ll also be able to advise you on whether you need to change the locks entirely or just replace the key blanks.
A locksmith is usually a local business, so you can easily find one in your area. When choosing a locksmith, ask for their credentials including insurance, licensure, and the names of previous clients they’ve worked with. Also, be sure to check that they have a good reputation and are knowledgeable about the latest technologies on the market.
The most common reason that people need to call a locksmith is because they’ve lost their keys. If you’re in this situation, it’s important to stay calm and try to remember where you may have left your keys. You can also try to search around the area where you think you last had them. In many cases, you can just call a locksmith and they’ll be able to make a new car key for you based on the information on your vehicle’s registration or title document.
If your car has a modern security system, however, you’ll have to call the dealership in order to get a new car key made. They’ll have to reprogram the vehicle’s immobilizer so that the new key will work. In this case, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance on hand when the dealer or locksmith arrives at your location.
Another reason that people often call a locksmith is because they need to have their locks changed after a break-in or if someone has stolen the keys. This can be done quickly and easily by a professional locksmith. They can re-key the lock so that only you have access or even install a new lock completely if needed. This is the most effective way to ensure your safety and protect your possessions. In addition, this option is typically the cheapest.
Contact Your Car Dealership
There are several options available to you when it comes to replacing a lost car key or fob. Some are more expensive than others, but they all depend on the type of car key that you have and how you lost it.
Many newer cars require a special type of key that has an electronic transponder chip in it in order to start the car. If your car is one of those, it will probably need to be replaced by a specialist at the dealership that sold you the car. If you’re lucky, they may have the replacement key in stock, but if not, they’ll need to order it and pair it with your vehicle. This could take a few days.
If you have an older, traditional metal key, it’s a little easier to replace. Most locksmiths have the necessary tools and equipment to handle this kind of key. They’ll usually charge you less, too, than the dealership would.
You can also try to find a replacement key online. These are typically cheaper than a dealer-sourced key, but you’ll need to have it programmed by a locksmith or the dealership in order for it to work with your vehicle.
Some people also choose to have their dealership replace the key if they have a spare, which is a good idea if you keep your keys in the same place all of the time and never lose them. However, this option can be a bit more expensive than the locksmith or the locksmith that you contact directly, as the dealership will need to show proof of ownership before they can order and program the replacement key. It will also take longer, as they’ll need to have your car towed to the dealership in order to do so.
Call Your Insurance Company
Car insurance companies often offer roadside assistance that covers the cost of a new key. This is usually offered as a premium add-on or part of your policy. If you choose this option, they will tow your vehicle to a dealership that has the proper equipment to replace the lost key. They may also need to order the key, which can take several days. This process is typically the most expensive and time-consuming option.
When deciding to get a replacement, consider the type of key you have. Traditional keys without any special features can be copied for about $10 at a hardware store or locksmith. If you have a more technologically advanced key, you might need to call a dealership. Depending on the make and model of your car, the dealer might charge you for replacing the key fob or even the entire key assembly.
Another factor that determines the cost of a replacement is where you live. Generally, the closer to the dealership, the less you will pay. However, you may still need to pay extra if your Lost Key Replacement was somewhere more remote.
In addition to cost, the type of key you have can also play a role in how fast you can get it replaced. A locksmith can usually create a standard key in under an hour. However, if you have a high-tech key fob that needs to be paired with the car, this can take longer and cost more.
If you have a spare, it is always a good idea to keep it somewhere safe and easy to find. You never know when you might lose it again. Consider adding a brightly colored key chain or put a key hook near the back of your door to help you locate it. You can also invest in a Bluetooth key tracker, which is small enough to fit on your keychain and emits a unique signal that you can connect with an app on your phone.