There’s no longer a need for some drivers to visit their local hardware seller to replace car keys. Key fob programming has done wonders for putting vehicles at less risk of getting stolen. Many vehicles have a starting mechanism that requires one to push a button only. Thing is, key fob replacement when attempted alone can be a bit tricky or time-consuming.
A car locksmith is perfect for this job and thus will be detailed below. But before going into key duplication service, it’s always a good thing to know what steps to take when getting a replacement on your own. It involves the purchase of a key fob, reprogramming, and potentially other variables. Here’s what you can do.
- Look into your vehicle’s warranty first
If you lose your key fob, it might be possible for you to replace them at no expense to you. Go over what’s covered by your vehicle’s insurance company. For people with roadside assistance or a warranty through a dealership, there’s a good chance that it covers key fob replacement.
However, circumstances can still resort to you paying for it out of pocket. At many places offering this type of warranty, it’s usually marketed as key fob insurance.
- Know your budget
Key fob programming isn’t a cheap thing to do. The prices for people outside of car locksmith services can run anywhere from $50 to $100. In some cases, the prices could be even higher, particularly for foreign-made vehicles and SUVs. To reprogram requires the implantation of encrypted software that’s unique to the car, a feature on key fobs that keeps them from being used for vehicle theft.
- Other options
Most vehicles that have been manufactured in the last couple of years will have key fobs available for purchase. These places have the programming hardware that’s needed to make individual keys unique.
Some vehicles might also work with aftermarket key fobs, though certainly not all. That’s because key fobs sometimes have computer chips inside that can’t be replicated, even with other key fobs. For such a vehicle, getting a new one for a door lockout or other unfortunate event could run in the hundreds of dollars.
Hiring a Car Locksmith
Car locksmiths can make key fob replacement much easier to do. It’s quick and painless for most depending on the situation. Here are the people that should be the first in line to get key duplication service this way:
- People with no coverage – You need insurance to drive on the road, but that doesn’t mean that your insurer will cover the costs of you getting a new key fob. Car locksmiths could be a cheaper option than paying full price for some key fob models.
- Emergency door lockout – It happens very frequently. Door lockouts from leaving your key fob inside the vehicle might be impossible to retrieve quickly. A locksmith can grant you back access to the vehicle and back on your way to your destination.
- Drivers with aftermarket-friendly vehicles – Many key fobs can be replicated with aftermarket parts. A locksmith can have your new key fob made while in transit to your location.