Lost Car Key Replacement

Blog Post

No matter how you lost your car keys, you want a new set as soon as possible. But car key replacement isn’t cut and dry for every car make and model! Here at Lan Locksmith in Louisville KY, we sometimes receive calls from dismayed clients who were turned away from other mechanics or locksmiths, or didn’t want to pay the exorbitant prices of a dealership replacement.

If you want fast, affordable car key replacement, here’s everything you need to know!

The easiest car key to duplicate is a good old fashioned mechanical key

If you have a car that is older than the 90s, chances are, you’ve got a mechanical key. The good news is, these car keys are the easiest to replace.

All we have to do is come to wherever you are with a blank key for your make and model. From there, we can cut a new key to fit your car and send you on your way! This is the same process for trunk or glove compartment lockouts.

Transponder keys are a step up from mechanical keys

Around the late 80s to early 2000s, car companies started to develop transponder keys as a way to boost security and offer more features like remote engine start.

This made car key duplication slightly more complicated for auto locksmiths because each transponder key comes with a coded chip. At the beginning of this tech development, the code could be duplicated fairly easily onto a new chip. But, over time, car companies introduced rolling codes that increased car security.

Another big change during this time was the roll-out of the high security key blade. You’ll see this design on all newer models, and it gives modern keys the look of a sleek blade instead of a traditional key with teeth. These keys require a specialized machine in order to cut them.

Still, even though the technology in these keys is a step up from a mechanical key, almost all auto locksmiths are equipped with the tools and know-how to duplicate transponder keys, remote keys and flip keys.

Key fobs and remoteless entry are the most complicated systems

Within the last decade, we’ve entered into the phase of more technologically advanced car security systems. Today’s cars may have a keyed fob, keyless fob, or nothing at all (as is in the case of cars that can be operated through an app.) And this is where most car owners run into the issue of some mechanics and auto locksmiths not being able to offer car key replacement. Here’s why:

  • Modern key duplication requires a specialized key programming machine. Car key programming machines cost thousands of dollars, and require regular software upgrades to keep up with security changes. So, not every locksmith or mechanic can invest in the tools and training needed to duplicate car keys.
  • Different car manufacturers release their software to a select number of key programming machines. Not every programming machine is compatible with every car manufacturer. That’s why you may call an auto locksmith who can duplicate car keys for American made cars but not European cars. Others may be able to replace keys for standard models but not luxury cars. It all depends on how much that locksmith has invested in their car key programmer.

It’s for this reason that car key replacement for modern cars is the most expensive. You want to make sure that you have an auto locksmith who is well-versed in key programming and has the right equipment for the job.

Can you reprogram keys on your own?

When you take a look online for car key replacement, you’re bound to find many sellers of blank keys and fobs. The description states that you can reprogram these keys to any car or your car’s model.

But, we would recommend that you always get the advice of your trusted auto locksmith before making any purchases. We’ve seen many clients come in with a fob that they purchased online only to learn that it’s not compatible with their car and not programmable without a machine.

Here at Lan Locksmith, we have a large inventory of blank keys. And if we don’t have what you need on hand, we’re able to quickly order the correct replacement and program it for you.

What to do if you suspect that someone stole your car keys

Now, one of the benefits of modern car technology is that we can deactivate any fobs or transponder keys that have been stolen. This means that you can have a new set without worrying about the old one.

But, when it comes to classic cars, well, the process is a bit more complicated. Your lock may need to be replaced or rekeyed in order to protect you from future theft.

How can you prevent losing your car keys in the future?

Once you’ve gone through the hassle of having your car keys replaced once, we can bet that you don’t want to do it again. So, here are a few recommendations for lowering your risk of losing your set in the future:

  • Consider putting a GPS tag on your car keys. A GPS tracker can be a huge help if you’ve lost your keys while out for a run, walking the dog, or any other time that you’re out and about without your car.
  • Look into getting a spare. Having a spare car key can be just the thing you need to stop paying for a brand new set. But, keep in mind that some car manufacturers limit the number of keys that can be programmed to one car. So, ask us whether your car qualifies for spare keys.
  • Don’t underestimate the practicality of a bright lanyard. The latest trend in modern car keys is making them as sleek and unnoticeable as possible. But this can actually make them easier to lose! It may be a bit of an eyesore, but a bright lanyard can be the cheap fix that saves you hundreds of dollars.

Call Lan Locksmith for your car key replacement!

We service the entire Louisville KY Metro Area, including surrounding communities like Greenville, Crestwood, La Grange, Hillview, West Point, and more. If you need car key replacement, we’ll come to you!

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