If you have lost your car keys, know that they process can take a bit of effort to get your keys replaced. The modern smart chip system is designed to prevent anyone from creating a fake key and gaining entry to your vehicle. While it protects you in most situations, it can also create some logistical questions when you're trying to get the key replaced.
The Difference Between Smart Keys and Traditional Keys
The workings of a traditional car key are much less mysterious than a smart key. Keys tended to work more like a home lock and key, where the shape of the key matched the inner pins of the mechanical lock. These keys could easily be remade by a locksmith, as long as you had the VIN of the car.
Now, most cars come with smart keys. The biggest part of a smart key is the chip. Each smart key has a computer chip with its own unique profile. Your car recognizes only a request from the key with a chip that matches the one your car is programmed to accept.
So, the process of replacing these keys is a little bit more complicated. You will need to have an automotive lock services company reprogram the car to accept a new key. This can't be done by just anybody; you will likely need to show proof of ownership before the shop will reprogram a new key for you. And the process of programming a new chip to your car can take up to 30 minutes.
How Smart Car Key Replacement Works
The process of getting the key replaced will look a little bit differently depending on your car model, so speak with a locksmith. Sometimes, you can get a replacement fob online for less than $20. But that will still need to be reprogrammed to your car by a professional. In other cases, your equipment may only be available directly from the car dealership. That is most often the case with keyless entry cars.
Preventing the Need for Replacement
In the future, it's easy enough to avoid a hefty car key replacement bill if you start off by getting a second key made. You can more quickly program a second car key as long as you still have the original key. It's only when you wait until you've lost the key that car key replacement becomes very expensive.
Talk with a company like Roland Park Lock and Key for more information.