Losing the Keys to Your Automobile Can Be Costly
How many times have you asked or been asked the following questions?
“Have you seen the keys to my car?” or “I just had the keys to my car, has anyone seen them?”
The majority of the time it ends up being simple oversight on the part of the person searching. The keys to the automobile end up popping up right where the search party left them and they are lucky enough to find them at no additional cost. Other times, the search party may not be so lucky and they will need to replace the keys at a premium depending on the make of the automobile.
If you owned an automobile prior to the year 2000, the cost to replace a lost key was minimal because it did not have any security features. Any locksmith or local hardware store could replicate your key for a small fee. If you went to the automotive dealer, there might have been a slight increase in price due to automakers insignia on the key. Law officials and automotive manufacturers noticed that while anyone was able to replicate your automobiles keys, this included car thieves.
As the technology in automobiles has evolved, so has the technology for your automobiles keys. Around the year 2000, automobile manufacturers smartened up and began placing transponder chips in the head of the key. Transponder chips must be programmed before it will start your automobile. Once the transponder is programmed a signal can be emitted to a receiver. When the key to the automobile is inserted into the ignition, the receiver will look for a signal that matches the programming it received. If the signals do not match, the automobile will not start.
If you lose a key for your automobile with a programmed transponder expect to pay $100 and upwards depending on the make of the automobile. If you lock the transponder key in your car frequently, a low cost alternative to replacing the transponder key each time would be to have a copy of a basic key made that does everything but start your automobile to keep handy. (Opens doors, Trunks etc)
There’s no denying that modern keys are expensive. So make sure you are proactive rather than reactive by purchasing spare keys now, on your terms, rather than when an emergency situation strikes. You may encounter a situation where you not only lose your keys but are nowhere near an automobile dealership or local repair shop and a tow is required. It will save you money in the long run.
Tony Rudny-ASE Certified Master Mechanic
Auto Therapy-Full Service Automotive Repair
560 Lark St
Geneva, IL 60134
Facebook: Tony Rudny or Auto Therapy