12 quick guide to car key replacement

quick guide to car key replacement

By Talal Alabbadi on 2018-04-15 22:13:38

It's expensive to get a car key replacement. While it would have set you back a few pounds in the past, nowadays, replacing your car key could cost you more than a hundred pounds. Hold your horses, though. You might not need to spend so much money. How so? We'll get to that in a moment. Have you lost your car key? Is it damaged? Maybe you want a spare key just in case. Let's start with what you can do if you have a malfunctioning car key.

Don't Pay For A Car Key Replacement Yet

Never assume your car key is damaged beyond repair. Sometimes, your key fob only needs a bit of cleaning. In many cases, you could get your car key to work by simply waiting. Does this seem vague? Well, allow me to explain.

Clean Your Key

Older car keys tend to collect dust and dirt on the key blade over time. If you got an old key that's not working, try cleaning before you get a car key replacement. You can often do this using a clean cloth, water and soap. You might even add lemon juice for a second round of cleaning. After a thorough scrub, let the key dry.

Wait A While

Weather extremes aren't kind to car keys. In some cases, a key or a key fob could malfunction through exposure to excessive heat or cold. If your key stops working suddenly, you might only need to wait for it to cool down or warm up to function again.


It's not uncommon for car keys to stop working following a vehicle maintenance or repair. This is often the case when the procedure involved tinkering with the car's electrical system. Follow the owner's manual instructions to reset your car key. It's often enough to get your key to operate properly.

Change The Battery

In some instances, the key fob's battery could be the culprit. Replacing the battery requires no special skills or tool. More often than not, you only need to unscrew, remove the old battery and put a new one in place.

What You Need For Car Key Replacement

A Car Key

Let's start with the obvious (and the simplest) choice. If you only need a spare for an existing car key, head to the nearest auto locksmith. Some hardware stores can even duplicate your car key. While it might not work for modern car keys, it often works for older models.

Vehicle Identification Number

As the name suggests, VIN is a unique number used to identify individual vehicles. You can almost always spot it on the dashboard. Looking from outside, the number should be visible on the driver's side of the dashboard. If that's not the case, check your car's documentation or enlist the help of Google to find out where you can find the number in your car.

Make, Model And Year

It's prudent to memorise, or even write down, your vehicle's make, model and year. Together with the identification number, it's possible for a professional auto locksmith to replicate your original key. You might think anyone can go with your vehicle's information and get a car key made, but that's hardly the case. Legitimate auto locksmiths will request an ID and a proof of ownership of the care beforehand.

Car Key Replacement Methods

When you think of replacing your car key, you'd probably think of an auto locksmith. However, other options exist to obtain a copy or a replacement. Before paying an arm and a leg, mull over the following methods and see what works best for you.

Insurance or Warranty

Some insurance plans offer coverage for car key replacement. Manufacturers also may include a discounted replacement for vehicles under warranty. Examine your car's insurance and warranty to see if that's the case.

Auto Locksmith

Key fobs have become more of electric devices than traditional keys. Nevertheless, If your car key is lost or damaged, especially for an older model, an expert locksmith is probably your best bet to find a key replacement.

After-Market Keys

These days, online shopping ranks as one of the most convenient ways to purchase anything. This includes car key. Buy an after-market car key online and you'd probably save a decent amount of cash. Granted, it will require reprogramming, but even so, it might still be cheaper than the other options.

Car Dealer

It's costly to buy a car key from a dealership, but it's reliable. Unlike other ways to replace your car key, you can rest assured the key will be of good quality. Most importantly, it's going to function. It would amount to hundreds of pounds at times, though. If you're more concerned about the reliability and less about the cost, this is probably your best option.


It's always a great idea to have a spare in case you lose, misplace or damage your car key. Be ready for such an unfavorable circumstance by having a spare key. Carefully check your car key and its battery to see if you could get it to work by cleaning or replacing an old battery. If that doesn't work, consider your options and find out what best fits your budget.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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