Losing car keys can be stressful and expensive. Fortunately, some auto insurance companies and coverage plans include key replacement coverage.
It’s important to check the terms of your vehicle or home warranty to see if they cover key replacement costs. If not, there are other ways to save money and avoid high costs.
Lost or Stolen Keys
Losing your keys is a stressful experience. Not only do you lose the key to your car, but usually you also have a bunch of other keys on the same key ring including those for the house and your office or workplace. Fortunately, whether it is lost or stolen, most Car Key Replacement DC will be able to help you get a new one quickly and easily. It will depend on the kind of key you have, though, and the cost, how quickly you want it replaced, and whether or not your insurance policy covers it.
If you have a standard turn-key type of ignition, a locksmith is probably your best option for replacing the key. They’re generally cheaper than a car dealership and will be able to create the key you need without having the original. If you have a smart key or fob that’s been stolen, you may need to contact your car dealer and provide proof of ownership before they can make you a new key that will work with your vehicle.
If your car is from the last 20 years, chances are it has a transponder chip in it. These chips send a signal that your car’s computer recognizes, and it will only start your car when the right signal is received. This is a very effective anti-theft measure and makes sure that only you can drive your car.
Most locksmiths can duplicate transponder keys, but for the encrypted ones they’ll need to use a special tool. They also don’t work with all cars. Some brands like Chevy and Ford have a process that allows owners to program their own transponder keys, so you don’t need to call a professional.
In these cases, a professional can still make you a new key by copying your existing one. They can also make you a remote key or proximity key, which has an extra layer of security. A locksmith can do this for a fraction of the cost you would pay at a dealership.
Lost or Damaged Keys
When you lose your key, it is a good idea to call for roadside assistance to get it replaced as soon as possible. If you have a traditional, non-transponder key, it can usually be replaced quickly and inexpensively. It will also be covered by most roadside assistance plans.
If your key has a transponder chip in it, you may have to wait longer for a replacement. The dealer will have to order a new one and program it to your car, which can take some time. You can try to save some money by ordering a replacement key from an online dealer or locksmith. Just make sure the key is the same as your original before buying it.
If your key fob has stopped working, it may just need to be reset. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do this. Depending on the manufacturer, it may require opening and closing doors or pressing a sequence of buttons like a code.
Many cars use remote keyless entry systems that barely resemble traditional keys. If these key fobs get damaged, the only way to start the car is with a replacement. This can be a costly repair, especially if the car uses a high-end key that needs to be programmed by an auto dealer.
A locksmith is a more cost-effective option than going to the dealership to make a new key. Plus, a locksmith can be more flexible in pricing than a dealership since they don’t have the same overhead costs.
Insurance companies will typically cover lost or stolen keys if the policy has comprehensive coverage. Some warranty programs and roadside assistance add-ons may also pay for a new key. But the best way to determine if these services cover your key replacement cost is to check with your provider. If you have a good car warranty or coverage plan, the company should detail how they handle these claims.