Everybody has misplaced an important item at some point in their adult lives. But when that important item is car keys, the situation becomes ten times more problematic. Your keys may not turn up even after a thorough investigation of every inch of your house and a period of peering into your car in case you locked them inside. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to save yourself the time and stress of living without your car keys.
It’s essential to keep a spare set of car keys safely locked away, but not all car owners make the effort to do so, assuming they’ll never lose the original set. There are instances, however, in which they don’t seem to be anywhere, and a spare set would be your saviour. Spare car keys are both useful to have and cheap to get, so consider investing in some in the future.
In the case that you don’t have a spare, you’ll first need to determine the type of key your car comes with. Older models tend to use the same type of key you’d use for your home or workplace, a uniquely cut piece of metal that you put into a keyhole and turn. Others use a strictly remote-control button panel composed mainly of plastic. The third and final type is a mix of the two, a plastic-bodied button panel with the bottom half of a key sticking out of it. Each key type requires a different response.
Losing a traditional key is the best scenario, seeing as you’ll only have to get a new key cut to fit your car door and ignition to solve the problem. Professional locksmiths can come to you and cut you a new key with the lock code on your car in as little as an hour, which is great when it’s an emergency. The whole process typically costs under $300, and if your locks are in good condition, there shouldn’t be any problems. It’s not as cheap as having a backup key, but it shouldn’t empty your pockets completely.
Electronic keys, on the other hand, require a different kind of attention, and they’re much pricier to replace. This is simply because the composition of electronic keys is much more advanced than that of traditional ones. Replacing one lost key isn’t too difficult or expensive, but if you need to replace more than that, head over to your closest dealership and prepare to pay up. A one-key replacement shouldn’t cost you more than $800, while a multi-key replacement can cost a whopping $5,000 if your car is a high-end model. That’s something most people can’t afford on the spot.
Here’s a bit of advice: if you lose one key, replace it as soon as you can. Don’t try to make do without that key; losing more could mean a full set replacement. Visit a locksmith for key duplication services and keep track of your original to save yourself money and trouble. If you’re in doubt or find yourself in an emergency situation, contact your local emergency locksmith!