Human beings tend to lose the most important stuff in the silliest and the most unusual ways. You buy a bunch of hair bands, and by the end of the week, no matter how careful you were with them, you shall only be left with a few. The same holds true for other things like car keys as well. It is quite fascinating how our car keys end up in the cupboard or under the sofa despite putting them safely inside the pockets of our coat. Losing things that we need the most is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of all time.
That said, in today’s article, we shall discuss everything that you need to know about car key replacements so that you need not break your head in case you find yourself locked out of your car or lose your keys in the strangest of ways.
The Need for Car Key Replacement Services:
As we mentioned earlier in the article, we tend to lose the most important stuff in unfathomable ways, and car keys happen to be one of those things. Up until the 1980s, when technology had not yet advanced in leaps and bounds, losing your keys would not be much of a challenge. You could seek the services of any locksmith easily and get your keys replaced. In fact, to make things easier, you could even walk up to your car dealer and ask for a replacement. However, on the flip side, since keys could be easily replaced and remade back then, it also increased the chances of car thefts. As days bled into years, technology progressed in leaps and bounds, and car key technology evolved. Getting your hands on replacement keys became quite challenging, and though that reduced the number of car thefts, it caused some problems for those who lost their keys or found themselves locked out of their car.
This is where car key replacement services stepped into the picture. Reputed services like Blue Sky Locksmith made it increasingly easy for car owners to unlock their car in adverse circumstances and provided them with smart keys as a replacement to their old ones. Therefore, it is quite important to do research and learn about these car key replacement services so that they can come in handy in demanding situations. That said, let us now move on to learning about a few types of car keys so that we know how car key replacement services can help us unlock our cars.
Car Key Types:
There are several types of car keys, and having an idea about each of these types can help you decide better on calling the replacement services.
The name itself suggests what kind of keys these are. The basic car keys look something like your house keys and are not equipped with smart features. Auto locksmiths neither have to work hard to make a duplicate copy of these keys nor have to use additional pieces of equipment to cut the keys. This type of key was much in rage till the 1980s and a few years beyond that. However, as days passed and technology improved, the usage of these keys reduced significantly as better and more technologically-enhanced car keys took their place.
Basic Keys with Fob
Another kind of car key that has been used for a long time is the basic key with a fob. The fob forms an integral and important part of a car key. It is responsible for sending radio signals to the car to unlock it. Therefore, if this part of the key is damaged, it might cost you a lot. This is because the fobs need to be programmed to function in tandem with the car.
Keys with Preinstalled Transponders
The late 1990s saw some more advancements and improvements in car key technology. Car manufacturers installed keys with transponders which brought in more efficiency in locking and unlocking the car. The transponders chips are installed in the plastic head of the car keys. When the key is put into the ignition, it will start only when it receives the right signal from the transponder. This added extra security to the locking and unlocking mechanism and also helped in reducing the number of car thefts.
Car Keys in the Form of Switchblades
The switchblade car key has been quite a rage for many years and is also easy to be replaced. It is made in the form of a switchblade where the key pops out once you press the button. The shank remains hidden when the keys are not being used. Also, it is quite easy to get a replacement for these keys since you do not have to replace the entire unit. This model is a sum of different parts, and you only need to buy the part that is damaged. However, if you have lost the entire key, you have to purchase the shank and the fob, and this can cost you quite a lot.
Laser Cut Car Keys
Replacing a laser-cut key might be costlier than any other type of key because it has a distinctive cutting. Plus, laser key cutters also cost more than basic key cutters. They are also not available at every hardware or locksmith store. Therefore, if you have a laser cut car key, you might want to be more careful with your keys since replacing them can cost a fortune. This type of key also comes with a transponder. This means that the key needs to be programmed to work in tandem with the car for its unlocking and locking mechanism. Laser-cut car keys, like the other types of keys with a transponder chip, reduce the risk of car thefts and are, therefore, quite preferable by car dealers and owners.
The final type of key that is up for discussion is the smart key which is the kind of key that is in use, for the most part, these days. With evolving technology and science making progress in leaps and bounds, our lives have become smarter than ever. From smartwatches to smart homes, everything we use in our lives these days is smart and has made things easy. Therefore, it must not come as a surprise if our car keys run on smart technology too.
Smart keys do not look anything like a key. They are just fobs that you can tuck into your pocket or purse. All you need to do to start the car is to push the button on the fob. The smart key is embedded with codes that have to match with the car’s program once the ignition button is pressed. This adds more security to the car and reduces thefts significantly. Therefore, it is understandable that replacing your smart key will cost you a lot of money, and that it is important that you are careful about your key.
Tips to Keep in Mind before Calling a Car Key Replacement Service:
Now that we have discussed at length the different types of car keys and how they are programmed to function, let us move on to the next section of the article, where we shall talk about a few tips that you must keep in mind before calling a car key replacement service.
Car key replacement services are our saviors. They help us out of tricky car situations when we find ourselves locked out of our car or lose our keys in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, it is important that you know about them and call the right people in times as such. That said, let us now look at the things one must consider before calling such a service.
- Ensure that you have informed the auto locksmith about the make and model of your car. Auto locksmiths can easily make basic car keys and unlock your car in a few minutes. However, if your key is embedded with a transponder, it might take your locksmith some additional details about your car so that they can bring the right pieces of equipment with them.
- Make sure that you are calling an auto locksmith who is licensed and insured. This will ensure that you get quality services and also minimize any kind of complications in the long run.
- You must explain the details of your situation to the locksmith so that they can get the right pieces of equipment with them. Also, make sure that the locksmith who you call serves in the area that you are stranded in so that they can quickly reach the location and help you out of your predicament.
- If you find yourself locked out of your car and do not have a spare key to unlock the car, ensure that you explain the situation to your locksmith so that they know what they must do, thus, saving your time, energy and money.
How to Save Money on Car Key Replacement?
Now that we have furnished you with a few tips that you must keep in your mind before calling an auto locksmith, let us talk about the ways in which you can go about saving your money on the same. Technology has made our lives easy and reduced the number of car thefts. But it has also made it increasingly difficult to walk up to any hardware store to get our keys replaced. And this has made replacing keys a challenging and costly affair. Therefore, it is imperative that we look into some ways to reduce the cost of replacing keys and make the process easy for us.
Choose Auto Locksmiths Over Car Dealers
One of the best ways to reduce the cost of replacing keys is to choose auto locksmiths over car dealers, as this is a much cheaper option. Locksmiths have the right equipment to program the keys and shall charge you lesser than car dealers.
Use Your Car Insurance Claim
Most car owners do not know of this option, but the best you could do to reduce the cost of replacing your keys is to use your car insurance. Some people who do know about this option avoid it because they feel that the process of filing for a claim is quite tedious. However, if you are up for it, you can easily lodge a complaint with your insurance company about your stolen or lost key. They shall cover you for the replacement, if your insurance policy has the clause.
Replacing car keys costs quite some money, and there are no two ways for that. However, knowing what your keys are like, and calling the right professionals for the replacement process can lower the cost of the entire process. Therefore, do your research about auto locksmiths and the kind of car keys, or learn to be more careful with the keys so that you can avoid the entire hassle of replacing the keys.