It’s funny how much we rely on cars in our day-to-day lives. Most of us can’t even go to the mall without our cars. It is therefore a very big issue whenever people lose their car keys or break them off in the lock.To complicate things even further, the technology in motor industry sprouted high-tech keys that have chips and are programmable to the car. You can’t just replace lost car keys at the local hardware store and have a duplicate ready in a matter of hours. Today’s car keys may not even have a key in it, just buttons and small orbs that the car detects whenever the set is closer to the vehicle.
The thought of replacing today’s car keys is worth a few hundred dollars or more. However, there are cheaper methods of replacing car keys or adding spare keys just in case. Here are several tips on how you can affordably replace car keys without breaking the bank.
1. Call an Auto Locksmith
As opposed to car dealers, one inexpensive way to duplicate a car key is through locksmiths. It is very easy and all you have to do is provide a few details about your car, and you will get an affordable replacement right away. You can use your vehicle identification number for proof of ownership. This code is located either on the driver’s side door panel or on a stamped metal plate on the driver’s side dashboard. Most locksmiths can come to where your car is and have a look at the locks, something very rare with dealerships.
2. Replace the Batteries
Before you consider purchasing a new car key, always make sure that the key fob doesn’t just need a new pair of batteries. This straightforward option can save you hundreds of dollars and takes lesser time to finish up. If your car is a push-button start, even one dead battery is enough to leave you stranded. Never forget to carry an extra set in the car or at home. Also, be keen on your car warnings especially when the battery is low. Better an early replacement than last minute rushes.
3. Claim on Car Insurance
If you are certain of lost or stolen car keys, file a complaint with the insurance company. Nevertheless, make sure you have carefully read the terms and conditions related to the key lost policy. Several other policies offer cost coverage for obtaining the spare keys. Other parameters within the policies you ought to look out for should be in any car key replacement insurance policy.
4. Purchase from a dealer
Even though most dealers are expensive, sometimes it’s the only option you have. Your keys might have parts that are only available in the dealer or that are only programmable through the dealers. It might look like a long stretch but it is relatively cheaper to talk to your dealer and find out replacement options. Asking other dealers will land you an appointment and most likely charge you service fees before advising on key replacement options.
5. Ask for spare set of car keys
When buying a car, make sure you ask the provider a spare set of car keys. Most of the dealers will gladly provide these services since you just bought the car. In the end, the spare keys might help you whenever you lose your original keys. Also remember to test all the spare keys before leaving the dealer’s premises, or else you may encounter problems using it later.
6. Use GPS devices
If you often forget where you keep your car keys, it is advisable that you consider getting a key locator device. Such devices track the whereabouts of your keys in the office or at home easily. The device will beep whenever you are unable to locate the keys.
Purchasing spare or replacement car keys can go deep into your pocket, but there are inexpensive ways to duplicate a car key if you are willing to go the extra mile. Just don’t wait until it becomes an emergency to get a replacement car key. During such situations, you are more likely to make irrational purchase decisions and more often translate to paying more than expected. Its better safe than sorry!