Replacing a lost or worn automobile key can be a time-consuming and aggravating task. Sometimes the key is broken, and other times it is deformed or worn to the point that it no longer functions correctly.
Losing a key is extremely aggravating since the owner is constantly concerned that while obtaining a replacement key, the original key may be discovered somewhere visible, such as the pocket of a garment in which it was lost. Whatever the cause, the key is required to operate the vehicle, hence every vehicle must have at least one extra key.
Search for the lost car key
Our lives are filled with surprises, not all of which are great. For example, the keys could be lost in another city or even another country, while the second duplicate is at home, where there is no chance or time to return. In this case, you must examine the following factors.
The most important thing to remember is to never, ever panic. You must recall the locations where the car key may have dropped and carefully investigate the complete path you took; alternatively, you may have put it in another jacket or pants and forgotten about it. If the search results are ineffective, you can seek assistance from the information service or corporate management, the mall, or the hotel you were staying in. They have the ability to make a statement, and if the keys are located, they will undoubtedly return them to the owner.
Write an ad on the internet or on a social network
You should create a lost keys ad that includes precise information on the make and model of the car, the day and time you believe the keys were lost, and the exact location. This may not yield the intended results, or the search may take a long time, but it is worth a shot. If the keys are returned, you owe it to that person to express your gratitude.
Recovering car keys that are not equipped with a chip
There are numerous ways to recover such keys. Everything is dependent on how the vehicle was purchased and sold:
- car dealers;
- second-hand market.
- Car bought at a dealership
If you bought the car from an authorized dealer, you must call and report any problems. A duplicate key will be chosen at the dealership, however the following vehicle information must be provided:
- year of purchase;
- VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
Most of the time, the VIN suffices. Otherwise, the situation will become problematic, especially if the VIN is printed on the engine compartment board or on the front doors in the cabin.
You will need to hire a car towing firm to transport the vehicle to a dealer. However, you must have paperwork to prove that the servicing customer is, in fact, the owner of the car. Representatives will create a duplicate key in the center. However, it will be costly, and the owner of the car will be responsible for all charges.
What if you lose the key to a car bought from the second-hand market?
If the vehicle was purchased used and there is no replacement key, you will need to seek the assistance of an experienced locksmith to access the vehicle. Such companies’ specialists crack locks of any complexity without difficulty and in a short period of time.
You might also call a company that makes duplicate automobile keys. This approach has several advantages. When compared to getting the keys from a dealer, this method is faster and less expensive.
Recovering a car key with a chip
Losing a key with a built-in microchip that is linked to the car’s immobilizer is a more serious issue than the previous ones. In this instance, making a clone without a chip will not assist. Only opening the door will work, however starting the car will not. There are, however, no hopeless situations.
What is a chip key?
The electronic key has a particular chip with a unique code. When it is turned on, a signal is read from it and the data is sent to the ECU. Only then will the engine be able to start. If the signal is not received or sent, the immobilizer disables the machine’s primary systems and simply does not start or stop.
The chip keys’ ends are more substantial, and some have buttons. The lack of buttons does not imply that the key lacks a chip. To check for its presence, wrap the head of the automobile wrench with foil (in multiple layers) and try to start the engine. If it does not start, the key contains a chip.
A lost key containing a chip should be recovered through an authorized dealer. When purchasing a vehicle, the owner is given a specific card including radio and immobilizer numbers. If not, you must contact a towing firm and have the vehicle transported to a car dealer. It is best not to lose the card with codes since recovering data from the immobilization code is an expensive and time-consuming procedure (from a few weeks to a month).
Is it possible to recover the lost key without contacting the dealer?
A few years ago, the chip could only be produced by a car dealer. Companies that have specific programs that can be used to select codes for practically any immobilizer can now recover a lost key with a microchip.
The following operations comprise the recovery procedure:
- adaptation of new keys to car electronics;
- removing the data of the previous key from the system;
- recoding the immobilizer;
- resetting of immobilization errors.
In many circumstances, the coding can be done on the spot, but in some cases, the vehicle must be delivered to a service center. Labor costs vary depending on a variety of circumstances, but it is far less expensive and much faster than working with a dealer.
Many cars utilize keyless entry and keyless go technologies, which normally do not resemble real keys but offer more reliability. If one of these devices fails or is lost, a new car key must be ordered.
They are not expensive to purchase online, but buying through distribution is a safer bet. You may even program specific keys from home. Others require skilled programming.
In certain circumstances, the key is programmed to manufacturing and then sent to the buyer, however this is only true for a few of the world’s leading manufacturers. Security is critical; replacing the car card can be costly, so be prepared.