Losing your car keys can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you don’t know if they are temporarily lost or gone forever. At some point you have to accept defeat and replace the keys if you want to use your vehicle. If you don’t have a spare, you’ll have to get an entirely new set of keys made.
Different Types Of Car Keys
There are several types of car keys and each will cost a different amount to replace. They are basic key fobs, transponder keys, laser cut keys, switchblade keys, and keyless entry remotes.
Basic Key Or Key Fob
Standard key fobs will be the least expensive to replace. The cost of replacing a basic key fob will vary based on the vehicle and the car manufacturer. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $110 to replace a basic key.
Transponder keys gained popularity in the 90s. They are just like any other key with one distinction, they have a chip in them that communicates with the vehicle. If the chip is not detected the car will not start even if the key is copied properly without the chip.
Transponder keys are either a laser cut key or a basic key, but have a chip in them that must be programmed to the vehicle otherwise the car will not start. Most locksmiths can program these keys and will cost 20% less than going through a car dealership.
On average, programming and replacing a transponder key will cost $150 to $225 to replace.
Laser Cut Keys
This type of key, as you may have guessed is designed using a laser that edges the key. You can tell you have a laser cut key if your key is thicker than the average key and has a unique sideways carving. Laser cut keys, like transponder keys usually have a transponder chip in them making them expensive to replace.
Usually you won’t find a lock smith that can replicate a laser cut key, which means you must go through a dealership to replace them. This also impacts the price of the key replacement. On average a laser cut key will cost $150 to $300 to replicate.
The switchblade keys are the ones you’ve seen your friends messing around with. They are the keys that fold into the key fob but pop back out with the click of a button. You can replace these keys for $150 to $350 depending on the make of your car.
Keyless Entry Remotes
The keyless entry keys are the most expensive that you can get. These are the remotes that allow you to enter the vehicle and start it while the key remains in your bag or pocket. These vehicles don’t have a key ignition they have what is commonly known as push to start.
These smart keys use a security feature that makes it difficult for hackers to replicate the code and start the vehicle. The computer of the vehicle recognizes the coded message transmitted by the key and starts the vehicle.
The cost of replacing a keyless entry remote will cost you somewhere between $250 and $600. The luxury brands tend to be the most expensive replacement options.
How Much Does Replacing A Car Key Cost?
Replacing a car key will cost anywhere from $50 to $600 to replace depending on what type of key you have and where you go to have the key replaced. Basic keys will be the least expensive, where as keyless entry remote can be extremely expensive to replace especially if you have a luxury brand vehicle.
How To Get A Key Replacement
The best places to get a car key replaced include a locksmith, dealership or hardware store. Dealerships will be the most expensive especially if it is a luxury dealership. You can also get your keys replaced at AutoZone which is an inexpensive option.
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Car repairs can be absurdly expensive, and you can expect those unexpected repairs before too long no matter what vehicle you drive. Car repairs are an unfortunate part of owning and operating a vehicle. Eventually something is going to break and wow can it be expensive to replace and repair these parts.
If you have to replace the engine block it could cost you more than $10,000 depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Most people don’t have a spare ten grand lying around in their bank accounts, or even an extra $2,500 if their transmission blows.
The cost of repairs will depend on your vehicle, but it can cost you thousands of dollars to make repairs to components like the transmission and suspension, which is money most Americans don’t have.
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