You've Lost Your Car Keys. What Should You Do Now?

Posted on: 7 April 2020

If you've hunted all around your house for your car keys and can't find them, it's doubtlessly thrown your day into disarray. Thankfully, automotive locksmith services can come to you and replace your car key regardless of what type of key you have — even if you have a newer car that uses keyless entry. When you lose your car keys, read on to find out what you should do.

Look Inside Your Car

After you've searched your home, the next step is to look inside your car. Your key may have fallen out of your pocket while you were getting out of your car, so check near the driver's side seat. If you can spot your key in your car, this is the best-case scenario. You won't even have to replace your key. All you need to do is to call an automotive locksmith to come open your car. When you can't find your key anywhere, however, you'll need to have it replaced.

Get a Replacement Car Key

The process of replacing your car key depends on what type of key you have.

Traditional Key

If your car is very old, you likely have a traditional key. These work exactly like your house key — an automotive locksmith can simply cut you a new one that fits your car doors and your ignition. However, you may want to have your doors and your ignition rekeyed just in case someone has your old car key. This prevents them from using it to steal your car.

Transponder Key

Starting in the mid-90s, however, car manufacturers moved to a transponder key system. These keys have plastic housing at the head of the key, and the housing contains a transponder chip. The chip communicates with your car's ignition system, which provides an extra layer of security. Only a key that has the unique code on your transponder chip will be able to start your car.

In order to replace a transponder key, an automotive locksmith will need to create a new one and then reprogram your car's computer so that it accepts the code on the new transponder chip. The added work makes replacing this type of key a bit more expensive. However, it also automatically rekeys your car — your car's computer won't accept the code on the old transponder chip anymore.

Keyless Entry

Finally, very new cars have keyless entry and ignition systems. Unfortunately, replacing the radio key fob used to enter and start these cars is quite expensive. The process is easy for an automotive locksmith — it simply requires reprogramming the car to accept a new fob — but the replacement fobs themselves cost quite a bit of money due to the complex chips they contain.

Regardless of which type of key you have, an automotive locksmith can replace it for you. It's also less expensive than taking your car to a dealership, and an automotive locksmith will come to your car in order to perform this service for you. In most cases, it only takes around half an hour — you'll be able to regain access to your car and go about your day with minimal delays.

Reach out to a locksmith company like ASAP Mobile Locksmiths for more information.