Quick Answers to Your Questions About Automotive Keys

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Most of us have already had this frustrating experience: Breaking our car keys, or worse, losing our car keys!

The worst is when this happens and your vehicle is crammed with electronics intended to reinforce security and prevent theft. In this case, the task becomes more complicated because unless you get a new key programmed for your vehicle, you will not be able to unlock it, let alone start it.

Fortunately, most cars don’t carry so much technology.


Here is a list of questions that you most likely ask yourself about replacing your car key or remote control:

I have lost or broken my car key, what should I do?

Lost, stolen or broken car keys are easily replaced by an auto locksmith or your usual dealer/mechanic. Used to this kind of situation, they will know how to create and program a new car key.

Obviously, the cost of replacement depends entirely on the type of key and especially on the type of vehicle. If you have an old vehicle with a basic key (without remote control), the cost will be minimal. On the other hand, if your vehicle is equipped with the latest security system and an ultra-sophisticated box, you will therefore pay more.

Can I program a new remote control myself?

It all depends on your vehicle.

Some keys can be reprogrammed very easily while others are very difficult to redo and therefore require the services of a professional, an automobile locksmith.

I just broke my car key. I am in a hurry. Who should I contact to replace it?

You should first go to your dealership or an automobile locksmith.

Depending on the type of key and vehicle, you can leave with your new key within an hour, unless it is very specific or requires items that are not immediately available.

To get immediate help with your broken car key in Phoenix, AZ, call us.

How do I know if my car has an immobilizer security chip?

Show your key to a mechanic, dealer, or auto locksmith to find out if your key has a transponder chip. The specificity of this chip is that it allows a high level of security: if the chip is not present, your car will open (doors and trunks) but will not start.

A good way to detect the presence of a chip on your vehicle is to examine the key casing. Is it a simple key, or a box that seems more evolved?

What if my new key does not work?

Chip keys must be programmed before they are able to start your car.

The first step is to cut the key, and the second, to program it so that it only allows you to open and start your car.

How can I find an automotive locksmith in my area?

You can find an auto locksmith in the yellow pages or any other site that connects you with auto-lock professionals. Or you can call us directly. We provide automotive locksmith services in Phoenix, AZ.

Why can’t I program a new key myself if I already have a working key?

One of the reasons that do not allow you to reprogram your key is that you must necessarily have 2 working keys to activate the vehicle’s programming mode and therefore be able to program the 3rd key. If you only have one key that works, only a car dealership, garage, or car locksmith can program a 2nd key for you.

Why does the dealership or auto mechanic ask me for the vehicle papers before reprogramming my key?

For obvious security reasons.

Imagine if everyone could remake car keys so easily, you will also need to have a valid identity document and the gray card that certifies that you really own the vehicle. If you are having your car key remade online, you will need to prove that the delivery address and the vehicle owner’s address are the same before you can order.

All this, of course, with the sole aim of preventing abuse and ensuring everyone’s safety.

How do I know if my vehicle has a keyless entry system?

If you have or had a remote control key, then this is a keyless entry system. If your vehicle can only be opened with a mechanical key (this is often the case on older vehicles), your vehicle does not have a keyless entry system.

How can I be sure that I received the correct remote control for my car?

It’s simple. Normally you can match the serial number on the back of the remote ET in your dashboard if you have one advanced enough to display this kind of information.

Are aftermarket keys and remote controls original or aftermarket products?

Unless you order your key directly from the dealership that sold you the vehicle, most transponder chip keys are only “aftermarket” keys unless otherwise specified. In principle, all other input system components of a vehicle are supplied by the dealer and are therefore original.

I replaced the battery in my car remote control, but it still does not work. What do I do?

If you have changed the battery or the battery in your car remote control and it still does not allow you to start or open your vehicle, the remote control must be replaced entirely.

If I replace my broken car key, do I get a warranty on the new remote?

It all depends on where you order it! If you order your new car key online, we recommend that you at least ensure that the key is guaranteed until final delivery. Because modern electronic components are very fragile, it is very easy to damage your remote control during delivery.

In Summary

Changing a broken car key is easy unless your key contains an immobilizer security chip. In the latter case, you will need to hire a professional auto locksmith.

Keep in mind that the simplicity of the process varies in different cases. And the availability of information on how to “do it yourself” varies depending on the type of key and the type of vehicle you have.

In most cases, and unless you are driving a Ferrari, a simple visit to a dealership or an automobile locksmith will allow you to leave with your new key in less than an hour.