Lost your Car Keys?
If you’ve lost your car keys replacement will usually need to cover at least two elements – the key blade being cut to the correct configuration and the key’s transponder chip (see here) being programmed (so the vehicle starts).
The third element can be programming of remote locking/unlocking, although this may not be essential to be able to gain entry and drive the vehicle unless it also controls the immobiliser.
If you’ve lost your car key and have no spares, do not despair. Many auto locksmiths and main dealers can cut your car key configuration from the chassis number of your vehicle. You can get the chassis number off your registration document (log book) and also the car itself. You will find plates, usually under the bonnet/hood which display it. The chassis number is also imprinted into the bodywork in certain places (see the car’s handbook). Your registration document may be needed to provide proof of ownership. Some garages may ask for 2 forms of ID.
Do not accept the first quote you are given. Phone around between independent locksmiths and a main dealer. Do not assume that main dealers will always be more expensive.
Always get a firm quote. Any locksmith giving you an estimate is likely not worth dealing with.
Some manufacturers supply a key card with the vehicle when new. This card contains a unique code which is normally concealed below a scratch strip so only the owner of the vehicle should be able to see it. Main dealers and auto locksmiths may require this code so they can program your key’s transponder chip to your vehicle.
Even without this code certain auto locksmiths may be able to get you up and running but it will normally require more jiggery pokery – reprogramming of the transponder receiver unit or ECU in the vehicle.
Lost Keys for Hire/ Rental Car?
First call up the rental company. They will advise what to do and usually have spare keys for it.