Whether you’ve lost your car keys or need a spare set, replacing them might seem like a simple task. However, there are important factors you should be aware of before proceeding. Understanding these key points can save you time, money, and potential headaches. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know before replacing your car keys.

Car Key Types

Modern car keys come in various types, including traditional metal keys, transponder keys, remote key fobs, and keyless entry systems. Identify the type of key your car requires before you proceed with a replacement.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Always have your car’s VIN ready before visiting a locksmith or dealership for key replacement. The VIN is essential for ensuring the new key is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model.

Security Features

Newer cars often come with advanced security features that require special programming for keys. If your car has a transponder or keyless entry system, make sure the replacement key is programmed correctly to avoid issues with starting your car.

Locksmith vs. Dealership

You have two main options for replacing your car keys – using a locksmith in Olympia WA or contacting the car dealership. Locksmiths are often more affordable and can offer faster service, while dealerships may have access to specific codes required for programming advanced keys.

Proof of Ownership

Both locksmiths and dealerships will require proof of ownership before providing a replacement key. Prepare your driver’s license, registration, and other necessary documents to ensure a smooth process.

Key Duplication vs. Key Replacement

In some cases, if you have a working key but need a spare, key duplication might be an option. Key duplication is generally less expensive than full key replacement, so inquire about this possibility before proceeding.

Cost Considerations

The cost of replacing car keys can vary significantly based on factors like key type, security features, and where you go for replacement. Obtain multiple quotes and compare prices before making a decision.

Warranty and Guarantees

Ask the locksmith or dealership about warranties and guarantees on the replacement key. This will protect you from any defects or issues that may arise shortly after replacement.

Keyless Entry Codes

If your car features a keyless entry system, check if the code is available in your car’s owner’s manual or contact the dealership for assistance. This code may be required to program a new remote key fob.

Consider a Spare Set

Instead of waiting until you lose your car keys, consider getting a spare set made in advance. It will save you time and trouble if you find yourself in an emergency situation.