In late 2021, having a car key replacement may be rather quick, especially if you’re using an experienced professional locksmith. Somewhere, in the mid to late 20 to thirty minute range. This still varies greatly between different vehicles and some can take as much as an hour for a new car key replacement to be installed.
The first thing needed for a car key replacement is the fob itself. If you have a transponder key, you will need the transponder key itself. The FOB (factory installed key) is what actually opens your doors – remember those things about opening cars with your head out the window? Well, the FOB is the key that does that. You can buy a fob separately from the transponder key and it won’t cost much more than the cost of the new key itself.
For a fob, replacement car key replacement is usually done on the same day that you replace your locks. It’s not something you should try to do on your own unless you’ve got a few thousand on-hand refills. Fobs have a locking mechanism that allows you to program pre-programmed emergency codes. Most of these pre-programmed codes are easy to remember by heart, but others require the transponder chip to be erased and then scratched so it can be entered into the machine. The chip itself is also very small – a scratch will render it ineffective and no keys will be able to be inserted.
New keys aren’t hard to come by either. There are lots of sources online for automotive locksmiths and even stores that sell them. Car manufacturers sometimes supply new keys directly to local dealerships with their warranty. Sometimes they’re given as promotional items with certain models. They’re also available at auto parts wholesalers and retail chains.
There are also a few do-it-yourself kits you can buy online. But these are often complicated to use, require specialized tools, and may not get the job done properly. You also shouldn’t depend on do-it-yourself car key replacement services from locksmith firms that specialize in a single make or model. If you need a different make or model, you should probably consider another company to work on your vehicle.
Car locksmiths who specialize in one make of vehicle often carry other types of locks such as cylinder-set, key-operated, or keyless entry locks. A cylinder-set is installed in a cylinder with a key that can be programmed by using special software. It works on any brand or model of vehicle. Key-operated fobs are programmed with personal codes so that only you can open them. Keyless entry locks, meanwhile, use satellites or other means to program user codes. Both cylinder-set and keyless fobs came in a wide variety of sizes and prices.