As cars have gotten more technologically advanced, so have their keys. While newer car keys offer convenient features, they are also more expensive to replace. Depending on the model and year of your car, replacing a lost key might require several steps and several hundred dollars. Here is an overview of the most common types of car keys and the steps you should take if you misplace them.
Traditional car keys are all-metal keys that work mechanically. This means the car owner must physically insert the key into the car door and ignition cylinder to unlock and start up the car. Replacing a traditional car key is relatively easy. All you need to do is call a locksmith who can come and make you a new key on the spot.
Switchblade keys combine key fobs and traditional car keys into a single unit. These types of keys are much more expensive to replace, costing an average of $125-$200 depending on the car. To replace switchblade keys, you should go to an auto dealership where the key can be cut and programmed for you.
Transponder keys are special keys that have a plastic head embedded with a computer chip. When you stick the key in the ignition, the car recognizes the chip and allows the vehicle to start. If you lose your transponder key, then you need to have your car towed to the dealership and provide them with ownership papers before you are allowed to purchase a new key. Aside from towing expenses, a replacement key will cost $200-$250.
Also known as “keyless ignition,” smart keys go with vehicles that have a start button rather than an ignition cylinder. Proximity sensors in the vehicle allow the car owner to unlock and start the car when the smart key is nearby. If you lose your smart key, then you will have to tow your car to the dealership and purchase a new key. Smart keys are the most expensive keys out there are they can cost you over $320 to replace.
Here is an overview of the most common types of car keys and the steps you should take if you misplace them. Do you have other questions about your car, such as inquiries about auto insurance? If so, then contact the experts at Mike Leonard Insurance Agency. Our dedicated team is eager to find you the right coverage from one of our many carriers including: Kemper, MetLife, Nationwide, Travelers, The Hartford, Safeco Insurance, Progressive, and American Strategic Insurance.