How much does it cost to replace a car key without the original?

Replacing a car key is no longer a quick and inexpensive trip to the hardware store since keys have gone high tech. Most ignition keys now have a transponder that electronically communicates with the vehicle to prevent theft. The vehicle won’t start if the key isn’t programmed to the system which also includes a separate or integrated fob with buttons for locking and unlocking the doors.

If you lose your key or remote you can expect a dealer replacement and programming to cost $300 or more, depending on the vehicle and the key’s design. If you don’t need a new key right away, one way to save is to buy a replacement over the Internet., is one of the several sites that advertise keys at discounted prices and offers technical support for free.

There are vehicles that are on board programmable which means, you can program a new remote yourself by simply following a programming procedure but if the vehicle is not on board programmable then having the key cut/remote programmed by a locksmith would be necessary.

Another common issue with fobs is when the but­tons stopped working but the key still starts the car. First try replacing the fob’s battery. Once you have a new battery just look for a small screw or a slot along the fob’s seam where it can be pried open to access the battery. Make a note of any identifying numbers and take the old battery with you to the store. I replacing the battery didn’t help then you may need to get a new fob.

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