Freelander Keys Genuine vs eBay/Amazon copy
When you’re looking for Freelander keys, it’s natural to want the best possible price. However, with car keys, you normally get what you pay for. With the Freelander keys, this is especially true and we believe there’s a quality issue with the cheaper version copy key. Read on to find out why, and how we found out.
In the Autumn of 2016, we started to offer postal car key repair.
This was a real eye opener, we learnt a lot about cheap copy keys. We also realised that our customers had no idea that is wasn’t a genuine key when they sent it for repair.
The reason Freelander keys need fixing, is very simple. The battery inside the key is rechargeable, it charges driving along. After about five years, the battery stops charging properly, eventually failing all together.
To compound things, there’s also a problem with the small metal legs that connect the rechargeable battery to the circuit board.
If you want to find out more about how you can fix your own Freelander key, click here
So back to our discovery
We’d been fixing Freelander keys for local customers for years, however, we’d not seen any eBay / Amazon Freelander copy Keys during this time. These are freely available on eBay and Amazon, and look identical to the genuine thing. However, when we looked inside, there’s a big difference that causes them to break much sooner than the genuine key.
Because the Freelander is roughy-toughy, they made the key to match. This means that they expect it to get dropped, thrown, swimming with the fishes and generally rough it.
For this reason, the genuine dealer key has a battery that’s held in place with a plastic support frame. This means that when the key suffers shock from being dropped, the electrical connections are not put under stress that may break them.
However, inside the cheaper copy version, the battery stands on two electrical connectors, there is no plastic support frame. This means the battery legs are more likely to break, causing the key to stop working.
Price comparison genuine vs copy
When you’re looking to buy a replacement key, the total price comprises the key, cutting and coding. The keyfob is the only opportunity to save money. After all, both type of keys take exactly the same time to cut and programme.
A genuine remote from the dealer has a retail price of £145 inc Vat
Now, genuine keys are also available on-line, here’s one we found for £110 inc vat and free postage, coming with a two year warranty. This is a saving of £35 on the dealer.
If you buy a genuine key on-line, make sure you ask whether or not it’s a ‘seconds’ Key. We’re told that any keys that fail quality control, are sold cheap as seconds. We’ve talked to an eBay seller that gets hold of these and sells them.
We know this because a few years ago, a customer came to see us with her own genuine key. It looked fine, although the buttons were not printed red correctly.
Unfortunately, the key would not programme. We’ve programmed hundreds of these without any problem, but we’ve always used keys direct from our local dealer.
The eBay seller insisted the problem was how we’d coded it and wouldn’t refund our customer her money.
She took it to the dealer and they also couldn’t programme the key either. This taught us a valuable lesson about buying genuine keys online.
With all these problems, We’re sure there are plenty of good sellers who sell genuine keys. We also want to be clear that we’re not saying this applies to this item shown and these ‘seconds’ may well be perfectly good keys, but it happened. We’ve programmed hundreds of dealer keys since, with no problem.
Freelander eBay/Amazon Copy Keys
At £43.95 we understand the appeal of copy keys. Let’s face it, if you’re a car salesman, or in the process of getting ready to sell the car, the lack of long-term quality won’t affect you.
However, if you’re keeping the car, we believe the £80 – £100 difference is very short-sighted. You should also know, we’ve no alliances with Land Rover and make the same money if we programme a genuine key or copy key. But we refuse to sell the copy keys, because of the poor quality. Maybe some are better inside, which is great, but we’ll not be taking the chance.
On this occasion, the genuine key comes out on top. They’re not cheap, but we believe you should bite the bullet. In this occasion, EBay/Amazon Keys are cheap for a reason.