I think we’re all the same. When we do something every day, we take it for granted how much we know. However recently, we’ve talked to several people that asked the most basic of questions, simply because they just didn’t know. So, here’s a simple guide to replacing lost car keys.
We’re simply going to repeat the questions we’ve been asked about replacing lost car keys. When people find us online, they want us to help them. Most of the time we have to say no because we’re too far away, but here are some answers to help you understand a bit more.
Replacing lost car keys 101
Can you post a car key to me?
No. There are lots of reasons for this
- To know the shape of your car key, we need something called a ‘Key Number’ or ‘Key Code’. With some manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot, this is available from a database. If we ask nicely, with the correct documents, we can get this. However, with makes such as Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda and Ford, the key code is either not available or they will not release it. This means that replacing lost car keys can only be done by ordering from a dealer (the key comes pre-cut), or using a local Car Key Man. So, no, we cannot simply post a car key to you.
- We don’t know who you are. Even if we could post a key out, any professional Auto Locksmith should be thinking about security. If we could order a key online, what stops a criminal ordering a key to your car?
- The key has a chip in. This chip is the same as the one that’s inside your cat or dog. It is recognised by the car every time you start the car. However, when it’s new, it needs introducing with a computer, a bit like a handshake. Therefore, if you order a key online, it will not start the car.
Do I have to have a chip in the key?
Yes, you don’t have a choice. When the car was made in the factory, it was designed so that it needed to see a chip before it would start. This is to prevent the car being ‘Hot Wired’, like in the olden days. So, when replacing lost car keys, you must have a chip, sorry!
Can the immobiliser removed?
We never say never, because there will be a way of doing it, (such as when it’s a track car for racing). However, for general everyday use, no, the immobiliser cannot be removed.
Can I buy a car key from eBay or Amazon?
I wish I had a pound for every time we’ve been asked this. When you buy a key from the dealer, or an Auto Locksmith expert, it is selected by the number plate. There will only be one type of remote key for the car and it will have a part number. Only this part number will have the correct electronics to match up to the car.
So, for instance, if you have a Peugeot 207, there will only be one remote that will programme up correctly. However, the average eBay or Amazon advert will list a key correct for a 107, 207, 208, 307, 308 etc. Obviously, this cannot be correct, however every week, customers bring in their ‘bargains’ when replacing lost car keys, only to find they won’t work.
On top of this, there is a simple scam that you must watch out for when replacing lost car keys. If a listing reads ‘Ford Remote key New Blade’ then this can be read as the whole key is brand new. However, the seller has correctly stated that only the blade is new, and the rest of the key could be new, or second-hand.
If it’s ever been programmed up to another car, it will not programme to yours (unless it’s an early Ford car). So be very careful buying car keys online. As the listing states, it is the buyer’s responsibility that the key is correct for your car, not the sellers!
So, no, we don’t usually advise a key from eBay. For a more in-depth read, click here.
Why are car keys so expensive?
There are lots of reasons why car keys cost so much. To find out in detail, click here.
Do you need the car when replacing lost car keys?
Remember about the handshake between the car and the new key? At some point, someone with a fancy, expensive computer is going to need to plug into it. So that means either it goes to the dealer, or a local Car Key Man comes to you (Other brands of Auto- Locksmith are available). So yes, the car is needed when replacing lost car keys.
Do I need the Logbook or any other ID to order a key?
If you order a key from the dealer then yes. even if your ID is locked in the car, or you lost the keys the day after you buy it and don’t have a logbook. In most cases, the dealer will make you wait. You may find that a local Auto Locksmith will try and take a more understanding and sensible approach, but this depend upon who you are dealing with.
If I pay a deposit, and then find my old keys before it arrives, can I have my money back?
This is a bit like paying for a meal to be cooked up especially and then changing your mind and wanting money back. The ingredients have been mixed, the chef has spent time preparing the food. Replacing lost car keys is much the same. A special key has been cut to your car, codes have been ordered and it cannot be used on another car. So, no, you can’t have your money back.
However, we’ve heard stories of dealers taking longer than usual for a key to arrive from the factory, sometimes 4-6 weeks or more. If this is longer than is promised and you find your old key, you may have grounds.
and finally, …
My car keys were stolen. Do I have to get all the locks changed?
This is a whole new subject for discussion. It’s different to when you just lose a key and so we’ve put together this handy guide. Click here to find out more and keep those car keys safe, wherever you are.