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Car Key Replacement Services: What to Know Before You Call One

Car Key Replacement

Have you lost your car key and don’t know how to go about getting a replacement? Don’t worry, there are a few things you should know before calling a car key replacement service. First and foremost, make sure you have your car’s VIN ready so that the replacement service can locate your exact car. Next, ask the replacement service how much it will cost to get your key replaced, and what type of payment options they offer. Finally, be sure to ask about any guarantees or warranties the replacement service may offer – you may want to consider signing up for one just in case something goes wrong during the replacement process.

What is a car key replacement service?

A car key replacement service is a great option for people who lose their car keys, or who have them misplaced. A car key replacement service will replace the lost or misplaced car key with a new key. There are many different types of replacement car keys and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of replacement car keys are factory replacements, replicas, sync keys, and smart keys.

Factory replacements are the best type of key because they match the original key exactly. This makes it easy to find your new key in case you lose it, and it eliminates the possibility of accidentally pressing the wrong button on your ignition when trying to start your car. Replicas are slightly less accurate than factory replacements, but they’re still good enough to work most cars. Sync keys are similar to replica keys in that they’re not as accurate as factory replacements, but they allow you to use your existing Bluetooth device to unlock your vehicle. Smart keys are the most technologically advanced type of replacement car key available today. They allow you to use an app on your smartphone to unlock your vehicle instead of using a regular keychain. There are several different apps available for this purpose, so finding one that works with your particular vehicle is relatively easy.

Types of car key replacement services

If your car key is missing or damaged, you’ll need to consider what kind of replacement service to seek. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of replacement services:

Remote Replacement: If your car key is lost or damaged and you can’t get to it to remove the chip, then a remote replacement service may be best for you. They will send a technician to your home or business to replace your car key with a new, electronic keyless remote. This option is usually the least expensive, but it may not be available in certain instances. 

Onsite Service: If you have a car that has a locking cylinder, then onsite service may be the best option for you. With this type of service, someone will come to your home or business and replace your car key with a new fob equipped with a chip. This option tends to be more expensive than remote replacement, but it’s also more secure because there’s no chance of losing the original car key. 

Key Copy/Printing: If you only need a copy of your car key or want to print out multiple keys at once, then key copy/printing services may be perfect for you. These companies will provide you with a digital scan of your original car key along with copies in either color or black and white. You can then use these copies as backups or keep them in case your original gets lost or damaged.

Pros and cons of getting a car key replacement service

If your car key fails to open the vehicle, you may be tempted to take it to an automotive locksmith for repair. However, there are many options available for car key replacement services. Here is a look at the pros and cons of each option:


  • Likely to be cheaper than dealership repairs.
  • Simple procedure if done by a qualified technician.
  • In most cases, will replace the entire car key, not just the lock cylinder.
  • May not have replaced keys in years, so they may not be familiar with newer cars or technologies.
  • May only work on a certain make or model of car.


  • Can’t be done without the original car key. (If you lose your key, you’ll have to get it replaced by the manufacturer.) 
  • complex procedure that requires specific tools and expertise. 
  • Can result in major damage if done incorrectly (the key can break off inside the cylinder, rendering the car immobile). 

How to find a reputable car key replacement service

Do your research to find a reputable car key replacement service. If you have a lost or damaged car key, be sure to contact your local police department and the insurance company that you are registered with. Most garages will not be able to replace your car key. Before you call a car key replacement service, make sure that the company has an accredited certification and is licensed by the state in which they operate. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also rates businesses for their customer satisfaction and ethical practices. To avoid mistakes when getting your car key replaced, keep these tips in mind: 

  • Get a duplicate of your current car key before having it replaced. If the original is lost or damaged, you can use this as a backup. 
  • Be prepared to provide detailed information about your vehicle and its keys (make, model, color). This will help the technician who replaces your keyer precisely match it to your vehicle. 
  • Allow ample time for the installation process; Replacement car keys can take between one and two hours. 
  • Always park in a guarded lot or use secure parking facilities if available to ensure protection against theft while your new ignition lock is being installed.


If your car key has broken and you need to get a new one, it is important to know the things you should do before calling a car key replacement service. By doing some prep work ahead of time, you can ensure that your experience with this type of company is positive and hassle-free. 

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