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|TrustDale Tip of the Day: *Car Key Replacement and Safety Tips|
It is expensive to replace the car key for newer model vehicles. Some dealerships charge $200 and up to replace a key. The expense is not from cutting the key, which only costs a dollar or two in time and parts, but from programming the electronic chip in the key. If you have a perfectly cut key without the programming for the chip, you can put it in the ignition and turn the key, but the car's engine will not start.
A more economical option is to buy your replacement car keys from a locksmith. They have the same key programmer as the dealership, but will charge up to half the price to replace your key. As with a car dealership, the most important part of getting your car key replaced is making sure the chip inside the key is programmed properly. Make sure you test your key several times before leaving the locksmith or as soon as you get home with your new key. Call the locksmith immediately if you have any problems unlocking the door or starting the car. If the car does not start, it may mean there was a problem with the programming or even the cutting of the key and you will need to get the replacement key replaced as soon as possible.
Make sure you buy your replacement key from a reputable dealership or locksmith. Ordering a programmed replacement car key online is possible, and can be up to half the price of a locksmith, but do your research. Check online reviews of the company from where you are purchasing your keys. An important part of programming the chip in your key is giving the make, model, and VIN number of the vehicle to the person programming your keys. Verify the locksmith company before you give information to program the keys for your vehicle or you may find yourself without a key and without a vehicle.