Losing your car key can be a major inconvenience and can also be expensive if you’re not careful. The cost of getting a replacement depends on your car, the locksmith, and the location.
First, try to stay calm and retrace your steps. If you lost your key fob, search the area or get in touch with the owners of the place where you last used it.
1. Call the Locksmith
While losing your car keys is very frustrating, you must remain calm. After all, “Calm your mind you must, young Jedi” (as quoted by Master Yoda). Once you have regained control of yourself, you should call your local locksmith. They are able to create replacement car keys quickly and efficiently. However, it is important to remember that not all locksmiths will be able to help you with your lost car key issue. Therefore, you should make sure that you are selecting a trusted and reliable locksmith that has experience with your specific vehicle type.
You may also want to write down your car’s VIN, as this will be necessary in determining what kind of car key you need. It is usually located on your insurance card or car registration document. This information will be needed to order a new car key from the dealership or a locksmith. Also, if you have a smart key or an e-key, you will need this information to program the new key to your car’s immobilizer system.
2. Retract Your Steps
It’s been a long day and all you want to do is get home, change into your comfortable sweats, grab some pizza and binge-watch your favorite show. However, before you can do any of that, you lose your car key! The first thing you should do is try to not panic. It’s easier said than done, but letting your rational brain take over will help you figure out what to do next.
Once you are calm, retrace your steps from where you remember having them. You’ll need to search areas that you usually don’t think of when looking for things, like the refrigerator where you put it down while getting something out of it or in your bag at the restaurant.
Most keys have a code on them to program them into the ignition, so you will need to find this as well if you do not have it on your person. The good news is that most people who lose their car keys eventually find them, so you have a chance to locate yours!
3. Look in the Vehicle
One of the best places to find a lost car key is inside your vehicle. Try to search every area thoroughly. You may have accidentally dropped it somewhere or it might be under the seat. Also, remember that your mind can play tricks on you and make you think it is in a certain spot when it really is not.
If you were at a restaurant or store when you lost your keys, ask workers or customers if they saw them. It is very unlikely that they would have spotted your keys but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Replacing a remote or a fob key can be expensive. It is a good idea to have a spare key made and stored somewhere safe in advance. This will prevent you from being stuck in a sticky situation like this again. Also, it will save you money. The cost of replacing a key can range from $300-$400.
4. Get a Spare Key
If you lose your car key and don’t have a spare, you may be in for a bigger headache. Modern cars have keys that contain a small electronic chip inside them that pairs to the car’s computer. To replace these kinds of keys, you need to go to the dealership. This requires supplying proof of ownership and can take several days.
Before you go to a dealership or automotive locksmith, make sure you have your vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand. This will help them identify which key to make for your specific model.
It is also a good idea to check your roadside assistance or auto insurance policy to see if lost/missing car keys are covered by the service. It is important to do this before you pay for a replacement key, which can cost you a lot of money. This way, you will know what your options are and if any of them can save you money.