There are a wide range of options for replacing your car key, most of which are not carried by your local automotive locksmith or car dealership. Whilst a traditional manual key with no electronic parts retails around $10 to $60, electronic keys are significantly more expensive and cost upwards of $200-500. The cost of a car key replacement is highly dependent on make, model and most importantly, year. The newer a car key is, the more advanced the anti-theft technology.
Types of Car Keys
Before delving into the cost specifics of car key replacement, it’s essential to understand the different types of car keys currently in use. These keys range from the traditional models used in older cars to the sophisticated smart keys employed in most modern vehicles. The type of car key you have plays a significant role in determining the cost of replacement.
Here’s a closer look at the various kinds of car keys:
Traditional Keys: These are the simplest and cheapest to replace. They are the old-style keys used in older cars and have no security features. These can be typically seen as a key blade with a small plastic holder.
Transponder Keys: These keys contain a small chip that communicates with your car’s ignition. The chip sends a unique signal to the ignition when you try to start the car. If the signal doesn’t match, the car won’t start.
Key Fobs/Remote Keys: Modern cars often come with key fobs, also known as remote keys. These not only start your car but can also unlock doors, open the trunk, and sometimes even start the car remotely.
Smart Keys: These are the latest advancement in car key technology. Smart keys allow keyless entry and ignition, meaning you only need to have the key in your pocket to unlock and start the car.
Replacement Car Key Cases
If the functionality of your car key is intact, but its plastic shell is damaged or worn out, a replacement car key case might be the perfect solution. This is a simple and cost-effective alternative to a full key replacement, especially for keys with advanced features like remote controls and smart keys.
A car key case is essentially the plastic shell that houses the key’s electronic components, such as its transmitter chip and battery. By purchasing a replacement case, you can swap the electronic internals of your current, damaged key into the new case.
First, ensure that the new key case is a match for your existing car key model. This ensures that your existing components will fit properly into the new shell. Then, carefully transfer the electronic circuit board from the old, broken key case to the new one. This process typically does not require professional assistance and can be done with basic household tools, saving you time and money.
By opting for a replacement car key case, you can extend the life of your car key without shelling out for a complete replacement. It’s an economical solution that keeps the convenience of your key’s advanced features intact.
We stock a wide range of Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Volkswagon, Honda, Mazda and other top replacement car key cases on our website. A replacement car key case costs $10-35 and is designed to save you money for a simple DIY job. Click here to see the full range.
Replacement Car Key Remotes
In the unfortunate event of losing your car key or having it stolen, a replacement car key remote is an ideal solution. It’s also a useful option if you’re looking to have an additional key or remote for your vehicle. These replacements come with electronics and transponders pre-installed, which are ready to be programmed to match your car’s security system.
Replacement car key remotes are essentially like blank canvases. They are designed to learn and mimic the unique signal of your specific vehicle once they’re programmed. This process establishes a secure connection between your car and the new key, allowing it to lock, unlock, and start your vehicle just like the original.
While programming a stand-alone remote can often be a DIY task, most keys — especially those with transponder chips — will need the expertise of a professional locksmith. This is because the process requires specialized equipment to communicate with your car’s computer system. Locksmiths are also equipped to cut the key blade, ensuring it fits perfectly into your ignition.
Opting for a replacement car key remote is a convenient and efficient way of restoring access to your vehicle. It offers you peace of mind, knowing you can replace or add to your set of keys as and when needed.
We stock a wide range of complete car keys from top Australian automoticve manufacturers. A replacement car key case costs $10-35 and is designed to save you money for a simple DIY job. Click here to see the full range.
Car Key Blank
Car key blanks are essentially uncut versions of your vehicle’s key. They represent the first step in creating a replacement key, providing the raw material that will eventually be cut into the precise shape needed to fit your vehicle’s ignition.
The blank key is made of sturdy metal and often comes with a small plastic handle for easy use. It is devoid of any cuts or notches — those will be added later based on the unique pattern of your original key or lock. This process is typically performed by a professional locksmith using specialized equipment to ensure the key’s precision.
Blank keys also come in various types to match the different kinds of car keys. For instance, there are transponder key blanks that include a transponder chip. Once the key is cut, this chip will need to be programmed to match your vehicle’s ignition system.
Purchasing a car key blank can be a cost-effective solution, particularly if you’re looking to have an extra key on hand. However, remember that a blank key will need to be properly cut and, in some cases, programmed before it can be used with your vehicle. This might require a trip to your local locksmith or automotive specialist. However, we sell a wide range of car key blade blanks on our website.