What to do when transponder key is lost
Anytime a key is lost; emotions go through the proverbial roof! This is especially true for car keys. A thousand questions go through your head, some of them all at once. What if someone finds my key; what then? Where did I last see it? Was I careless or am I the subject of a crime? Will someone steal my car? How much will this cost me? Then the realization hits you; it wasn’t just a car key; it was a transponder key! Now, your “problem” just got worse; or did it? The very reason that lost transponder keys are a headache is why they are so successful; they are hard to duplicated and expensive to program and copy.
Have you lost your transponder key?
It’s not hard to do. You set your keys down and when you return for them; they are not there. Often, these keys are just misplaced but sometimes, they can be stolen, mistakenly picked up by others, and even dropped by children and pets into gutters, and toilets, etc.! Here at Locksmith Douglasville we deal with lost and missing transponder keys on a regular basis. We know the best ways to get new keys and what you should or should not do when yours are missing. If you don’t live here in the Douglasville, GA region, we still offer good advice on what to do in your home town.
How can I tell if my car keys are transponder or not?
How old is your car? Are you driving a vintage 57 Chevy? If so, you don’t have to be concerned about transponder keys. If your car is newer, say 1995 or beyond, there’s a good chance your keys are of the transponder variety. This is not a bad thing. Since transponders have become mainstream car theft has rapidly declined. This is because it’s no longer easy to steal someone’s car key, have it duplicated and then steal the car. Have you ever taken a shed key or a padlock key to a local mail center or home improvement store that makes keys? The clerk there can turn out a new key for you in mere minutes and at a tiny cost, too. In fact, most gas stations, convenience stores and mail centers offer this service. As you can see, key duplicating is easy, fast and very inexpensive; unless that key is a transponder chip key!
Why transponders are a big deal
The word transponder means to transmit. Your key is in actuality a transmitter of sorts. It has a chip embedded in its head that is programmed to match your car’s onboard computer. No other key has that chip and if a different key is used, the car will simply not recognize the signal and the car will not start. If duplicating transponder keys were an affordable task and easy to do, there would be no point in having them. Only designated car dealerships and full service automotive locksmith shops can make a transponder key duplicate and program them to match your car. The car dealer way is time consuming, expensive and usually requires the added cost and hassle of using a tow truck to get your car to the service shop.
Lost transponder keys
There are some little known alternatives to getting a new transponder key. Some people try and order a new one online. They hope to save money and time by doing so. Sadly, these keys never work correctly or for very long. It’s one of life’s most basic rules; don’t take short cuts. These online transponder keys have another problem; no refunds. The companies touting these worthless keys offer full refunds if they don’t work; but in almost all cases, the refund boast is never honored. Time, money and nerves are now spent when a legitimate transponder key could have been made in as little as a day.
Car dealers and auto repair shops
Getting a transponder key made can be a time consuming and very expensive task. The most common method of having this done is to work with a local car dealership. You’ll have to tow your car into them and spend quite a sum having your new key made and programmed. This monopoly is the standard way but not the only way to get a new, working transponder key. Now, for the smart alternative; your locksmith!
Get your new transponder key this way
You can use our licensed, bonded and insured locksmith shop or one of your choosing in your neighborhood. Just make sure that they are full service and offer affordable prices and mobile service. It always helps to have a locksmith shop that offers responsive, 24-hour service in case you need your new transponder key in a hurry. You not only get the advantage of money savings and no tow fees, but you can also enjoy added convenience by having your lock technicians come to you. No long dealership service waits and no tow fees! What could be better? Check to make sure that your locksmith offers free price quotes and if you consider the savings good enough; why not get a spare transponder key made for safekeeping?
Will any locksmith do?
Don’t assume that any locksmith will be able to make and program transponder keys; many will not. Your basic technician that can change door knobs and install a simple deadbolt may not have the training, experience or authorization to duplicate and program a transponder key for you. Be sure to ask lots of questions about experience, licensing, price and service hours to make sure that your technicians can in fact do this. Using the right locksmith to make your new transponder key can also afford you the luxury of having a spare key made. Keep this key in a safe place, give it to a friend or co-worker, or just hide it in case you lose or break your present transponder key. Sometimes, keys are dropped or handled roughly and the embedded chip falls out; having a spare can really come in handy!