Losing your car key can be a hassle. It can also be expensive if you need to replace it at the dealer.
A comprehensive Car Key Replacement DC program can save you money by covering lost, stolen, or damaged keys and remote transponders for just a few dollars a month. These programs also often include other benefits like roadside assistance services and rental discounts.
Most of us have a spare key that we keep hidden. This is convenient if we accidentally lock ourselves out or need to give someone access quickly. It is also a great way to make it look like your house is occupied while you are on vacation, reducing the chance of burglaries.
Having duplicate keys also makes it easier to track who is entering your home and when. This is important for homeowners that share a property with their partner or other people. It can save them from arguments over who is coming in and going out and who has access to their car.
Many people assume that keys with “do not duplicate” written on them cannot be copied. While some chain hardware stores may refuse to duplicate these types of keys, locksmiths usually do not have this policy. In fact, most keys with this type of writing can be duplicated if they are cut using the correct tool and technique.
Many cars made since the late 80s have transponder chips in them that prevent the car from starting unless the key is within proximity to it. This has reduced car thefts dramatically. However, car thieves have evolved and found ways around it including ‘hot wiring’.
A locksmith can make a transponder key and program it into your car’s system. This is done using specialized equipment that most car dealerships have.
The microchip in the key has a digital serial number that matches up to the one in the car’s receiver. When the key is in range of the receiver, it transmits a low-level signal to it that contains information about the chip’s identity. The receiver then sends the same information back to the key, enabling it to turn your car’s engine on. This type of key is more expensive than non-transponder keys, but the security benefits outweigh the extra cost. There are also simpler types of chip keys called VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System) keys.
Many new cars come equipped with key fobs that are able to unlock and start the car without the need for a mechanical metal key. However, it’s not uncommon for these key fobs to stop working.
Fortunately, most are fairly simple to fix yourself. Firstly, check the battery. It will likely be dead, and replacing it should restore functionality. You can also look at the internal connections and buttons for signs of wear. If they feel loose or broken, carefully soldering them back in place can often get your remote fob to work again.
If you do need to replace a fob, it’s best to go through your local locksmith instead of the car dealership, as they can reprogram it at a much lower cost. You can even get them to install a Faraday pouch, which blocks the signals used by thieves to hack or clone your fob. This can keep your car from being hacked or stolen even if you lose your keys.
Rekeying is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to limit who has access to your home. It involves changing the pins inside a lock so that it will accept a different key. It’s also a great option for new homeowners who want to limit the number of keys they carry. A rekeying kit allows you to do this yourself, although a professional may be more comfortable.
Door knobs, door levers, and deadbolts with keyed locks usually have a cylindrical plug that holds several pins. When a key is inserted, it forces the driver pins up and down at varying heights. Rekeying changes the depth of these pins so that the lock will only open with a key of the right shape.
You’ll need to remove the cylinder plug, which is held in place with a C-shaped clip or nut. A rekeying kit normally includes a tool for removing the clip or nut. You’ll then need to dump out the old pins and insert new ones.