When you lose your car keys, the first thing most people start to do is panic. Perhaps the only thing worse than losing your only car key is knowing that it was the only key that you had to your car and there was no way to get it started otherwise.
When the only car key that you have is gone forever, you suddenly realize that there is a car sitting in your driveway or parking lot that you cannot use, and now your entire day is going to be disrupted as you have to figure out how to get in touch with a locksmith that can come out to get your car unlocked, as well as get you a new key without an original key to go off of.
On top of all of the inconveniences of losing your only car key is the fact that at this moment you now have to figure out how to pay for a locksmith to make a new key from scratch for you.
Unfortunately, it is typically quite pricey to get a locksmith out and have them create a new key for you that will work to start your car up. Thankfully, you do not have to always go that way and there are a few options that are out there that can help to save you money and time and get you back on the road as quickly as you possibly can so your day can get back to normal as fast as possible.
Unknown to most people, most cars will actually come with a numerical code that you can locate to use that will allow you to skip the cost of needing a locksmith to come out to you. Below are the steps that you need to take that will help you get a new key for your car as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Step 1: Break Out Your Owner’s Manual
The first thing that you need to do is get your owner’s manual! Hopefully, this is either in your car’s glove box or in a safe place in your home. If you do not have the owner’s manual or have long lost it, then locate the original sales invoice when you got the car from the dealership.
Once you have located the owner’s manual, look directly inside of the cover, and locate the key code for the car that you have. Again, if you do not have the owner’s manual, then it should be located on the original sales invoice that you got from the dealership as well.
Step 2: Remove the Door Panel
After you have located the key code in the manual or on the sales invoice, then you will need to locate the interior door panel. The same key code that you found in the manual should be located on the interior door panel and stamped onto the locking mechanism.
Step 3: Now You Can Call the Locksmith
At this point in the day, you can now give your local locksmith a call. They will ask if you have the key code and simply give them the code. From the code that you give to them, they will be able to pull up what your car key needs to look like and can make you a duplicate with ease.
Step 4: What If I Do Not Have A Key Code?
So, you may be saying to yourself that you have no idea where your car’s owner manual is and you did not keep the original sales receipt! Maybe you still have both of those things, but your car was made several years ago so the key code is not on there. If this is the case, there is nothing to fear!
There is still another option that you can use as your backup plan. The next thing you can do is simply look on the metal plate on the driver’s side dashboard or on the driver’s window and find your vehicle identification number (more commonly referred to as a VIN number).
Step 5: Take A Trip to the Car Dealer Where You Bought the Car From
Once you have located your VIN number, call your dealership where you bought the car or go up there and head to the service station. You will be able to give the VIN number to the car dealership and ask them to make you a new key. This option will probably be a little more on the pricey side as dealerships will usually charge a little bit more than a locksmith will to make a new key.
However, as it is a car that comes from their lot, they will be able to make it with ease and you will know for certain that it will work without any issues or any other setbacks on your end.
Step 6: If All Else Fails, Remove the Door Lock
If you absolutely cannot get any of the other options done or if all of your numbers are too hard to find, you can still do another option. This option to get into your car and get a new key made is less than ideal as it will require a bit more physical labor and time on your end than the other options, but it will still work.
You will need to remove the door lock and physically take it into your local locksmith’s office. They will be able to use your door lock and make a key from that. The key that fits into the door lock will also work for your ignition to start the car. While this key will work and get you back on the road, the one drawback with this option is that if you have automatic buttons or locks on your old key, you will no longer have those options and will have to do all of your car’s functions manually.
While locking yourself out of your car is certainly unfortunate and will definitely put you out for a moment, it does not have to be the end of the world, and it definitely does not mean that you will have to give up altogether and go get an entirely new car. You may lose an hour or two of your life, but if you use the tips from above you can save your own time and save money as well.
These are fairly simple steps and locksmiths and dealerships can use those simple numbers to get you a key in no time. Don’t stress and waste time and money waiting for a locksmith to come to you again! Take action and go to them and you will have a new key to get you back on the road in no time!
While having the original key on hand would certainly make life easier and keep your blood pressure from rising too high, you certainly do not have to have it, and not having the original car key definitely does not mean that you are out of luck and will never be able to drive your car again.