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Long ago, losing a car key is no big deal. You may have a spare hidden somewhere in your car or at home. It won’t even cost that much if you get a replacement. However, the more advanced modern cars get, the more expensive replacing their car keys get.

The cost of car key replacements varies depending on what brand or model you are driving. Keys of luxury cars are, of course, more expensive to replace than regular ones. There are different types of car keys today – from traditional car keys to keyless ones. Here’s how to handle it when you lose one.

Traditional Car Keys

Traditional car keys are common among older vehicles. Their main purpose is to be inserted into the ignition cylinder and turned to start your car’s engine. They also serve as the primary safety device of a car since they can lock and unlock the car doors. Losing a traditional car key is actually no big deal. Simply contact a car key locksmith to fabricate a replacement key on the spot.

Key Fob

Car fobs are one of the earliest add-ons to car keys. Fobs make it easier and more convenient to lock and unlock the car doors but you still need a key to turn on the engine. Losing the fob is fine since you can easily get a new one from car dealerships or auto parts shops. You can even use the key to lock and unlock your car’s doors in case you lost the fob. These accessories are inexpensive so you can always have a new one programmed for your vehicle.

Key Fob and Switchblade Key

This one is an advanced version of the traditional fob. Instead of the fob being separate from the car key, these two parts are combined into one tool. They are more expensive than regular fobs but are less bulky and convenient to use.

Transponder Key

This one is a more advanced car safety system. It utilizes a tiny chip embedded on the plastic part of the key which sends a signal to the car’s immobilizer. When the immobilizer receives the signal as authentic, the car’s engine starts.

Losing a transponder key is expensive, especially if you don’t have a spare. Unlike traditional keys that can be cut and replaced on the spot, transponder keys need to be programmed and re-coded so your vehicle will receive it. You can get a new one from your car dealership but you must have complete papers proving that you are the real owner of the vehicle. Replacement may take days, especially if it still needs to be ordered.

Smart Key

Cars that have a keyless ignition need smart key to allow its access. The car has proximity sensor that responds when the smart key is near. When the owner is nearby, it unlocks the door allowing the driver to start the engine via the start button on the dashboard. Like the previous one, you also need to get a new one from a dealership and have it programmed to pair with your car.

There are different ways to deal with lost car keys. Keep a clear mind so you can make better decisions on how to get a replacement.

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