What to do when transponder key is lost
What’s the big deal about a lost key? You just go and have another one made; right? Not so much - especially if your lost key is of the transponder variety! These keys are costly to make and to program and many a driver has had a case of nerves after suddenly finding that their transponder key is lost, stolen or broken. Here at Locksmith Lombard, we are a full service automotive locksmith shop that is authorized to replace and program transponder keys to every make and model of cars; both foreign and domestic. As such, we regularly work with local Lombard, IL customers that have experienced the stress, fear and worry of having to deal with a lost transponder key. If this sounds like your situation, relax and give our shop a call. If you don’t live in the area, contact a locksmith shop in your city. We’ll tell you why a little later on.
So, what should you do first?
Okay, you’ve managed to lose your transponder key. What should you do first? Try calming yourself. That’s right; a panicked mind and emotional state never leads to anything good. It’s hard to do at first. You know that your key is missing and right away your mind starts thinking of the many repercussions. What if someone finds your key and uses it to steal your car? What if they gain access to your glove box and the important documents it contains? Remember; most people have car registration, insurance proof and maintenance records inside the glove compartment. What else is kept inside your car? Many have their garage door opener remote clipped to the sun visor. Others have gated home remotes inside along with community stickers pasted on the windshield to prove residence inside a nice neighborhood. Are you panicking yet? Well, don’t! A calm mind thinks and reacts better. In your rush to find a solution, you can make a rash and costly decision and no one needs that!
What’s the big deal about transponders?
Car keys weren’t always of the transponder variety. They became so in the mid-1990s and the results have been mostly beneficial for drivers and for law enforcement as car theft dropped drastically after that time. Before transponder keys it was easy and cheap to make a copy of your car key. Any convenience store clerk or mail copy employee could make one for you for under a dollar. The plethora of these easy to make car keys made auto theft easy but when transponder keys became the norm, auto theft numbers dropped by a huge margin. This is because it became so costly and difficult to copy a car key that people stopped doing that. Also, the transponder element prevented hot-wiring the car even though movies and television still show that touching two wires starts the car in seconds. All in all, the switch to transponder keys has been a dramatic benefit for the auto industry. But what if you lose your transponder key? Then what are you supposed to do?
The “standard” way of replacing your transponder key
Many car dealers are authorized to duplicate and program transponder keys. This exclusivity has driven up the price so that it is normal to pay a few hundred dollars to get a transponder key copied and programmed. This alone is daunting but when you consider that the car won’t run without the transponder key and you just lost yours, the car must be towed into the dealership! This obviously results in an additional cost (towing) and more time wasted as you must arrange towing and then wait for your car to be serviced in order to match your new transponder key’s chip to your vehicle’s onboard computer. These two must match as it’s imperative that the signal sent from your key is recognized by your car. Premium service equals high dollar cost; until now!
The best solution for you
Forget the car dealer altogether! Just call our shop or that of an established, full service automotive locksmith in your town. Make sure that they are authorized and able to both duplicate and program transponder keys that correspond to the make and model of the car you drive. If they do, make an appointment for on-site service at your convenience. Many locksmith shops offer free price quotes, same day service and very affordable prices so do check around! You’ll save lots of time, lots of stress and most of all, lots of money by going this route! In fact, you can save enough money to make an extra transponder key for a loved one, family member or for safekeeping. An established locksmith can charge a mere fraction of the price that your dealership would for the very same service and there’s no towing needed, either!
Don’t be tempted
Another not recommended way to get a new transponder key is to order one online. This is a bad idea. These online transponder keys are not authorized by the car makers and they almost never work and if they do, it’s not for long. Refunds are promised but the guarantees are worthless as they are never honored. Then there’s the time lost while waiting for your mail-order transponder keys to arrive.
Why did you lose your transponder key in the first place? Did someone steal it? Was it dropped by the dog while playing with it? Did someone at work pick it up by mistake and not return it? Is it hidden behind the couch cushions? Get in the habit of putting your keys in the same place when not using them. Good habits are formed by repetition so decide on a good place for your keys at home and at work and stay consistent when placing your keys there. After a while, it will seem odd and out of place when you don’t put your keys away correctly. This tip is no guarantee that you won’t lose your keys again but it will help to keep better track of them.