What You Need to Do If You Lost Car Key?
When faced with a lost car key situation, it’s not just a matter of scratching your head. It can actually hinder all the plans or tasks you’ve scheduled because you can’t go anywhere until the lost key is found or until you replace the lost car key with a new one.
In the past, lost keys could be easily replaced as they didn’t involve complex systems. However, in line with modernity, car key systems have become more sophisticated to prevent theft, making a lost key a significant problem that can complicate the process of duplicating the car key to replace the old one.
If you find yourself in a lost car key situation, you may consider practicing the following tips:
1. Do Not Panic, Stay Calm
The first thing you need to do if your key is lost is to stay calm. This is because if you panic or become flustered and rushed, you can lose focus and hinder your ability to find the lost car key.
Therefore, it’s important to remain calm to enable clear and rational thinking. Remember the last location where you saw or had your car key in your possession.
Lost Key: How to Find a Lost Car Key
If the key is lost at home, check the areas you commonly use such as the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, or in handbags, shoe racks, and so on. Additionally, you can also consider these common locations:
i. Key Left in the Car
In many cases, the situation arises where the key is presumed lost but is actually left inside the car. If your car key is missing, you can first check the interior of your locked car.
If you are confident that your car key is inside your locked car, you can seek assistance from a locksmith to unlock your car door.
Usually, locksmiths have tools that can help open car doors without breaking your car’s windows. It’s a cost-effective solution!
ii. Check the Gaps in the House Sofa
You can also check the gaps in your house sofa. Typically, these gaps are known to be popular spots for lost keys. You may not realize that your car key has fallen out of your pocket while sitting or lying on the sofa.
iii. Check the Last Pants Pocket
Furthermore, car keys can sometimes be found in unexpected places, such as inside pants pockets. If your key is lost, try checking the last pants you wore first before searching any other locations in your house.
iv. Toy Shelf, Children’s Toy Area
Believe it or not, objects like keys, whether it’s your first house key or your beloved car key, are among the favorite toys for young children. This is because the physical shape of the key, made of shiny metal and producing sounds, can attract the attention of little ones.
So, if you have young children or siblings, it’s worth checking their toy baskets or shelves first to be sure.
v. Car Key in the Washing Machine
In addition to coins and banknotes, many other items are commonly found in the washing machine, such as brooches, gold chains, rings, and so on, due to forgetting to remove them from pockets or clothes before washing.
Therefore, do a spot check in your washing machine if your car key is lost. There is a possibility that your car key ended up in the washing machine.
However, if you suspect that your car key has been stolen rather than lost, you should report the incident to the police for investigation and further examination.
2. Prepare Vehicle Information
If you have searched every nook and cranny of your house but still haven’t found your car key, and you are certain that your car key is truly lost, you need to provide relevant information to facilitate the process of obtaining a new car key.
- Vehicle registration number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);
- Make and model of the car and year of manufacture;
- License plate number;
- Personal identification information;
- Your current location.
This information is crucial to enable car dealers or locksmiths to verify that the lost key belongs to your car. Additionally, it helps locksmiths to reprogram the replacement key according to the original key specifications.
Furthermore, this information is important to ensure that the car key replacement process is carried out more efficiently and to ensure that you receive a suitable replacement key that matches the model and type of your car.
3. Create a Car Key
If your car key is lost, it is important to replace it promptly to ensure that your daily activities or plans can continue as usual. You can consider making a replacement or duplicate car key through the following methods:
Service Centre or Car Dealer
Usually, the cost of making a spare car key at a car dealership is higher compared to the services of a locksmith. Moreover, getting a key replacement at a service center may not be suitable during emergency situations as it often takes a longer time.
DIY Car Key Replacement
This method requires specific tools and knowledge to avoid damaging any car components. If steps are done incorrectly, it may result in higher expenses compared to getting the key replaced at a professional car key service.
Using the services of a locksmith is usually faster, more efficient, and cost-effective. However, it is important to make the right choice and conduct price surveys beforehand to avoid being deceived.
Most locksmiths have the technology and equipment that allow them to reprogram new car key systems or duplicate lost car keys without the original key.
Lost Car Keys: Types of Car Keys in the Market
If you want to replace a lost car key, it is important to know at least the type of your car key to ensure a smooth key replacement process. Here are five types of car keys for your reference:
1. Traditional Car Key
If your car uses this type of car key, seek the assistance of a locksmith to make a replacement key for your car. Typically, traditional car keys can be easily replaced as the key mechanism is not as complex or challenging as other types of car keys.
However, you may need to replace the ignition lock cylinder with a new one in some cases because certain replacement keys may not be compatible with the old ignition lock cylinder.
2. Folding Car Key
If you’ve noticed, car manufacturers now commonly use folding car key mechanisms for most new car models. Similar to a folding knife, a folding car key allows you to fold the key when not in use, and you only need to press a small button when you want to use the key. This feature provides an additional layer of protection to help prevent theft.
However, if you happen to lose this type of car key, you may encounter difficulties because without the transponder, you won’t be able to start your car. Typically, the cost of replacing a folding car key is higher compared to other regular keys due to the additional features and complexity of the key mechanism. It’s recommended to reach out to a locksmith or an authorized dealer who can provide assistance in replacing and programming a new folding car key for your vehicle.
3. Transponder Key
Apart from being more modern, the price of duplicating this type of car key is also said to be higher compared to traditional keys. Transponder keys are essentially equipped with a built-in chip that sends a signal to the car’s ECU (Engine Control Unit) that the correct and matching key is being used. If an incompatible key is used, your car’s engine may have difficulty starting.
If you lose this type of car key, contact a locksmith who specializes in handling such keys, as they usually have spare keys with the same chip as the original car key. They will be able to assist you in duplicating a new transponder key and programming it to work with your car’s ECU.
4. Car Key and External Fob
If your car uses a car key with an external fob, you can still access your car using the existing key if the external fob is lost.
However, in a situation where the car key is lost but the fob is still available, you will need to make a replacement key to start your car because the external fob only allows access to the car but not starting the engine.
Furthermore, if you are facing a situation where both the car key and the external fob are lost, it is recommended to replace the car key first before replacing the fob.
5. Smart Key
It can be said that most new car models today are equipped with keyless entry systems and push-start buttons. If your car’s smart key is lost, you have no other option but to bring your car to the nearest dealer to obtain a suitable replacement key.
The use of more advanced technology and electronic systems indirectly makes it more difficult for you to obtain a spare key easily and quickly. You may have to wait longer to get a matching replacement key for your car due to stock availability issues.
In addition to time, you may also have to face higher costs if you experience key loss due to the more complex replacement process.
What You Need to Know Before Replacing Your Lost Car Key
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the process of replacing a lost key for your reference and guidance:
1. Where can I replace a lost key?
In general, you can get a lost car key replaced at any nearby car key making shop (Google suggestion: car key making shop near me) or you can also contact a mobile or on-the-go car key locksmith service.
Additionally, you can take advantage of any online platforms that offer spare key making services in Malaysia.
2. If you have lost your car key, what information is required to make a new spare key?
To ensure that the car key repair process is done effectively and efficiently, you need to provide complete information to the locksmith or car dealership, such as:
- Personal Identification Information;
- Car Model and Year of Manufacture;
- Type of Car Key;
- Car Plate Number or Vehicle Registration Number;
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);
- Current Location.
3. Can I make a car key to replace the lost original key?
Basically, you can replace or make a new key to replace the lost original key. Most car locksmiths nowadays have advanced tools and technology that allow them to duplicate car keys and program or reprogram the original key’s chip onto the new key.
4. How long does it take to duplicate or make a new car key?
Usually, the process of making a spare car key takes between 10 to 30 minutes. However, it depends on the type of key and the complexity level of the car’s transponder system.
5. What is the price of duplicating a car key or the cost of duplicating a lost car key?
Generally, the cost of making a new car key to replace a lost key can range from RM100 to RM300 (or possibly higher), depending on the car model and the complexity of the key replacement process.
For example, the price of duplicating a Myvi or Axia car key (Perodua) is usually around RM150. The cost of duplicating a Proton Exora key (original key) is approximately RM150, while the estimated price for duplicating a Toyota Vios key is around RM350.
However, these prices may vary depending on the location, time, and other unforeseen factors. Typically, the cost of changing a car key or making a key for a lost car through locksmith services or key-making shops is generally lower compared to the services provided by car dealerships.
It is advisable to obtain quotes from multiple vendors first to help you get a better price offer and to assist you in better financial planning.
Hopefully, this information can help you if you ever encounter a situation where you lose your car key in the future. It is advisable to always be cautious and careful to avoid facing a lost car key situation. This is because it can lead to unnecessary costs and expenses for key replacement.
Additionally, if you are considering the best and comprehensive car insurance for you, you may visit the Qoala website for more information. Qoala is an insurance platform in Malaysia that provides various types of insurance such as home insurance, motorcycle insurance, and medical insurance with a guarantee of a safe, affordable, and easy insurance buying process.