How does car rekeying work exactly?
Your car can’t run without gas, but it really can’t run without your keys. Besides keys to your home, the keys to your vehicle may be the most important ones you have. We say keys because having more than one set — a spare — proves quite useful when your main one goes missing. And sadly, that does happen. Keys go missing, in worse cases get stolen, and — most annoyingly — sometimes even get locked inside a car. If any of these scenarios happen, you will not only need to get a new set of keys, you will also want to undergo an entire car rekeying. But what does that mean, and how much does it cost to rekey a car?
How Car Rekeying Works
Fortunately, car rekeying is not all that complex of a process. In essence, it means changing an ignition lock cylinder or wafers to fit a new set of keys. This service type is often done either at your home by a locksmith, at your mechanics, or the car dealership. Locks contain pins and wafers and are built, for security reasons, to only “talk” to a specific set of cuts in a key. If you lose a key, car owners will often rely on a spare. With today’s higher security transponder keys, you can’t just order another from the manufacturer because the key needs to be programmed into the car. While relying on a spare may be a quick fix, it might not be the safest solution. If you lose your key, it could be possible that someone stole it — or that someone picked it up and doesn’t return it. That means someone now has your key and, as such, direct access to your car. For all of the reasons mentioned above, car rekeying is safer than just a key replacement.
When to Get Your Car Rekeyed
Yes, losing your keys is one apparent time to get your locks adjusted and new corresponding keys created. But another time to do it is if you purchase a used car. People are often handed a set of keys and don’t think twice, but you should always consider rekeying the vehicle. When you get a used car, someone else might likely still have a spare key to your car. A rekeying will ensure your vehicle is yours and yours alone.
Similarly, if you ever give out a spare key but do not know whose hand it winded up in, a car rekeying might be the safest step to take. With modern transponder vehicles, another solution is to have new transponder keys programmed into the vehicle and the old one’s deleted. In this case, if someone does have an old key, they will only have the ability to unlock the door, not start the ignition.
How Much Does It Cost?
As with most things, the cost can vary. The price for rekeying a few car doors (and getting new keys) might be a couple of hundred dollars. That cost includes several factors: equipment needed, expertise, and the new keys, and whether the vehicle uses a transponder in the key. Overall, the cost is not cheap but also not expensive given the circumstance. Regardless, it’s absolutely a sound investment to make — much safer than someone else having the opportunity to steal your car.
Considering a car rekeying? The Security Professionals can determine if you need one, what the cost would be, and what you can expect. Get in touch today to learn more!