What To Do If You Lose Your Car Keys

Posted on: 31 July 2015

Lost car keys can result in a major panic, especially if you don't have a spare. Fortunately, you may be able to get a same-day replacement. The following guide can help.

Gather Your Info

Before making any calls, gather as much information about your car as possible. You will definitely need the make, model, mode year, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The locksmith uses this information to make a new key. You may also need some proof of ownership, such as the car title or registration, along with a picture ID.

Call a Locksmith

Skip the temptation to attempt entry with a coat hanger if you have a newer car. Most newer cars cannot be opened with a coat hanger because they don't have vertical push-button style locks. Instead, find a local locksmith, like The Lock Shop, that specializes in vehicle lockouts. They will come out and open up your car door, giving you a chance to verify that the keys weren't locked inside the car.

If you do have an older car with push locks, you can straighten a hanger, except for the hook, and then insert it between the window glass and the seal or weather stripping. Use the hook to find and pull up on the metal rod running to the door lock, which will unlock the door and give you access to the car. If the hanger fails to open the door, you can still call a locksmith for help.

Get a Replacement Key

If you have a newer car, the key may be chipped with a transponder chip or a proximity remote. Many locksmiths now have the equipment and the technology to install and program these chips to your car. The process of creating a new key may take some time, though, so be prepared for a short wait. The locksmith will use the information you provide to access your key's style and code in a dealer database, and then they will make the new key. 

Always check that the key works before the the locksmith leaves. It's also a good idea to have two keys made, just so you have a back-up in case you lose your keys again. If for any reason a locksmith can't replicate you key, it will be necessary to contact the dealer to have the key made. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to get same-day service from the dealer.