A lost or non-working car key can be more than a hassle – it can be an emergency. This is especially true if you need to get to work or pick up the kids across town. If you have a transponder key, also known as a smart key or chipped key, or a keyless ignition, it may seem even more difficult to get your car going quickly. Fortunately, this is not the case. The following guide can get you back on the road.
Do you have a smart key that isn't working?
If you have keyless entry and locks, it can be somewhat frightening if the button on the key doesn't unlock the door. Fortunately, the issue is likely a dead battery in either the car or the key transponder. Most transponders have a hidden entry key inside of them. Look for a small button, usually with the word "key" or a picture of a key on it. Press this and pull on the key chain portion of the transponder to pull out a small entry key.
Once you are in the car, push your automatic ignition button. If dash lights activate, the transponder needs a new battery. You can call an emergency locksmith to have one installed ASAP. If the dash lights do not come on, you likely have a dead battery and a jumpstart will get you back on the road.
Is the transponder lost?
A lost transponder requires a bit more work. If you have a non-transponder spare key, you can get into the car but it won't start without communication with the transponder. For this issue you need to call a locksmith.
When they arrive, you will need to prove ownership of the vehicle, usually by showing your registration and drivers license. They will then contact the manufacturer of your car with your vehicle identification number, which will give them the information to make a replacement key right there on the spot. The emergency locksmith will then program the transponder to your car. This can take a little bit of time, but you will get a same-day emergency car key replacement.
Consider contacting a locksmith before you need them and have a spare transponder key made. This small investment can be well worth it, especially if you have a history of misplacing your keys. Otherwise, keep the phone number of a reliable emergency locksmith on hand for when these moments occur.