How Long Does It Take To Get a Car Key Replacement?

In 2020, getting a car key replacement can be relatively fast if you’re using an experienced locksmith. Somewhere in the 20 to 30 minute range. This varies between vehicles and some could take up to an hour to get a car key replacement cut and programmed. Most modern car keys and fobs today have transponder chips in them which may require the key or fob to be programmed to the vehicle. The majority of vehicle keys and fobs are different for each automaker, model, sub-model, and year. This can make it very easy to purchase the wrong key online. By using a professional and experienced car locksmith, you can be confident that you will receive a working key. Below we have listed the steps to getting a car key replacement and how long it typically takes.

  • Step 1: The first step of getting a car key replacement is getting the key code, if all keys are lost. Getting a key code usually takes 5 to 10 minutes, if you’re using an experienced car locksmith. An accredited locksmith can acquire the key code from the automaker (not the dealership). If you have a working key or the blade of a broken key, this step usually isn’t required and you can move onto step two. Sometimes key codes can be acquired by purchasing the code from the car dealership using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) with valid proof of ownership such as the title, registration, insurance, and drivers license. Purchasing the key code may vary between car dealerships and some dealers may not offer customers to purchase key codes. This is a much lengthier process and it will be much faster and cheaper to have your local locksmith do this for you. Key codes can cost anywhere from $15 to $85.
  • Step 2: The second step is the key cutting process. This step usually takes about 10 minutes. It is possible to cut the key faster, but a trustworthy locksmith will want ensure that the key will work and will take their time. If you have a working key or the blade of a broken key with the cuts on it, the key cuts can be copied or read by a car locksmith. If you have no keys, the locksmith will use the key code to decode the cuts and create a new key that will open the door locks and turn the ignition. Often times the key still requires programming to the vehicle to be able to start it. Typically on Kia and Hyundai, the key is mechanical and doesn’t require programming. Programming is always required for fobs and remotes.
  • Step 3: This brings us to step three, the programming process. Programming can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the type of vehicle. This almost always has to be done by your local car locksmith or dealership. Some vehicles can be programmed “on-board, which means anyone can do it if they follow a special programming procedure. Please research your vehicles programming procedure extensively before trying to use this method. Some cars require multiple working keys to program a new key that will start the vehicle if you use this method. Most of the time, transponder keys and fobs require programming with a computer by a locksmith or car dealership. These programming tools can be extremely expensive and usually can only be purchased by a professional locksmith or car dealership.

If you want to learn more about your vehicle and don’t have the time to research what is required for your vehicle, or just need advice about what your best possible option is for getting a car key replacement, you can reach out to us 24/7 by using our live chat feature or call 843-419-5397.

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