Spare car keys

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The majority of cars that are bought are supplied with a spare set of keys as standard but there are some makes and models that do not offer this service. Most drivers do not worry about spare keys until they run into a problem and are forced to search for them and end up turning the house upside down because they can't remember where they've kept them.

Why are spare car keys important?
Newer cars do not have key holes to open cars, instead they are battery operated and can be opened and locked by the touch of a button. In this case, if the battery was to run out many car owners panic. If you have a spare car key, then you wouldn’t have to worry but some cars such as Nissan also have a back up method for the keyless doors. You just slide the handle across and there is a key slot for the car key but not all cars are the same. As most car keys are battery operated, if they fail then you are stuck. Carrying a spare in the glove box will not help if you are locked out of the car as you will not be able to access it.

Types of car keys
There are many types of new security systems in place to protect cloning and car key thefts. 20 years ago you could borrow a neighbour’s key to open another car of the same make and model; nowadays keys are more unique and harder duplicate. If you have a standard key that is also used to open the car door, then most key cutters can cut this. Here is a small breakdown of different types of car keys that are produced.

Smart keys– most cars today have a small microchip embedded in them so when the car key is in the ignition, it sends a code to the cars computer to let it know it is genuine. Without the correct key and code, the engine will not start. There are some key cutters that can cut a new key and include the correct code for the car to start.

Fob– some cars are also operated by a fob that controls not only the ignition but the doors as well. You will normally need to go to the car maker to purchase a replacement but there are some companies that claim they can get you one without even seeing your current car.

Standard keys- these are like house door keys which unlock the door with a key having the right cuts.

As technology has advanced in recent years, copying them has been proven harder as most now have key codes that change regularly. If you lose a car key, they can also be very expensive to replace that’s why care should be taken when storing them away to be on the safe side.

Cost of replacing a car key
You can always buy a spare car key for emergencies and just in case it can come in handy. The cost of a replacement will vary depending on how old the car is. Newer car keys can cost as much as £400 so it could be a very costly replacement.

gices
gices Published 27 Mar 2010

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