April 29, 2022 | Haidy Elsawaf | Blog

What is Car Key Programming?


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If you have lost or misplaced your car keys, many people think they need to go to their car manufacturer to get a new key. Whilst this is a good option, it can be expensive and take a while. This is where the efficiency of car key programming comes in. Rather than waiting for hours or even days when you are in an emergency situation, you could get instant results through a reprogrammed key!

In this blog we will discuss all about car key programming to help you know where and when to look for a car key programming specialist!


What is Car Key Programming?

Car key programming is where a blank car key is programmed to work with the unique settings of a single car.  Often, you’ll need a car key programmed if you lose or break a car key.


How Does Car Key Programming Work?

Do all cars work like this?

Car keys work by transmitting a code to a receiver, in this case the transmitter is your key and receiver is your car. Once they are synchronized, you can quickly open your vehicle’s doors through clicking a button on your key. However, if your keys get broken or damaged it can stop this synchronization and stop your key from working.

Car key programming works by synchronising a car key to your car, where it transmits a code to the onboard computer system to unlock the door.


Who Can Help You with Car Key Programming?

There are a few options if you are looking to get a car key programmed, most notably a car dealership, your car manufacturer, and an auto Locksmith.

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Car Dealership

If you bought your car through a dealership you could go through them to get a car key programmed. Whilst this might be a good option in theory, often they won’t be able to help in emergency situations and it can be very expensive.

This can be a lengthy option as the car dealership will often send off for a blank key and often won’t have the right equipment on site to complete the job there and then.


Car Manufacturer

If you want a specifically branded key, going to your car manufacturer is another option. Much like going to a dealership, they most likely will be able to provide you will car key programming services, but this is often lengthy and can be quite expensive.


An Auto Locksmith

We always recommend looking for a local auto Locksmith to assist you with car key programming. In the majority of cases where car key programming is needed, an auto Locksmith will be able to provide you with a quicker service and often on the same day.

Auto Locksmiths will usually carry around all of the equipment need to program car keys in their Locksmiths vans, so usually will visit you wherever you are to offer the services. Saving you time and money and getting you on the road again in no time!

Another reason why calling out an auto Locksmith when you need a car key programmed is that the issue with your car key might be a separate issue all together rather than an issue with the transmitter. An auto Locksmith will not only be able to reprogram a car key, but also help with general car key replacement services and any other issues you might be having with your car locks!


How Long does it take to program a car key?

Depending on how fast or slow your auto Locksmith is, the average spent time on programming a car key is 15-30 minutes. However, sometimes it could take longer, and this is a case of an auto specialist going through the whole process of cutting the mechanical spare key. This could take longer than hour most of the time.

Having to handle it yourself will certainly take much longer that auto specialist’s work. Consider ll the DIY guides you will have to waste time on. So, if time is your top concern for programming a car key, it is always best to contact a local auto specialist!


How Much Does a Car Key Programming Cost?

The cost to program a car key depends on several factors. The following are some things to consider as they will affect the cost of car key programming.

  1. Model of vehicle

  2. Location and time of the day – the more inconvenient the time or location is, the higher you can expect to pay.

  3. Type of car key

  4. Who do you call out for key programming – car dealers, manufacturers, and locksmiths will all have different pricing!

However, on an average scale, car key programming is estimated to cost from £50 to £200.


To conclude, as infuriating as it is to lose or break your car key, you can easily get a car key programmed with an auto Locksmith!


About Keytek® Locksmiths

Here at Keytek Locksmiths, we are committed to assisting you in keeping your house and car secure!

Read more about car key replacement here!