Auto locksmiths are people who duplicate, replicate, fix and make vehicle keys. They also know how to open cars when the owner gets locked out by accident. The most common keys that local auto locksmiths deal with include the fobs and primary keys.
Fob and basic keys
The unique cut of the basic vehicle key is its only distinguishing feature in terms of security. This type of key was prevalent until the mid-1990s. The key has a shank, which is the long metal part with grooves and cuts. Such keys can be copied easily, and a local auto locksmith can make one of these very easily without any other equipment except for the key cutting machine.
The more modern vehicles nowadays come with an electronic key fob that is also known as a transmitter or a remote that is an important part of the key set. Fobs need to be calibrated and programmed to work with the vehicle and replacing them can get quite expensive. It can take anywhere from $50-$90 at a car dealership to replace an electronic key fob, and this price depends entirely on the complexity of the design, the automaker as well as the programming. In case the issue is only with the programming part, most dealerships fix it free of cost, but some may charge labor costs.
One trick to circumvent these costs is to learn to program the fob yourself or have an experienced auto locksmith do the same. There are always some specific combinations of button press available on the remote and key turns on the ignition that program the fobs. This information is available in most owner’s manuals and also online.
If you fail to find a local auto locksmith or a dealership, market fobs are also available online as a cheaper alternative, but the quality and safety issues can vary.
Some keys have a transponder chip in the plastic head of the key that emits a signal to a receiver in the ignition. On detecting the wrong signal, the vehicle does not start.
Most local auto locksmiths are well versed with fixing the different types of keys.