When you get a new car that has a smart key entry system, you may not think about what that means in a situation where you misplace the key or it is damaged. Ideally, you want to prepare for this issue before it happens. However, if you find yourself in a position where you are not prepared and now you are locked out of your home or car you need to know what to expect when you call a mobile locksmith for assistance.
The Key Fob is the Beginning
When you have a regular key, you can buy a new key blank and then pay to have it cut to fit your lock. It is a fairly straightforward process that takes several minutes to complete. When you have a smart key, it isn't that easy. The key fob is your first purchase, but that key fob has to be programmed as well. The reprogramming can take longer than a traditional key cutting process. It has to be programmed for the make and model of your car. If you have a home with a smart key access, the key fob must be programmed based on the system. Though this may seem like basic information, the misconception is that key fobs come pre-programmed and can simply be replaced and ready once you give the mobile locksmith the information for the car and security company.
Combination Smart Key Issues
If your key is a smart key fob that has an attached pop-out key, you may have some additional issues. The misconception is that just the key can be replaced. These keys are usually thicker than your traditional key blank. This means you will still need the smart key fob blank which will be a higher charge than a traditional key blank. Though the key can be cut and the fob left unprogrammed, you will still need to have the key programmed either by a mobile locksmith or by a traditional locksmith since the key alone will not unlock or lock your trunk and may not unlock passenger doors or glove compartments in certain makes and models of cars.
Additional Mobile Locksmith Fees
In some cases, the mobile locksmith may have additional fees that you need to be prepared for. The first fee may be for the fob itself, the second for key cutting if you have a combo smart key unit, the third fee may be for programming, and so on. These are the fees you may expect, but you may also receive an access fee. This fee is usually a small amount paid to the mobile locksmith to access the programming software or site to program the new fob. You may also have a fee attached the call for additional labour charges since a smart access is more detailed than a traditional key cutting and replacement call.
Ideally, you would purchase a blank fob or a backup programmed fob that is kept in a secure location in cases where you misplace the first key. This will save you the additional fees associated with the mobile locksmith call. If you don't have this backup, and you are unsure if you can afford the mobile locksmith fee, make sure to consult them about the full price and fees associated with your smart key access issue to get a more concrete price and prepare for that cost.