Replacing Keys Costs Too Much! I've been Fobbed!

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
edited February 2011 in General
Have you lost your keys lately? How much did it cost to replace your fob? $100? $250? Did you have any luck going to a locksmith instead of the dealer?

Your keys may be fabulous but I bet they aren't cheap to replace.

Next time you buy a new car, you may want to make a 3rd key part of the deal and stash it somewhere.



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,127
    Third key? I've read enough stories about people having trouble getting a SECOND key, much less a third, when purchasing used.

    My daughter lost her one & only key to her Cobalt a couple of weeks ago. New key was $80, but the kicker was that the dealership required the vehicle to be physically there, which required a tow. Needless to say, we had 2 made and her dad kept one.

    I've seen some stores - Ace Hardware comes to mind - that say they can make a duplicate for most vehicles for closer to $50.


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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,980
    I ran my spare MB key through the wash once - replacement is about $200 (MB has used that same basic design for 13 years now, IIRC).
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Ouch. I spilled Coke on my garage door opener last year and ruined that fob. Not looking forward to a new car with an expensive fob since I know I'll "run it through the wash" too. Guess that means I can't put a spare under the bumper anymore either, unless it comes with a simple valet key that will open the door.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,980
    Funny thing...the key would still start the car, but not unlock the door. I could unlock the door with the fail-safe metal blade hidden in the fob, but that set off the alarm. I just took it as a lesson learned and bought a new one.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    don't even think of losing your fob keys. :)

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 216,250
    The two keys we had were looking pretty bad... so, went to the dealer's parts department...

    $12 for two new Acura keys.. Had to have the title to prove the car was ours..

    Oh yeah.... it's weird.. to open the door, you stick the key in this hole by the handle... :surprise:

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  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Washing the fob is sure something that I'd do since I never think to check the pockets when I run a load of clothes.

    What else have people done to kill or lose their fobs?
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    I've been Fobbed

    Is that F supposed to be a "R" or is the obb wrong???

    Don't forget the big service labor charge to program it - around an hours labor for what - 3 minutes of actual effort?
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    fobbed... oh, wait! I get it! :P

    Years ago I was in my SIL's swimming pool and realized the fob for our 00 Accord was in my pocket. I quickly got it out of there and dried it with a towel. It still works! 209K later....
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...if I ruin the fob for my Mercury Grand Marquis, I still have that keypad on the driver's door!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,013
    can you start the car with that, too? :P

    I've been lucky enough not to lose or damage any yet.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '92 325i, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    Good advice about getting a 3rd key. The case on my wife's '05 Honda Pilot key failed and was replaced at the dealer last week. The cost was $106. $62 for the key and $44 to program it.
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Member Posts: 107
    You can buy replacement key FOBS on line, such as at or others. Some cars you can program yourself (Ford), and others you must go to the dealer or locksmith. I lost the FOB to my Ford Explorer and got a $25 FOB replacement online, vs twice as much at the dealer. Also wanted an extra ignition key (as Fords have the key pad on the drivers door, so you can unlock the car without a key or FOB). Went to the hardware store and they cut a key for $5.00. Guess what - the original key had a chip inside, which the hardware store replacement did not. Fit the ignition lock perfectly, but car did not recognize it, so would not work. Got the replacement key on line also and it was easy to program myself. This may just be a Ford thing, whereby the owners manual has instructions on programming a new key.

    Check on line before you shell out big bucks at the dealer!

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • bkvolvobkvolvo Member Posts: 9
    I wanted some feedback on the PCC offered on the newer volvos. Its a tech savy feature but is it worth the price ($550) ? I know that it cost a few hundred to replace if lost, can be hacked w/ antennas and might be easy to leave your car running and get out. With that said, does anyone have any positive or negative experiences to share?
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    Having posted how Honda has made the key fobs pretty much idiot proof so that you couldn't possibly lock yourself out of one I have this to report - my daughter locked herself out of the Accord she was driving today. I had to go 22 miles each way to rescue her. Her AA card was locked in the car, too....
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • bkvolvobkvolvo Member Posts: 9
    How did she lock herself out of the car? Did she leave the fob in the car? was it running? Thats not good... did you mean AAA card? I think Charlie Sheen leaves his AA card at home all the time..Thanks for sharing
  • normkolnormkol Member Posts: 135
    If you mean the plastic case, you can get a shell of that key at many locksmiths. You just have the key cut, then they transfer the electronics of the bad key to the new one.

    No programming, and far cheaper than a full key.

    Also, for the others here, cloning of many keys is possible. Check with a locksmith before dropping big bucks for new, programmed keys.
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    Yes, taht would be AAA. :blush:

    She had her key in her purse and slammed the door shut. She was mad about something that had happened and in the moment forgot her keys were in there.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • shaisamishaisami Member Posts: 1
    I did a quick research and There Is Only 3 Companies that will cut the key for you only for $40 Bucks

    Locksmith San Jose - link title

    Locksmith Tracy - link title

    San Jose Locksmiths - link title
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,327
    Next time you buy a new car, you may want to make a 3rd key part of the deal and stash it somewhere.

    Funny you'd mention that, because that's exactly what I did when I bought my 2012 Ram. I wasn't getting to where i wanted to be on price, although to be fair, it was my fault as I didn't read the fine print. I just saw an internet price of $17,499, but didn't read the part where it said "plus freight" and "not all customers will qualify for all rebates". And, I didn't realize that the state of Maryland taxes rebates.

    So, I was about ready to walk, but my uncle, who was with me, pulled me aside and essentially said don't be stupid, you're still getting a good deal. And he suggested I try to get a few things thrown in rather than negotiate on price. So I asked them if they'd throw in a third key, and a sliding rear window. I think they said the key/fob was normally something like $250, forget how much the sliding window would have been.

    Going on six months now, and neither me nor my uncle has lost any of those fobs. At least, not yet! Give me time though...I lost my house keys this morning. Thankfully, found 'em after about 20 minutes. :blush:
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    I'd say you misplaced your house keys if you found them within 20 minutes.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited November 2013
    "A car key that costs more than the basic new iPad Air? Yes, it's cool that you don't have to fuss with locks and ignition slots. It's reassuring that the technology makes it tough on car thieves and hard to lock yourself out. But these so-called smart keys are little more than glorified remote controls sold at astonishing markups by opportunistic auto companies."

    In Fob We Trust (Chicago Tribune)
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