What to do if you lost your car keys

What to do if you lost your car keys

Many people have probably experienced an extremely unpleasant feeling associated with the loss of car keys. What to do in such a situation? Let’s discuss a possible scheme of action.

Yury Zubko / RG

Look in all pockets and bags – banal, but effective advice. It often happens that you forgot the key in other clothes.

Often it is not unreasonable to recreate the route you took from the car home and remember all the things you had time to do during this period of time. Look under the car – the key may have fallen there. If the transponder key is the only one and you are sure he fell out and have an idea of where it happened, you can call a specialist with special search equipment.

If you decide on this non-standard option, contact only trusted companies. Specialized services can use, for example, a metal detector, or other ingenious gadgets in the search.

A “saving” tip wanders the web. Allegedly, to unlock the door, you need to record the opening sound on your phone, and then play it at the car to unlock the locks without a “physical” key.

There is another “smart” advice – call your loved ones, who will take a spare transponder key and will press the unlock button near your phone. You at this point will have to put your phone on speakerphone and bring it to the car door. After that, the locks should supposedly unlock.

Alas, the key word here is “supposedly”. This method of telephone unlocking is one of the popular online fairy tales. Another thing is the modern apps for some of the premium and luxury segment novelties.

Through a special app, you can open and close the car and even start or turn off the engine, using the so-called “digital key” – a protocol transmitted through the gadgets, or a digital code. Communication between the smartphone and the car in most models is supported by NFC technology. The app interface also allows owners to send a virtual key to loved ones and colleagues.

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The first thought that comes to mind when you lose your car keys is to get to the second set. There can be many scenarios here, from calling a cab and going home for spare keys, to calling loved ones who will come to the rescue and drop off the keys.

If you can’t find the lost key, it makes sense to restore it, which will require going to the dealer, presenting the documents for the car and a spare key or key fob with a barcode. An authorized dealer will create a duplicate of the lost key.

Get ready that the procedure will take quite some time. The fact is that your application will be sent to the manufacturer. From there, the key will come with a sliced steel blade and a programmed microchip.

If you are worried that someone might find your lost key and use it to steal your car, you will have to drive the car to the dealer and he will erase the chip of the lost key from the car’s memory. In this case, you will not be able to start the car’s engine with the lost key.

Since making duplicate transponder keys at the “official” takes a long time, there is a temptation to make a replacement at a private dealer.

It is enough to enter the phrase “making duplicate car keys” into an Internet search box, and you will see dozens, if not hundreds of such offers. Private firms can really pick up the code and make a duplicate transponder key, and they usually do it much faster than an official dealer, and it costs considerably less.

However, in this case there is a risk that the manufacturers will have another copy, which in theory can be used for theft. So, if you had to resort to private security firms, secure yourself by installing additional anti-theft systems or take out a comprehensive CASCO.

If you also lost the second key of the set, you can do without producing a duplicate.

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In this case you should go to the official dealer together with the car, which you may have to transport by tow truck, and all the available documents. It is very likely that the dealer will make a set of keys according to the serial number and other technical documentation for the car.

The second option is to replace ignition lock and all door cocks. Alas, this process will not be cheap for modern foreign cars, so again such option as a visit to private dealers becomes necessary.

The specialists will also demand the documents of the car, then they will make a special impression of the ignition lock or external lock cylinder and “cut” an identical key. After that, the specialists will use special equipment to tie a new transponder key to the car’s immobilizer and program a new built-in chip.

Lost car keys: what to do and who to call in such a situation?

The loss of car keys is an unpleasant event, which is accompanied by the expected trouble. If such an unpleasantness has happened to you, it is better not to panic and not to inform everyone around you that you were left without a car key. There are a lot of people around with evil intentions who can find your key and then find your car. Because if you just lost your car key, you are not in such a bad situation.

There is a whole algorithm of things to do after losing your key. If this situation occurred in your hometown, you can simply go home and get the second key that you were given at the car dealership. If you took the car from hand with one key, you will have to resort to several steps to solve the problem.


Step 1: to find the key by all available methods

It must be said that many motorists, with whom such an event has happened, do not even try to properly search for the lost key. Think of your entire route of travel since you last got out of the car. Think of places where you may have left your keys or dropped them.

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Walk your route again, looking under all the tables, shelves. If you were sitting in a restaurant, ask the waiter to help you look for the key under the tables. There are a few things you shouldn’t do when you lose your car key:

  • don’t report it to any means of communication, loudspeakers or other means;
  • you should not post notices about your lost Volkswagen key outside your hotel;
  • Do not panic and ask everyone you meet for help in finding the key;
  • do not rush and do not run along your route in the hope of quickly finding the lost.

The help of a good acquaintance will be appropriate. Often after such a search you will be able to find the key, and you will be able to forget this unpleasant situation. If the problem is not solved, you have not found your loss, it is worth resorting to more drastic actions.

Let’s say that before you apply the methods described below, make sure that there is no way to find the key at all. To solve such a problem will require decisive and sometimes costly actions, so be prepared to rescue your vehicle from the captivity of the lack of keys.

Step 2: get to the interior of the car

If you are in another city, or if you don’t have a second car key at all, you will have to get to the interior of the car to fix the trouble created by the loss. The important thing here is to get inside the car without any damage, so breaking the windows and breaking the locks is the last thing you can do. Also in the process, you will benefit from the information we published earlier – how to turn off the alarm system in the car without a key fob.

You can get to the cabin in many ways. In different cars, it will be easier to do it through different doors, and in some through the trunk. You will not always be able to perform this process yourself, but when calling professionals, take into account the following points:

  • The documents on the car should be with you, otherwise the expert will not open the car;
  • You may call a specialist in the opening of locks only from large companies or from the official service;
  • Do not entrust the opening of the lock on your car to the first stranger on the street;
  • It is better to pay more for this procedure, leaving all parts of the car intact.
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On your own, you can try to open the car only if the glass of one of the doors is slightly ajar. To do this, it is enough to find a wire and make a hook from it for the door closing lever. Otherwise, it is better to call a specialist, who will open the lock and leave it in working order.

Such specialists also know how to disable the alarm, and sometimes they will even help you to start the car. But this will already depend on the brand of the car and the protection systems provided in the package. After successfully getting into the cabin you need to prepare for the production of a duplicate key.

Step 3: produce a duplicate key without having the sample itself

In the third step you need to solve the problem of missing a key. This is the final step of the action in case of loss. You can do without the costly and problematic production of a duplicate. The first way is to go to an official dealer with all the available documents. Perhaps the dealer will produce a key for you based on the serial number and other parameters of the car.

The second option is to replace the ignition lock and all the door keys. It will also help to avoid theft in case your lost keys are found by intruders. But on modern foreign cars, the process of replacing the keys and the ignition lock will not be easy and expensive, so you can resort to the following service:

  • Find a company that makes car keys;
  • Find out if the company can make you a key without having a sample;
  • Remove the lock cylinder or ignition switch and bring it to the company;
  • After a short period of time, you will be able to get your car key.

For this procedure, you will also need to show the documents for the car. Specialists make a special impression in the ignition lock or keyhole and produce an identical key. Problems at this stage may arise if the key in your car was with a chip.

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In such a situation, the key made in a workshop will not work – the car simply will not start with a different key. You will have to apply only to a professional workshop to the official dealers and eliminate the problem with their help, which will cost a lot of money for the car owner.

It is possible to use such a folk wise and simple way to open the door on the car without the key:

To summarize.

If you happen to lose your car key, don’t panic – everything can be fixed. Put as much effort as you can into finding your key, and if necessary, go home and get a spare key for your car. This will help you regain access to the car, and then you can fix the situation.

In the absence of a second key, however, a new one should be made by gaining access to the interior of the car and removing the ignition lock. Remember that you should always have your car documents with you when making such appeals. Better yet, never lose your car keys and always keep them in a safe place. If you have something to add to the publication tips from your own experience, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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