How Do Locksmiths Make Aftermarket Car Keys?

How Do Locksmiths Make Aftermarket Car Keys?


Key technology has also evolved considerably. Once upon a time, duplicating a car key was as simple as copying a home key. Now, each modern-day car key uses different electronics, and some varieties of vehicle keys need specialised equipment to duplicate them accurately.


Unless you have a car from 1995, replacing car keys is a time-consuming process, with the cost and convenience depending on the model of your car and a plethora of distinct key type features.


Many people often make the mistake of going to their local dealership for replacement car key cutting. You may have to delve into your funds to meet the expenses with a prolonged turnaround time, even for a simple vehicle key replacement at a local dealership.


Instead, experienced auto locksmiths can provide aftermarket car key cutting services for nearly any vehicle make and model at a conveniently low cost. Replacement car keys are less expensive and faster with the help of an auto locksmith.


Although even today, the public is wary of aftermarket car key cutting as they simply do not understand the process. Therefore, as reputable car key cutting locksmiths, this article unpacks one of the most popular questions the industry gets asked: how do locksmiths create aftermarket vehicle keys?


Steps to Making Aftermarket Car Key Cutting

In most cases, a locksmith will be able to create a new vehicle key using aftermarket technology. An aftermarket key is made by a third party with a blank key or remote chip. To avoid copyright infringement, the design of the copy may change significantly from your original key. But it performs the same duties as the original but at a far lower cost. A genuine key blank is one that has been manufactured by the car manufacturer and is protected by the same terms and conditions.


  1. Identify the Type of Car Key

The first step is to determine the car’s manufacturer, model, and year. With this information, the locksmith can identify the necessary key blank and any additional information needed.


A non-remote vehicle key only necessitates cutting, identical to how most other keys are created and simply implies that the key will be cut according to the factory’s specifications. Where a copy of your existing key is cut from a key blank, and you now have a lovely shiny new spare car key.


On the other hand, car remote keys require cutting a physical key and programming to function with the vehicle. To communicate with the car and the key, a locksmith uses specialised aftermarket equipment.


How Do I Know If My Key Has a Transponder? There’s a high possibility your car key has a transponder chip if it was built after 1998. To discourage car theft, car remote keys were first adopted in Australia in 1996, where the key’s chip connects with the vehicle’s computer system. The transponder key is the mechanism that interacts with the immobiliser in your car and stops the vehicle from starting if the wrong key is used.


Please keep in mind that not all car remote keys can be copied, and you may need to contact the auto dealership directly in some cases.


  1. Keys Are Then Cut and Programmed

If your vehicle has a transponder chip key, you will need to provide a spare key, or your locksmith will have to get an exact key blank and transponder chip. If you or the locksmith has the exact key blank, they will clone or programme the key according to specific codes, which can be accessed in a few different methods by professional automotive locksmiths. These specialised codes will guide the locksmith on which techniques is ideal for your car.


Creating a new car key is typically faster and easier for a locksmith if you already have a functional automobile key. Without this spare car remote key or replica, the locksmith will need diagnostic tools to decode your car’s computer system and imprint your locks to code the key appropriately.


  1. Time For a Test

Finally, it’s time to put the keys to the test after they have been created; your locksmith will check to see if the keys open the doors and start the car. Testing is an essential quality assurance component of professional locksmith services. This is typically a simple procedure, and keys usually work on the first try, as automotive locksmiths have specialised software, tools, and knowledge.


Why Do Certain Vehicle Keys Cost More Than Others?

Automotive manufacturers have invested in key security as a result of advancements in car security over the years. While more often than not, getting car key cutting services from a locksmith is much cheaper and faster than going to your local dealership, there is no standard pricing as several factors influence locksmith prices.


Locksmith price is primarily dictated by the required technology used to cut and programme keys. Automotive manufacturers have created unique key coding systems and Pin codes, which requires niche equipment to replicate the set of keys.


These codes are frequently not disclosed to automobile owners and are instead kept by dealers or, in some circumstances, manufacturers overseas, thus shutting out independent technicians and auto locksmiths. If a locksmith invests in such costly diagnostic equipment, most times, these costs get past onto the customers, which is one of the reasons why car key cutting may become expensive even with a locksmith.


Why Are Locksmiths Unable to Replicate Auto Keys?

With the advancement of technology, several automobile companies have invested a lot of money to guarantee that their car remote keys are challenging to copy. These keys necessitate the use of expensive software, tools, specialised expertise, and training.


Occasionally, the software or tools required to replicate these keys are unavailable to anybody outside the automobile maker. This aids the automobile business in maintaining control over its keying system and vehicle security.


For many locksmiths, investing in such expensive technology may not be feasible from a business standpoint, depending on the circumstances of their requirements. If a locksmith cannot assist you with a set of car keys, they will most likely recommend you speak with your vehicle’s dealership.


ALWAYS Speak Professional Locksmiths

There is no standard for car key cuttings; all brands and models of vehicles have different key programming and come in various forms and sizes. This is why you must always hire the help of a reputable professional locksmith to ensure the best possible results.


While car key cutting cost is determined by the type of vehicle you own, in most cases, using a locksmith is less expensive than going via your auto dealership. Some car remote keys, however, may only be obtained at the dealership.


Reputable car remote key locksmiths typically charge $165 for car keys, depending on the brand and model of the vehicle, and it is less expensive if you have a spare or replacement car key.


The locksmith industry is continuing to work on offering consumers a wider variety of alternatives through their services instead of having to return to their car dealership. Reputable automotive locksmiths are committed to staying up to date on the newest vehicle key technology and researching options for our customers.

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