The importance of a spare set of keys
Many of us, myself including, operate with just one set of car keys and never think about getting a spare until disaster happens…. It is not so bad if a key say stop locking the doors as you can still use it to start the car etc. If the key unlocks but doesn’t start the car it is a bit more tricky, however you are still in a good position of being able to unlock your vehicle. The worst case scenario is losing your keys. Not only you can’t get into the car, but it is more difficult for a locksmith to produce a replacement key.
Majority of us are keeping all of vehicles’ documentation and paperwork in their cars, which makes it even worse for a locksmith to help in a loss keys situation. The reason behind it is that within your documents, mostly in service book, are included security codes for your vehicle. Among the security codes a key code can be found, which is a unique sequence of letters and numbers which will allow any locksmith to cut a new metal blade that will fit your vehicle (if you have not changed the locks and ignition barrel on your car). It is much safer and wiser to keep all of your documents safe at home.
If you don’t have a key code, we can sometimes obtain it from the manufacturer, that depends on the make of your car. Unfortunately, this procedure takes at least 24 hours leaving you unable to use your car and unfortunately will generate additional costs.
Some makes are more difficult to programme a replacement key than others if no working key is available. In my opinion the most difficult make to do is Mercedes. This is purely because of the comprehensive security systems built into cars and their electronic fobs. The programming process can sometimes take as long as two hours. In some cases it is not possible to programme a replacement Mercedes key on the side of the road as we need to remove the ignition, take it to our workshop, work some magic on it and programme a key afterwards. The cost can also be increased from approximately £150 for a spare Mercedes key fob to minimum £250 for a replacement Mercedes key fob, when all other keys are lost or are not working.
The majority of Renaults are a pure pleasure to deal with when all key cards are lost, but as with everything there are exemptions. One of them is Renault Clio manufactured after 2015. The process of programming a new Clio replacement key card can be lengthy and if the locksmith is not experienced, he or she can cause a lot of damage to the internal system. In most extreme cases the car thinking it is being stolen (detecting the system is being hacked into) will go into a dead lock mode and you will not be able to do anything with it, the only solution will be a costly trip or tow to Renault garage. Be careful when selecting a locksmith who will attend your vehicle as a slightly cheaper option can cost you way more than you could have ever predicted.
In short, ideal situation is to have a spare set of keys, which will allow a peace of mind and in a long run purchasing a spare key will cost you significantly less than arranging a new set of car keys when all other keys are lost or are not working at all. If you stick to one set of keys, remember to keep all your vehicle documentation and paperwork safe at home, so it is within reach if you loose your only set of keys.