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CONSUMPTION REPORTS – Depending on your age or the age of your car, you might not even remember what life was like before a keychain. After all, these now common key chains offer a lot of conveniences.

But maybe you have experienced the downside.

“The cost of replacing the latest key chains can cost up to $ 400 or more depending on the brand. Then add an additional $ 20 to $ 130 to program the thing to work with your car. This can add up to $ 500 in some cases! Said Mike Quincy, editor of Consumer Reports Autos.

Before you shell out money for a replacement, check your warranty, auto insurance, or roadside assistance coverage to see if they cover the cost of replacing lost or damaged keys.

If your car is less than five years old, chances are you will need to drive straight to a dealership that has the expensive equipment needed to program a new key fob.

But, if you have a slightly older car, Consumer Reports says you can probably save money by purchasing an aftermarket key fob.

“You can search online for remotes based on the make and model of your car. We found a number of options on Amazon and Walmart, as well as online auto parts stores for sometimes $ 200 less than the dealership, ”Quincy said.

Many of these less advanced remotes can be laser cut and programmed by your local mechanic or locksmith, but if you’re up for the challenge, programming yourself can be a fun DIY project.

“You will find all the instructions in the owner’s manual. Just be aware that most customer programmable key fobs will require two current working keys to program the new one, ”Quincy said.

If you need to get a new key fob from the dealership, the good news is that the process is pretty quick, usually only taking 15 to 30 minutes.

For added convenience, a mobile locksmith can replace many key chains, program and cut keys right in your driveway.


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