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Car Key Replacement After a Purchase or Trade-in

Car Key Replacement After a Purchase or Trade-inPhoto from Unsplash

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Purchasing a new or used vehicle is an exciting milestone, but it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure your new investment is fully secure. One crucial aspect that many buyers overlook is dealing with the previous owner’s keys and remote key fobs. Failing to handle this properly can leave your vehicle vulnerable to theft or unauthorized access.

When you take ownership of a vehicle, you have no way of knowing how many copies of the keys and remotes are floating around out there. This is why automotive locksmiths strongly recommend getting all the keys and remotes re-programmed or replaced when you purchase a new vehicle.

Continue reading below as %COMPANY%’s experts guide you through why you need to replace your key following a new purchase or trade-in.

Why You Need All Keys and Remotes Programmed to Your New Vehicle

From a security standpoint, any keys and remotes from the previous owner of a used vehicle pose a major risk. So long as those old keys remain active and functional, anyone who possesses them can potentially gain unauthorized access to your new vehicle.

While the prior owner may seem trustworthy, you can’t account for what happened to copies they may have lost or loaned out over the years. Therefore, taking immediate action should be your top priority.

Deprogram All Keys and Remotes

Having an automotive locksmith deprogram all existing keys and remotes eliminates this security threat by ensuring only newly programmed keys work with your vehicle.

Doing this gives you complete control from day one of ownership for:

  • Operating the doors, trunk, and ignition
  • Integrating with the vehicle’s anti-theft systems
  • Avoiding error messages from mismatched keys
  • Ensuring a seamless experience with all functions

While you may find this extra step to be a hassle, it’ll bring about a sense of security.

The Benefits of Getting New Keys Cut With a Fresh Code

While re-programming existing keys is a great first step, automotive locksmiths recommend taking security one step further by having brand-new keys and remotes issued with fresh codes. Doing this provides an extra layer of protection to ensure none of the previously coded keys can ever regain access to your vehicle.

The benefits of getting new keys cut with a fresh code include:

  • Access to the latest unique code data issued by the manufacturer for your vehicle’s specific make, model, and year.
  • 100% certainty that no other key copies are floating around.
  • Starting fresh with crisp, unblemished keys not worn down from years of prior use.
  • Avoiding potential issues with older keys not working smoothly in the ignition cylinder or door locks.
  • Having remotes with fresh batteries in perfect operating condition.

If you ask us, you may as well go all out when you invest in a new vehicle by also investing in new keys and remotes with newly programmed codes. The benefits are plentiful and make the cost worth every dollar.

Disable Lost or Stolen Keys From the Previous Owner

In addition to issuing you new keys, a professional automotive locksmith can also perform services to disable any previously coded keys that may still be unaccounted for. Depending on your vehicle’s system, they can remove all previously coded keys from the memory so those keys are permanently deactivated and inoperable.

RFID Immobilizer Chips

For vehicles with RFID immobilizer chips in the keys, the locksmith can deactivate and replace the vehicle’s system anytime to block all old keys. These immobilizer chips use radio-frequency identification to communicate with the vehicle’s computer and allow the engine to start. Replacing the system ensures a fresh security start that essentially deactivates all previously programmed keys.

Metal Keys

For basic metal keys, the locksmith will likely re-key the ignition and door cylinders, so different cuts are required. This involves reconfiguring the tumblers inside the locks so the old keys no longer have the correct pattern to operate them. Only a locksmith can perform this task because they have access to codebooks and tools to cut brand-new keys matched to the updated lock specifications.

These processes only take anywhere between a few minutes to a half hour, depending on the key type. Considering the little effort required and the safety it yields for you as the new auto owner, it makes sense to seek this service.

DIY vs. Using a Professional Automotive Locksmith

While it may be tempting to trust Google or YouTube for steps to handle key fob programming or re-keying on your own, these intricate processes require a trained eye and particular tools.

Having it done by a professional automotive locksmith ensures it’s completed correctly the first time. Additionally, experienced professionals have the proper tools and software to accurately cut new keys to match the manufacturer specifications for your specific vehicle type. They also have the correct diagnostic equipment to properly program the transponder chips and sync everything with your vehicle’s systems.

The importance of using a professional cannot be overstated for:

  • Avoiding incorrect DIY programming that wastes money on new keys
  • Preventing potential damage or issues to your vehicle’s electrical systems
  • Benefiting from comprehensive key replacement service
  • Reasonable pricing and quick turnaround times
  • Peace of mind knowing your new vehicle’s security is properly handled

Attempting DIY key programming risks costly mistakes. It’s also a time waster because you likely don’t have the technology to speed up the process. Most reputable locksmiths provide expert services that make this investment well worth it for the security of your new vehicle.

Secure Your New Vehicle Today

Whether you purchased a brand-new or pre-owned vehicle, taking control of the key situation should be a top priority. Don’t wait until issues arise from old keys floating around—be proactive about your vehicle’s security. Even if you’re familiar with the previous owner, taking extra security steps never hurt anyone.

Since re-programming your car keys requires the assistance of a licensed locksmith, we’d love to help. %COMPANY% is a trusted auto locksmith with expertise in all types of locks. For service inquiries, reach our team at %PHONE1%.

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