While you can’t use your car without a key it is not uncommon to forget about the importance of maintaining working keys and knowing where your spare key is. Once upon a time you could easily just order a new cut key and be on your way. Now if you lose a key it isn’t that simple.
First, let’s look at where keys go missing. Based on our experiences the top locations clients have lost keys are:
- The Ski Slopes – keys in pockets can get lost in the powder and be gone forever.
- Red Rocks – a crowded concert environment makes finding missing keys a nightmare.
- DIA – it is hard to say if keys get lost on the trip or at the airport but either way a tow bill from DIA is harsh.
- At Home – we always intend to put our keys in a “safe” place but sometimes we hide them from ourselves.
So what happens if you lose your keys?
If you lose a second key, you can make arrangements to have the key replaced and programmed by appointment.
If you lose your only key the vehicle will have to be towed to the appropriate service center. We can help you with SAAB keys and Talissa contacted the AUDI, BMW, and MINI Dealers to get more information on your options for these makes. The pricing and solution vary by year, make and model so here is an overview of what to expect.
SAAB – As an Official SAAB Service Center we can replace duplicate and primary keys. If you lose a back up key, you only need to replace the key and transmitter which will range from about $175 to $250 depending on the model. If your car is a classic 900 you may just need a cut key which would be less. If you lose your only key then you also have to replace the CIM Unit. The cost (at time of posting) is about $600+ including programming plus the cost of key(s).
AUDI – The Dealer can assist you with ordering a new replacement key or keys for your AUDI. Depending on your needs a simple cut key for a 2006 AUDI or older can be around $100. For a new AUDI Key with transmitter and programming you’re looking at closer to $500 each.
BMW – The BMW key programming starts at $150. The key/transmitter pricing ranges great from around $200-$500 each. If your car keys don’t have the Comfort Access feature they may be less expensive.
MINI – The MINI key programming starts at $150. The key/transmitter pricing ranges great from around $356-$400 each. Again, If your car keys don’t have the Comfort Access feature they may be less expensive.
Some tips for Key Upkeep
- Make sure you know if your key uses a battery or charges off the car. BMW keys for example charge off the car so it is could to switch between your primary and duplicate key every few months. If your keys have batteries have them replaced at the same time. After all a back up key without a working transmitter is useless.
- Have a designated spot for your back up key and keep it there. If you have a home safe or a safety deposit box, consider putting your key there.
- Consider having a reliable family member or friend keep your second (or third) key. If you lose your car key along with your house keys, then you may not be able to get your back up car key quickly.
- Keep your keys clean. Make sure they teeth and cut key portion is clean without any stickiness and gently wipe down the buttons on transmitters.
- If your transmitter breaks or buttons are missing replace it as soon as you can.
- When buying a pre-owned car always find out if it has two keys and how much it would cost to get a replacement. This can help you in price negotiations.
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