How much to replace car key? Am I being taken for a ride?

skrepkaOctober 14, 2006

Hi all.

I lost a key and a remote control to our 2005 Nissan Altima (leased). DH called the dealership, and they are saying that it will cost $350 to replace and to reprogram the car. Does this sound right to anyone?

thanks

skrepka

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bill_h

yep sounds about right, some cost more.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:55PM
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jahmmy

For our Saturn, they told us it would be $75 when the battery dies.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 9:37PM
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Jonesy

We had one set of keys with remote stolen, to replace the remote and reset them cost us $80.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 12:17AM
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Jonesy

Wanted to add we replaced the key at a key shop for around $25.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 12:19AM
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steve_o

Those "smarter" key fobs, with remote controls and immobilizer anti-theft chips, are stunningly expensive. I think the ones for my Volkswagen run between $150-250 depending on where you get the parts and who does the programming. A quote of $350 sounds a little high to me, but it's not out in the stratosphere. :-(

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 8:29AM
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buckeye1

I went to the local hardware store not knowing their was a chip in the key for my Lincoln Navigator and they told me they could not make the key for me but to bring it to a locksmith. I called the lincoln dealer and they wanted 250 I went to the locksmith and they charged me 75! Try visiting a locksmith because they have the tools to program the key.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 8:43AM
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jannie

I paid $250 in January 2006 to replace one key and one remote. It had to be done at a dealer, of course. When I needed a duplicate key to my husband's 1992 Ford, it cost me $6 at a locK smith.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 1:22PM
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joyfulguy

Safety has its price.

Ask George W. - the burning bush (that hasn't been consumed - but he's not in the wilderness of Sinai).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 3:07PM
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sparksals

Jahmmy: For our Saturn, they told us it would be $75 when the battery dies.
----

Does this depend on the type of vehicle? My coworker has a nissan (I think) and went to a battery store to replace the remote battery when it died. It cost her maybe $15. I have a Saturn and I hope I can do the same thing.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 12:23AM
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steve_o

Replacing the battery and replacing the entire key are two seperate things. I've replaced the battery in my VW fob for a few minutes of my time and the cost of a "button" battery. However, this is a key fob which still will work manually on the door if need be. Losing it would be an entirely different matter.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 8:10AM
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Meghane

I have a soft-top Jeep. The windows unzip from the outside. For some reason, the vehicle is equipped with locks, which haven't been used in the almost 10 years I've had it. Go figure.

I guess technology has a (high) price.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 9:35PM
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skrepka

Thanks everyone for your replies. When I lost my keys, actually, I dropped them in a sewer and so them go plop in there, I thought I would be good for about $60, but not $350. Oh well, live and learn.

Skrepka

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 9:57PM
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jtimleck

Per the comment on VW key fobs and programing...

Apparently after changing your battery you will lose the programming of the key - however - opening and closing the door MANUALLY recodes the fob. So that's the price of a battery if that fob has lost its code. Now i'm NOT sure this would apply to a new fob that was cut to match an old key. It **does** matter what kind of car you have and replacement and progamming at dealerships is up to *$1000* - ouch...

see also

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2124048&page=2

Here is a link that might be useful: USA Today - April 4, 2006,

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 3:27PM
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steve_o

Hmm ... I replaced the battery on my VW fob by myself, using instructions I found on the Internet, and it worked fine by button (remotely) without manually locking and unlocking. Then again, I also managed to replace my battery without making the radio anti-theft kick in, so maybe I'm just lucky. :-)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 10:10AM
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joyfulguy

shrepka,

Do you have any stomach for digging around in that sewer?

Quite likely I'd don my rubber boots and go for it!

I paid $2.00 - 3.00 to replace the key on my old '93 Taurus, a few months ago.

Same for my '90 Colt, a while before that.

Hope you can find a (reasonably) inexpensive solution to your problem.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 6:00PM
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kompy

My husband found some place online that would replace his fob. It was not very expensive at all. He has a Ford Explorer. I'll try to repost with a URL.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:40AM
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dreamgarden

shrepka
If I dropped something that expensive in the sewer, I'd find a pole with a magnet on the end of it and see if I could retrieve it that way. You'd probably find a few other fobs while your at it. Seems unreal that they would be so expensive to replace.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 8:36PM
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doorguy06

As someone put it technology has it's price. I used to be a mechanic for a Dodge dealership and the price of a key fob was around $80.00 and the price of a coded key was anywhere from $100.00-$200.00 dollars. The programing part of the key was not hard you have to have a key code and the right scan equipment to program it. Of course you also have to pay for the shop labor rates which is from $60.00-$100.00 an hour depending on where you live and if it is a customer pay job they are going to charge you atleast a half on hour to program each. So I would say this is right in the ball park.

Technology is eliminating shade tree mechanics and independent shops therefore forcing you to go to the dealership and pay outrageous rates.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 9:41PM
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tuanh

i don't think Nissan or car Manufactors make the car security system, probably other company made it for Nissan. look into the stuffs which came with the car, see if you can find the warranty or papers related to your car security system and call that company to buy from them, that will save you some money. if the battery dies just take your key to radioshack they changed out for you, it cost me $3.50 /2 batteries.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 4:41PM
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bushleague

The new keys and keyfobs with transponders are pricey.
Check eBay motors for some great deals on new replacements!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:00PM
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carealot

Depends on the make and model of the car, That's what I paid too and I have a 2002 Mazda. It's a bummer I know!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 2:00AM
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weedly

The problem with losing one key fob, if it is a transponder type key fob, is that they have to reprogram the remaining key fob, the new key fob, and the car's ECU itself.

I have a 2005 Volvo station wagon, and it does not really have a key, it has a key like thing that you put into the ignition, and it uses the transponder to decide if the right key is installed. The key fob also has a "blade" or regular type key that will open the car if the battery is dead.

The car's ECU menu will tell you how many keys have been made for the car.

Losing or breaking a new car key can be an expensive proposition, and the reason for it is many fold. Security, proprietary software and design and dealer involvement can send the cost of a new key fob into the three hundred dollar range, and easily.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 5:59PM
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vegas_t

I was told 500.00 to replace the key for my 2006 Volvo. You are paying to reprogram the "brain" to your car not the key itself.
Replacing a battery is different, couple of dollars and you can do it yourself.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:09PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I wonder how much it would cost to simply disable the entire security system, and install regular locks w/ ordinary keys, plus an ignition cut-off?

I really don't need to be able to unlock my car from several paces away; I just need ignition cut-off. I was very happy w/ my "punch the code into the keypad" cut-off.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 10:21AM
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junkyardgirl

wondering ... do they make car locks without all that fancy stuff anymore? I'm looking at a new car somewhere down the road, and I don't want power anything on it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:23PM
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cherylnsw

I lost my keys a couple of years back and rang to find out the replacement cost of the remote lock - it was about $280! I just used DH's one for a while and then about 2 months later I recieved my keys back in the post because I put a numbered keyring that I had gotten free from some site on the internet. Very Lucky. My remote has since broken, the part that attaches to the keyring broke off. Ended up making a cover for it, after losing it a couple of times. But after 7 years of use both remotes look worse for wear, the rubber on the buttons are worn out, we open the units up and put a bit of plastic over the button every couple of months.

One thing I really hate about remote car locks. The lack of security, they unlock every door at the same time, too bad for you if someone is hiding by the side of the car. I know people who have their bags snatched this way.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:19PM
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jannie

Yes, I lost the key and fob to my 2004 Toyota Corolla and it cost about $250 to replace. You can bet I've been very careful ever since!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:23AM
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western_pa_luann

"One thing I really hate about remote car locks. The lack of security, they unlock every door at the same time,"

Not all cars!

With mine, one click and the driver's door only unlocks. Click again and they all unlock.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 1:31PM
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skarah1313

I get all of my replacement keys and remotes off of ebay. I buy from two good dealers on there and I've never had a problem. There are code numbers on all of the keys and remotes that the dealerships use to program and identify for each make/model of car. If you look for that type of key with the code,you can find replacements really cheap on ebay. They send directions on how to program the keys yourself and it only takes a few minutes to do. It has worked for me everytime and I've gotten 6 replacement keys and remotes for my car,and my parents cars. The dealerships screw the public over on so many things. It's like getting charged $60 for aspirin at the hospital. It's a racket.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:25AM
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skarah1313

"I was told 500.00 to replace the key for my 2006 Volvo. You are paying to reprogram the "brain" to your car not the key itself."

Actually,that's incorrect. You're paying for a guy to program the key,which only takes about 5 minutes at the most. The car carries the code and sends it to the key. The keys come with a blank chip embedded in them. They work the same way a remote works for garage door openers. So you're basically getting ripped off each time you go to the dealership and wait up to an hour for some guy to "program the car". They are lying to you. I've programmed the keys myself.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:33AM
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joyfulguy

Hi again skrepka,

There's another way to get taken for a ride.

You can stand by the side of the road and hold up your thumb.

There are certain disadvantages ...

... like, it's hard to keep to a schedule ...

... it's difficult to travel in the city ...

... it gets cold, standing by the roadside in northern states (and most anywhere in Canada) in winter, plus ...

... standing by the roadside makes one somewhat vulnerable and some hitchhikers have been abused - even murdered.

Seldom ... so not to worry overmuch on that issue.

On the other hand ... riding on one's thumb ... or even attempting to so ride ...

... on most freeways ...

... will net you a ticket, the size of which you may find comparable to the (admittedly, expensive) price of getting your auto key replaced!

Wow!! This story has been around for over two years!

Too bad you didn't come back to tell us how you got the problm resolved, shrepka - don't tell me that you've let the car sit unused for the time between?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 5:01AM
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dlkels101_gmail_com

A lot of information given has been faulty. The cost of keys depends on your vehicle. Your's is a transponder system that requires an incode/outcode process, that only a dealership or a locksmith with a 5k dollar machine and software can do. You're not going to get this key programmed by yourself. All vehicles are not the same, just because joe schmoe got a $70.00 toota key online doesnt mean squat. SOME toyota keys can be programmed by yourself, most cannot...

In my town for us to come out to you and make this key we would charge $250.00 if you are in the city limits. Outside of the city would also mean mileage fee. If you had the vehicle towed to us it would save you $50.00. If you were able to provide a key code it would save you a minimum of $62.50. So, if you were willing to do a little running around and provide us that information we could make the key for $137.50 (1 key, an additional key would be $30.00 more). A key code can be obtained from the dealership, its proprietary information you already own, there should be no charge for that, Ive seen some shady dealerships charge a fee though (never more than $20.00).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:51PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Don... the post is 5 years old. I am sure this has been resolved.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 1:06PM
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vala55

If you lost the remote couldn't you still us the key manually if you didn't have the money to replace the remote?

I have a smart key and really love not digging around in my purse every time I drive the car.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 7:35PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

If your car starts with a key, you don't need the remote. If you have a push-button start, you'll need that fob. Although those fobs contain a key to get you in the door in case the battery of the car is dead.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 7:08AM
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cgrdunca

What solution did you go with? Did it get fixed? Awaiting your response

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 5:52AM
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tburris123

YOU'RE ALL BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE, SCAMMED, RIPPED OFF AND YOU'RE SIMPLY TAKING IT. WE ALL ARE. That's the problem with this world today. $85 for a little key. Come one now, think about that.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2015 at 1:09PM
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mary_c_gw

You should realize this thread is 9 years old...no doubt the original poster has solved her /his problem. Probably the poster no longer owns the car in question.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2015 at 6:10PM
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sushipup1

But it's still good information for anyone doing a search on the subject.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2015 at 9:14PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

That is normal. However, if you can find a really good locksmith, they can usually sell you one for about 1/2 or less of that cost.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 11:51AM
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