Re-keying a car key

brussoNovember 30, 2008

I lost one of my car keys and went to the Ford dealershipto get a new key for my 2001 Explorer. when he told me that it would cost $165 for a key , I left the place and now am wondering if there is any alternative to getting a key made other than at a dealership. Any help is appreciated.

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Are you kidding?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 4:31PM
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Back in '02 we bought a vw jetta for my wife. The sales guy was all proud of the folding "key" part of it that opened like a switchblade knife. He also warned us that if we lose it, the only replacement comes through them or any vw dealer and it's costly. You might be out of luck but just for grins, try a locksmith. The problem i see is that the keying part of the shaft is different than standard type keys and is possibly not able to be duplicated. The new types seem to be molded or stamped and not cut like standard type keys and is something the dealerships have a stranglehold on as far as the outfit that does the stamping.That's how i understood the sales guy's explanation, fwiw.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 5:33PM
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it is the microchip in the key that makes it expensive. the mircochip is for the anti theft system. if the key attempting to start the vehicle does not have the PROPER RFID, the engine won't turn over.

you can get a regular key cut at any locksmith, but it will only unlock the doors.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Makes more sense. Besides the key, it locks/unlocks the doors and trunk and honks the horn if you need to locate it, etc.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:49PM
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Thanks for the responses. Needless to say, this really burns me up. I guess I'll ask for a new key for Christmas!!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 8:12AM
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A transponder key and a remote fob are cheap on eBay and you can get the key cut at a hardware store but it takes 2 working keys to be able to program the new one yourself so you will have to pay a dealer or possibly a locksmith to do that for you. Buy a spare while you're at it.

Why post on the a home repair forum, why not just Google it?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Mount your one good key, (the one with the 'chip'),
up under the dash. Somewhere that the sensor can
detect it. Then have a couple of plain keys made
at the locksmith. The chip key will keep the sensor
happy and the plain keys will open your doors and
start your vehicle.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:18AM
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The sensor is a ring around the ignition key area under the trim.
That idea could work if the one good key is hidden in the steering column.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:11AM
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If this is an anti-theft key, you may need to pay the piper.

Want to hear ridiculous? The guy that makes keys at the hardware store said that it can cost over $1000 to have a duplicated non-anti theft key removed from an anti-theft ignition! It goes in but does not come out and requires major work! So before you try some other key, check with the dealer.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Thats a new one, a built in trap in a pin & tumbler assembly, I think the kid at Ace hardware embellished that a bit

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 11:08AM
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I recently needed to get a new key for my wife's Altima. Dearler wanted $130. A pro lock smith reproduced my wife's key for $65. They have a gizmo that reads the microchip.

Now, the latest thing is keyless ignition but you have to have the fob with you for it to work. You just push a button on the dash.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:24AM
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I'm waiting for the card version that I can carry in my wallet with voice recognition to lock/unlock the doors.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:33AM
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Im waiting to retire and start the 1950 1/2 ton chevy pickup project where i can stick the key in the ignition, hit the floor starter, and go. If I need another key, go down to mom & pops handy hardaware and get one made for a buck!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Actually, it was the store owner, an older fellow that told me that. I don't think he was making it up although maybe the amount stated (as I remember) might have been a little high. On one particular model, the only way to remove the key was to take apart the steering wheel to get at the ignition. A lot of labor involved. I found some stories of keys stuck in antitheft ignitions here at and

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:24AM
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