Q. What do I do if I misplace my car keys?

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A.

Part -I

Pray. No seriously. Please pray to the God you believe in and ask him to give you the strength to damage your own car with your own hands.

Why you ask? That’s because it is precisely what you’ll need to do to get inside the car. Break one of the glass windows and get yourself inside. Now put the car into neutral gear.

Now you can push the car to wherever you want. But wait, there’s another problem. The steering is locked. It’s going to stay this way until the car key is inserted. So basically turning your car becomes a challenge.

So the only option you are left with is towing the car to nearest authorized workshop. Here too, be prepared to shell out more than standard charges since the effort of towing is higher in this case.

Part -II

With a new car we get two set of car keys. Suppose we loose one . Now there are a number of factors which makes us delay in getting another key made form the car dealer. Since we have one spare key we feel lazy to get a new one made. Secondly except the very basic cars, the charges for getting another key made are exorbitant. Thirdly getting a new car key made from the car dealer is a tedious process – they might require advance amount, entire process can take around 8-10 days, they will need a consent letter that you are allowing them to make a spare key for your car, they might have to program the key specifically for your car so they will need the car physically present the the workshop, etc.

Part – III

Except for the basic low end cars, most of the new cars come with two set computerized keys. In case car keys are lost, please do not attempt to get a spare car key made from a local key maker. one should contact nearest authorized car dealer and get spare key made from them. Now a days car keys are programmed so that car ECM recognizes the key every time it is used.

In case car ECM senses non genuine key used to open the door and to start the car, it wont start and in some smart cars anti theft alarm will start buzzing. In worst cases if an attempt is made to start the car with a non genuine key then the car might go into safe mode and will not start unless it is towed to the garage and diagnosed with their scanner. There are cases when due to use of non genuine key the damage is such that the ignition switch and lock cylinder has to be replaced to fix the car and get it back to normal which is an expensive affair when compared to getting a genuine car key made.

Moral of the story – always keep a spare set of keys handy.