How Much Does A Locksmith Charge to Program A Key Fob?

Over the years, car lock and key mechanisms have evolved to more efficient systems. Where these high tech solutions have made cars safer, getting a key programmed or reprogrammed is more challenging. Above that, several rules and regulations are governing key programming.

The increased complexity has left car owners no other option than consulting an auto locksmith to get them fixed. A commonly discussed downside of such complex technologies is that key fobs are now expensive to replace. The cost can be pretty steep especially if you have a modern luxury car.

Hiring a Cheap Locksmith in Brooklyn NY is an option but beware of the substandard services. Here is a brief guide about the typical costs of programming your car key.

Type of Car Key Primarily Determines the Cost

Although there are some other factors, such as the professional competence of the locksmith and your geographical area, that affect the cost, the type of car key primarily determines it.

Basic Car Key

In general, replacing a basic transmitter costs between $50-$100. The basic key locks and unlocks all the doors and has a security chip feature. It is also known as remote or transmitter. The costs vary greatly according to the car model and the key design.

These keys need to be programmed before they are ready to use. If you have got a new car key and it needs to be programmed, check the manual instructions to see if you can do it on your own. In most cases, car dealerships do that for free for new vehicles.

Transponder Key Fob

A transponder key has a transponder chip installed in the key head. When you press the button, it sends the signal to the car ignition to turn it on and can unlock the doors. If you are not pressing the right key, the car will not start. The main difference between a transponder fob and the basic key is that the latter one does not control the ignition of the vehicle.

Based on the complex function of the transponder key fob, the cost to replace or repair is higher. A replacement key can cost between $150-$210.  Getting a replacement key from a locksmith is almost always cheaper than your car dealership.  Make sure you are hiring a licensed and certified locksmith.

Switchblade Key

It’s just a fancy model of the key. As the name suggests the key can be folded into its fob when you are not using it. A switchblade key easily wears out and you may find yourself getting it repaired now and then. The total replacement cost for a switchblade key is around $300.

Laser Cut Key

For those who don’t know, the shank of the laser cut key is generally thicker than other key types. If your car key is a laser-cut key, you will see fewer grooved featured on the key. Locksmiths use an expensive machine to make laser cut keys so be prepared for higher costs as compared to basic keys.

 Moreover, you need to make sure the locksmith you are hiring is equipped with the latest tools and equipment. Replacing and reprogramming a laser-cut will cost you between $15-0-$250. 

Smart Keys

Also known as a keyless entry remote, the smart key is the most complex of them all. It is expensive and much more efficient in providing safety as it uses a rolling security code. It comes with a random code every minute or so and makes it hard for hackers to break it. The code is picked by the vehicle and verified to start the car. Programming it will cost you around $250-$500.

Check with Your Car Dealer!

If you need a car key fob made in Manhattan NY, first check with your car dealer. If your car was built in the last five years or so, it is best to rely on your dealership.