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You Lost the Keys to Your Car and Need to Rekey the Lock: How Do You Do That?

Most people don’t give much thought to their keys. We typically have them on hand and use them to lock and unlock our homes or get into our vehicles and start them without even thinking about it. Of course, if those keys come amiss, they consume our thoughts. If this is a common problem for you, you’re not alone.

Based on a recent report, at least 25 percent of Americans misplace their keys a couple times a week or more, and about 20 million outright lose their keys every year. Some have the foresight to keep spares in hidden places or with trusted friends or relatives. Many, though, aren’t quite so fortunate. 

What Happens If You Lose Your Car Keys?

Not very long ago, losing car keys was frustrating but not a major problem. Vehicle doors could be unlocked with a few simple, readily available tools. From there, a reversible hammer or screwdriver could be used to break the ignition switch and start the car. All it took was a little time and determination to overcome the problem of missing keys. That’s no longer the case. Circumventing such an issue is much more difficult with modern vehicles. In many cases, those who lose their keys need to have the locks rekeyed by going to or resorting to other methods.

How Do I Rekey My Locks?

First, it’s important to mention that rekeying isn’t necessarily the only solution. You may be able to replace the original keys for your vehicle. For newer models, though, that entails an extensive process. To even get the ball rolling, you’ll need to show proof of ownership of the vehicle and proof of who you are. All the while, you’re taking a chance that an extra key for your specific vehicle is even available. Some vehicle owners find themselves out of luck in that regard. That brings us to the various options for rekeying.

Do It Yourself

Quite a few vehicle owners prefer to take matters into their own hands. Plenty of instructional articles and videos are available showing people how to rekey their own vehicles. Having said that, rekeying automotive locks and ignitions is no simple feat. Many people who try to do it themselves end up destroying their locks or otherwise damaging their vehicles. In turn, they have to go through an even lengthier and more expensive process to resolve the problem than they would have if they’d turned to a professional to begin with.

Going Through a Dealership

Having locks rekeyed through a dealership is also an option. Again, you’ll need to show proof of ownership and identification before beginning the process if you want a land rover key replacement. That shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Still, you’ll have the added expense of having the vehicle towed to the dealership. Wait times are generally lengthy via this route as well. Additionally, turning to a dealership for this type of service is often more expensive. 

An Alternate Approach

For those who are leery of the DIY method and unwilling to face the expenses and wait times of going to a dealership, a locksmith is a viable alternative. Locksmiths have the tools and training to safely and effectively rekey vehicles. This solution tends to be faster and less expensive than other methods. At the same time, locksmiths come to you rather than expecting you to have the vehicle towed to them.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Marcus Richards

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