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rekey a car lock
Rekey A Car Lock

Rekey A Car Lock: Why Do I Need To And What Is The Process?

If you’re like most people, you seldom think about your car locks. But what do you do when you lose your keys or the lock stops working? You might need to rekey a car lock.

To rekey a car lock is a simple process involving the configuration of the pins in the lock so that it can only be opened with a new key.

However, when you rekey a car lock, it is not as simple as residential door locks for example. We’ll explain the variety of reasons why you might need to rekey a car lock and how it is done.


Why You Need To Rekey A Car Lock

Stolen keys

If you’ve had your keys stolen or you’ve lost them, then you’ll need a new car key and also will need to rekey a car lock. This will ensure that the old keys can no longer be used to access your vehicle and will prevent someone from gaining access to your car.

Bought a used car

When you buy a used car, there’s always the risk that the previous owner still has a copy of the key. If they do, they could come back at any time and take your car. To protect yourself, it’s important to rekey a car lock as soon as you purchase a used vehicle.

Lock damage

In certain circumstances where your locks have been damaged, you may only need to rekey the locks to fix them. This saves you from having to get a full lock replacement done. Although, bear in mind that if the damage is too severe, you may have no other option but the replace the locks.

Security concerns

Finally, if you have any reason to believe that someone has copied your car key, you need to rekey a car lock in order to prevent them from being able to use it to enter your car in the future.


How Does A Locksmith Rekey A Car Door Lock?

If you engage an experienced automotive locksmith for a car rekey, the first thing they will do is examine your locks. They need to know what type of locks you have in order to use matching components. They will also inspect other elements of your car door and ignition. In case there are other issues that will impact the job at hand.

In order to rekey your car locks the locksmith will usually need to remove the cylinder and change the lock pins, and wafer, or change tumbler settings. This also means you’ll need to rekey the ignition cylinder and reset the car’s electronic engine immobilizer system otherwise your new transponder key will not be able to communicate with, or start your car engine.

Alternatively, some people choose to use two keys, one for the door locks and one for the ignition. This does save you money but can be a real hassle if you lose one of them.


Can I rekey a car lock myself?

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether it’s possible to rekey a car lock yourself or how to fix a broken car door. The answer is usually no – unless you’re a qualified car locksmith, it’s not recommended that you try to do this yourself.

There are a few reasons for this. First, car locks are notoriously finicky and can be easily damaged if they’re not handled correctly. Second, even if you do manage to successfully rekey the lock, there’s no guarantee that it will work properly thereafter.

Finally, if you try to do this yourself and something goes wrong, you could end up stranded somewhere or locked out of your car entirely. So while it might be tempting to try to save some money by rekeying your own locks, it’s usually best to leave this task to the professionals.


Getting A New Car Key

If you’ve had your car door locks rekeyed, you will need to get yourself a new key (and a spare key). A fully equipped locksmith should also factor in replacement car keys (check that this is included as one of their locksmith services) to match the new locks. However, if this doesn’t happen you’ll need to get a key cut specially.

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine what kind of key you need. If your car uses a traditional key, you can usually get a replacement from your local hardware store or auto parts store. However, if your car uses a transponder key or chip key, you’ll need to get a new key from your car dealership, an auto locksmith, or directly from the manufacturers. In either case, be sure to have handy any relevant information about your car, such as the make, model, year, and key code.



How much does it cost to rekey car locks?

The cost of rekeying your car locks will depend on a few factors, such as the make and model of your vehicle, the number of locks that need to be rekeyed, and the complexity of the job. In most cases, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 to have your car locks rekeyed by a professional locksmith. However, if you have a more complex system or a higher-end vehicle, the cost could be closer to $200.

Ultimately, the best way to get an accurate estimate for rekeying your car locks is to contact a local locksmith directly.

How long should it take to rekey car locks?

The make and model of your car will play a role in how long the process takes. In general, it’s going to take longer to rekey a car with more complex locks, such as those with electronic key fobs. Additionally, the number of locks that need to be rekeyed will also impact the duration of the process.

With all of these factors in mind, you can expect the process of rekeying car locks to take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

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