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The cost of replacing car keys now is ludicrous / Go get a spare made now

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posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:10 PM
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This is entirely my fault, but I still can't believe dealers get away with charging what they do for a freaking key.

So I went full dumbass and hopped in the lake with my truck key in my back pocket. I didn't have a spare (decided to save some money and traded in the car I bought new for a truck of the same year). I should have made a freaking spare, but I never lose keys and didn't want to pay the exorbitant price, on account of being a dumbass.

As you all are probably aware, newer vehicles (mine is pretty freaking new) have a chip, and you have to have the thing (and probably the vehicle) programmed for it to start the car. Fine, good idea. Makes it a lot harder to steal.

Went to hop in truck after floating and cooking my glorious white ass in the sun, searched frantically through all our stuff, no dice. I had ONE option. Get the truck towed. Called AAA (that I luckily just got) and the first tow company cancelled when they realized I didn't have a key. Can't put the thing in neutral or steer if you don't have the key. Luckily the next company AAA got ahold of had a competent guy that was able to disengage the transmission cable, pop it in neutral and haul her massive super crew butt onto a flatbed.

Dealers were all closed, didn't have a key for a drop box, so I had it towed home.

Call dealer the next day and find out I need to have the truck at the dealership to get her programmed along with the keys. Oh, fun fact, you have to buy two apparently if you don't have the original. Now that may be a lie they told me, but since I was going to get two made anyway I let it slide. Oh another lovely thing that happened, the dealer closest to me had a broken key machine.

Already used two of my three tows from AAA this year, so I figured I'd save the last in case I get stuck even further. Kind of a gamble. Called around, and the cheapest tow I could get was about $110 just for the hookup since I didn't have a key, and they needed to use dollies on the back since you couldn't unlock the steering wheel.

Get truck to dealership. It cost $400 freaking bucks to get two keys made and took them 1.5 hours and I had an appointment.

The keys are $160 a pop. They're the kind with the buttons on the key head. I can't imagine the keys cost more than $10 to manufacture. Give the dealer a 100% markup for the key and cutting it, I don't even care. I wouldn't balk at $50 a key, but $160 PLUS an hours labor for plugging my truck into a computer and cutting them? That's nonsense. Now, you can apparently get these keys cheaper and have a locksmith cut/program them, but that means no vehicle for a few days during shipping, and I'm not sure my truck could actually be programmed outside a dealership.

How is there not an easier/cheaper way to deal with this problem? I give you my VIN, prove I own the truck (I had to anyway), computer in the truck recognizes the new key you made. I avoid having it towed and wasting my time and money, I am a happy customer.

I don't mind the dealer making some money. I DO mind being forced to pay an exorbitant amount for something so simple, having no workaround and basically staying beholden to the dealer for something I OWN OUTRIGHT.

I got lucky, I know a lot of the newer keys are WAY moreexpensive. Again, I don't mind paying a markup for parts and to a certain extent labor. Gotta pay for the machine cutting the keys, even if it only takes a minute or two, that machine costs a pretty penny.

Anyway, if you have a chip key, go get some spares made before you get stranded like a dumbass and end up paying to have your stuff towed.

One thing that made me hate the dealership less, free loaner car and free coffeeshop. That was a nice touch. Good dealership really, bad idea on the keys and price gouging.




posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:17 PM
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a reply to: Domo1
I made that mistake once as well. You can get a replacement online for about $20-50 bucks.



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:17 PM
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a reply to: Domo1

I think the cost is because of 2 main factors. Money and preventing theft prevention.



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:29 PM
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Yet another reason to stick with old vehicles without all the computerised # .

Better than getting gouged everytime something inevitably goes wrong with the newfangled electronic wonders .



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:35 PM
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On 90's GM vehicles that had the "chip", all it actually was is a resistor. It could easily be bypassed with a few bucks at Radio Shack and a soldering iron (been there, done that) and a regular key made for it if you needed it. I'm sure it's gotten way more complex with newer vehicles now though. They probably use RFID chips or something.



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: Domo1


That's not too bad. A 2011 Jeep with push-button start is nasty, a spare key is $250 and the dealer has to program it for $150. If you lost the key it gets real ugly
. Told the wife her Jeep sucks lol. My GMC is only $25 for a key and $50 for a separate remote. No shop time required for computer to learn both new chips.



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:44 PM
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When you offer something people really need, you can charge them anything and they will pay.. It doesn't matter what the raw materials cost.. They will always pay..
The automotive industry is one prime example of this.. where a small piece of plastic can cost a couple of hundred bucks.



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:57 PM
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Dude that sucks I feel for you, but next time just call a locksmith that specializes with Auto. They will come right to your home or wherever the vehicle is but maybe not a remote lake. If the vehicle is unlocked even better but if not they can still finagle their way in. They spray something in the lock on the door or in the ignition if no keyhole on the door to get the mold to shape the new key right. Then they've got a little machine they plug into your vehicle same way a shop runs engine codes. Then they punch in some codes work their magic (I dont know the specifics obviously) and make a brand new coded key with a chip and buttons to unlock plus will start the vehicle. My vehicle even had two chips in each key the guy told me! Took him about 25 minutes with the car being unlocked to start with. Had the guy make me three keys, one which would unlock only, two pair with buttons to unlock from a distance and start it.

If it makes you feel any better - my vehicle was at home when this happened so obviously my only key was somewhere at home too. So i searched for it for literally 6 hours inside, outside, and inside the vehicle before I finally gave in and called a guy. He even texted me back not called lmao. It cost $140 for the whole ordeal (still expensive for the time and parts i know but beats the dealer for sure). Anyways two days later i drop my phone and feel underneath the drivers seat a bam my original key is right there not even hidden. I swear I looked under that seat a dozen times in a frantic search. Damn ghosts moving # around.

The guy also told me that the chipped keys certainly help reduce thefts but only with common street hoods looking for easy joy rides. Apparently the criminals who go after high end autos for chop shops have the same equipment and can still steal your ride with a custom made working key.
edit on 26-7-2017 by lightedhype because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-7-2017 by lightedhype because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2017 @ 11:57 PM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon
When you offer something people really need, you can charge them anything and they will pay.. It doesn't matter what the raw materials cost.. They will always pay..
The automotive industry is one prime example of this.. where a small piece of plastic can cost a couple of hundred bucks.


You ain't kidding. I work in a body shop, just last week we had to replace the taillight on a Fiat 500L. Thing probably wasn't even as big around as a cantaloupe, nothing special about it, just plastic and a couple of old-style incandescent bulbs inside of it. We bought it aftermarket and it sells for $350. No telling what it would cost to get it from Fiat.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 12:06 AM
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O man I totally understand! I lost one of my 'fancy keys' and thank the auto gods I found the 2nd one. I have not had a spare made because I never seem to have the money, praying I don't get in a situation like you had!
I am fairly absent minded though and, more often than I care to admit, I lock my keys in my truck... I found out you can get spares made that will just unlock the door, they were super cheap! (like.. 2$ or something) They won't start it but at least you can get inside and retrieve the right set if you do what I do lol.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 12:21 AM
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Yeah it's like $20 to have them make just a regular old key they have the cut shape code in their computer, and not too many years ago I tried to get one and the vehicle wasn't even their computer. They said they delete the records past 5, or maybe it was 10 years back. I mean they do this continuously moving forward! Since computer storage gets cheaper at a Moore's law sort of rate, I figure it costs them more hassling with keeping the constant push to scrub the old data then it would to just hang on to it. In truth, in the information age where records are for eternity, they surely do have them just as a policy they want to force you to hopefully pick them to do the work of retooling all your mech's.

S+F!

edit on 27-7-2017 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 12:36 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

When I was WAY younger I had a 1990 IROC with a chip key. Don't laugh, that thing was PERFECT to the point it wasn't white trash, she was beautiful and I still regret selling her. One key (ugh) for the ignition. The chip was a little plastic piece in the key that fell out all the time. I was broke back then. Hid the key in the car and just carried the door key after looking through a gravel lot for an hour for that little bugger. Still amazed I even found it. Loved that car, it was cherry and sort of eclipsed the white trash stereotype.



I think that replacement key was probably $75 at the most.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 01:53 AM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon
When you offer something people really need, you can charge them anything and they will pay.. It doesn't matter what the raw materials cost.. They will always pay..
The automotive industry is one prime example of this.. where a small piece of plastic can cost a couple of hundred bucks.


No kidding, this is probably why medical supplies are so expensive.

Also, I've been there and done that with getting a replacement key with the chip. I got mine done at a locksmith who is a friend of the family's, so it wasn't as expensive as the dealer.
edit on 27amThu, 27 Jul 2017 01:54:50 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 27amThu, 27 Jul 2017 01:55:03 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 02:08 AM
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originally posted by: VengefulGhost
Yet another reason to stick with old vehicles without all the computerised # .

Better than getting gouged everytime something inevitably goes wrong with the newfangled electronic wonders .



Meh. Love old cars and trucks, but my truck makes an insane amount of power out of a smaller and far more reliable engine while burning less fuel than the older models. It also seats 6 VERY comfortably, looks great, handles better, is safer, and is an all around better vehicle. I'll take the key hit.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 02:18 AM
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a reply to: Domo1
My car insurers provide keys for free. No premium increase.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 02:42 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

Next time call your insurance company. They paid the dealer to have two keys made for me. And surprisingly didn't even charge my deductible they were worried someone would steal the car.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 04:15 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

You did get "lucky" in that they weren't the $450/each kind, but still, brutal.

And your dealership, I'm sure they weren't all that excited for the charge, as it's typically about a 20% markup over what the manufacturer charges.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 05:05 AM
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I saw some nice cars at an impound lot,none of them had keys,and the keys from dealers were over 400.00,not including towing,I prefer older,you can buy a new ignition switch with new key for like 60,just have to remove steering wheel



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 06:15 AM
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You suckers and your newfangled machines.

My keys cost $3 to copy- and I leave them in the ignition, where they belong. The one place on this planet where they are useful.



posted on Jul, 27 2017 @ 06:26 AM
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a reply to: VengefulGhost

I have a 2015 Lincoln MKZ and a 93 jeep with roll down windows and power nothing that needs new shocks. Guess what I'm driving daily?
When I'm dressed up and want to impress I drive the Lincoln. When I'm in jeans I'm in my little jeep. We got it new and its older than my youngest child who is 21.
Keys... no beep beep ...no power locks no auto unlock. Just a key.
We had another Lincoln. A big ass town car trunk big enough for two dead bodies.
I was having an issue with it starting and so was reluctant to turn it off if it was just a short trip. So I grab two sets of electronic keys and go to the store. I leave it running and lock it up. I have two sets of keys remember. So I say I'm good unless the battery dies.
So guess what... the battery dies. Call a tow to get a jump. The guy comes. Gives me a jump and says start it. I click my key button and nothing. I'm like dude I can't open the lock the battery is dead. He gives me this look takes my key and inserts it in the lock. I'd used that button to open and lock it for so long I just completely forgot it was a key that could also open the door not just start the vehicle. I know I know. I felt like a dummy. True story. I don't go to that Ford dealer anymore lol .




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