KINSEY REPORT UNLOCKS YOUR VEHICLES KEY COSTS
If you think that you can simply visit your local locksmith to replace a lost car key, think again. In a survey of over 27 vehicles, for only one, the Daihatsu Cuore, does this hold true. For all the rest, it is a much more complicated and expensive proceedure.
For the record, a key for the Cuore from my local locksmith would set you back R12.50 including VAT, providing you had a spare key to copy from. If you dont, the bill becomes huge very quickly. Prices vary from this modest cost to the highest on my list, - R1 824, for a key and remote. All prices in this survey were sourced from dealers, not from the manufacturers, reflecting what the motorist would have to pay if he walked into his local dealership and asked for replacement prices. Prices were gathered during the same month, which does away with possible increases ( or decreases ) of prices at the end of the month.
Keys come in various forms: Theres the simple single key, then the key with a transponder in the plastic back of the key. This transponder emits a code which the vehicles computer system is programmed to recognise. Ford tell me that there are tens of millions of individual codes. Then there are keys that have built-in remote transmitters, which open doors and boot at the touch of a button. Some Mercedes cars dont have a real key at all, but a plastic stub which is used to start the car. Renault Lagunas work on a smart card. There are no key mechanisms in the doors or for the ignition. You simply press a button to enter the car, slot your smart card into the centre console, press the start button and go.
Many people do not realise ( probably because they have not read the instruction booklet that comes with the vehicle), that the 2, 3 or 4 keys supplied with a new car, do not all perform the same function. There are usually two working keys that should be used on a regular basis. Some manufacturers colour the plastic part of their keys 2 grey and one black on Alfas, - where the black key is a master key and should be kept in a safe place. If it is used regularly, the vehicle computer (CPU) will eventually code itself to zeros. Then any correctly cut key will start the car.
Some vehicles come with a service key, which will allow the vehicle to be started, but will not offer access to the boot. This is for use when the vehicle is sent in for servicing or repairs.
The following chart gives an idea of what it will cost to replace the key and/or remote for 27 vehicles. In some instances, once a key and remote have been purchased, the remote and/or the CPU will require re-programming. On very few, is it a job you can do yourself.
The chart also shows the cost to cut the key, which can sometimes be done locally, or otherwise by the factory. BMW, for example, require that the car be taken to a recognised dealer, who will de-activate the lost key and, only when you have proven your ownership of the car, will he supply a ready cut, programmed key and remote to you.
So, apart from running the risk of having your car driven away by the lucky fellow who found your keys in the parking lot, it can be both inconvenient and costly to replace a lost key. But, if a key is lost or stolen, do replace it immediately, because losing the full set could cost over R6,000.00 and leave you stranded for up to three weeks while a new set arrives from the factory overseas!
|CAR PARTS SURVEY 2002|
|* DENOTES COTY FINALIST|
|MAKE||* FORD||TOYOTA||MERCEDES||* ALFA ROMEO||MERCEDES||* AUDI||TOYOTA||BMW||VW|
|MODEL||MONDEO||CAMRY||C 270 CDI||147 1.6||ML 270 CDI||A4 1.9||COROLLA 1.6||320 D||CITI GOLF|
|2.0 GHIA||220 GX AUTO||AUTO||PROGRESSIVE||AUTO||TDI||GLE||AUTO||1.4 I|
|PROGRAMME CPU ?||R||53.58||153.90|
|CUT KEY - LOCAL||R||57.00||40.00||40.00||20.00|
|CUT KEY - FACTORY||R|
|MAKE||HONDA||* BMW||* NISSAN||* CITROEN||VOLVO||MAZDA||* PEUGEOT||* VOLVO||OPEL|
|MODEL||CIVIC 1.7||X5||ALMERA 1.6||PICASSO||S 40||ETUDE 160 I E||307 2.0 XS||S60||ASTRA|
|V TEC||3.0 D AUTO||LUXURY||1.8 I STD||AUTO||A/C||2.4T||1.6 CD|
|PROGRAMME CPU ?||R||235.00||207.48||207.48||114.00|
|CUT KEY - LOCAL||R||20.00||34.20||51.60||60.00||57.00||60.00||22.80|
|CUT KEY - FACTORY||R||57.00||270.14||270.14|
|MODEL||TAZZ||CORSA||NEON||MATIZ||323 STING||PALIO||RIO 1.5||ATOZ PRIME||CUORE|
|130||1.4 I||2.0 LX AUTO||SE A/C||130||1.2 ED||RS||MAN|
|PROGRAMME CPU ?||R||114.00|
|CUT KEY - LOCAL||R||15.00||22.80||9.85||14.50|
|CUT KEY - FACTORY||R||567.05|