It’s not necessarily a simple matter to replace a lost car key – it can be pretty complicated and costly. Almost all car keys these days have built-in security systems to deter car thieves (not that the thieves seem particularly deterred – they still steal about 100,000 vehicles a year).
As with most other parts of our current motor cars, keys have become very sophisticated. A key may have a “chip” encoded only to “talk” to the vehicle’s computer and identify itself. There are various ways that this is done so if you lose your key the replacement has to be encoded to match your car, or your car has to be “told” to accept this new key (on the previous Toyota Corolla/RunX this could only be done three times, after which the car’s computer had to be replaced, about R6,000).
There are some remotes that send out a radio signal which prompts the car to unlock one or all doors , and simultaneously the remote tells the car the code it will transmit next (known as code hopping) . If the remote is pressed several times out of range of the car, the code may get out of synch and the doors not open. The remotes on some cars require programming by the dealership to start the ball rolling.
For the sake of your wallet, never lose all your keys. Some vehicle manufacturers supply one master key in the set of car keys. In some cases this master key is used to programme any new keys you acquire – lose this and you are looking, not only at a new set of keys, but a new CPU for the car!
Many dealers are required to ask for proof of ownership before supplying a new key. BMW, for example, can supply a cut and programmed key within 2 working days, which the dealer will activate in the car. BMW can also de-activate any of the 4 keys supplied with a new car if the owner reports which one has been lost or stolen.
There are also “keys” that can be left in your pocket and as you touch the door handle the door will open, you get in and simply press the start button. The Renault card key simply fits into a slot on the dash and the driver presses a start button. It can also be used to programme a new card key if required.
Even if your car has a seemingly simple key with remote, the price for a new one can be pretty steep, so to avoid unnecessary expenditure and inconvenience, take care of your keys!
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|2007 KINSEY REPORT|
|KEY COSTS - PRICES INCLUDING VAT|
|VW CITI CHICO 1.4||R||26.99||26.99|
|CHEV SPARK 1.0 LS||R||138.86||138.86|
|TATA INDICA 1.4 LE i||R||14.25||
|OPEL CORSA LITE 1.4||R||301.07||301.07|
|DAIHATSU SIRION CX||R||429.55||429.55|
|CITROEN C1 1.0i||R||497.59||497.59|
|FORD KA 1.3 AMBIENTE||R||114.68||
|KIA PICANTO LX||R||828.85||828.85|
|TOYOTA YARIS T1 5 DOOR||R||220.24||
|PEUGEOT 207 XR 1.4 5 DOOR||R||693.28||693.28|
|RENAULT CLEO 3 1.6 EXPR.||R||763.97||763.97|
|FORD FIESTA 1.6 AMBIENTE||R||114.68||
|CHEV AVEO LS 4 DOOR||R||861.03||861.03|
|HYUNDAI GETZ 1.6||R||1,073.97||1,073.97|
|NISSAN MICRA 1.4 VISIA||R||1,157.39||1,157.39|
|VW POLO 1.4 TRENDLINE||R||619.86||
|SEAT IBIZA 1.4||R||857.07||
|OPEL ASTRA 1.6 ESSENTIA||R||662.45||662.45|
|FORD FOCUS 1.6 AMBIENTE||R||105.68||
|HONDA CIVIC 1.8 Lxi||R||1,105.39||1,105.39|
|NISSAN TIIDA 1.6 VISIA 4 DR||R||682.28||
|PROTON GEN 2||R||1,327.13||1,327.13|
|MAZDA 3 1.6 ORIGINAL 4 DR||R||300.31||
|VW GOLF 1.6 TRENDLINE||R||892.92||
|MAZDA 6 2.0 ORIGINAL||R||140.98||
|TOYOTA AVENSIS 2.0 ADV.||R||830.01||
|AUDI A4 2.0||R||865.75||
|JAGUAR 2.0 SE AUTO||R||380.10||
|MERCEDES C 200 K CLASSIC||R||1,958.24||