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Can a Locksmith Make a Car Key?

Losing a car key or needing a spare is a situation that many vehicle owners face at some point. Whether it’s due to misplaced keys, theft, or simply the desire for a backup set, the need to create a new car key is quite common. This brings us to an important question: Can a locksmith really help in making a new car key? Indeed, when faced with the inconvenience of a lost or broken key, many might wonder if a locksmith can provide a quick and efficient solution. In this blog post, we’ll explore the capabilities of locksmiths, particularly focusing on their ability to make car keys and the variety of related services they offer.

Can a Locksmith Make a Car Key?

The simple answer is yes, a locksmith can indeed make car keys. Locksmiths are not only experts in dealing with residential and commercial lock systems but are also equipped to handle automotive lock issues. The skills required to make car keys are a fundamental part of a locksmith’s training. 

Whether you have an older model that uses a traditional mechanical key or a newer model with a complex transponder system, locksmiths have the tools and technology to create replacements. This service is particularly useful because it can be performed on-site by mobile locksmiths, offering convenience to car owners who might be stranded or unable to use their vehicles. The cost for these services varies depending on the type of key and the complexity of the technology involved, but locksmiths often provide a more cost-effective and quicker solution than car dealerships.

Can a Locksmith Make a Car Key

What Services Do Locksmiths Offer for Car Keys?

Car locksmiths offer a comprehensive range of services for car keys that cater to various needs and situations, ensuring drivers can access and operate their vehicles with ease. These services include:

Key Duplication: This basic service allows car owners to have multiple copies of their car keys, which is useful for families with multiple drivers or simply as a backup in case of loss.

Key Replacement: If the original key is lost, stolen, or damaged, car locksmiths can create a new key from scratch. This can often be done without the original key, using the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) to ensure the new key perfectly matches the car’s locks and ignition.

Transponder Key Programming: Modern cars often use keys with embedded chips (transponders) that communicate with the car’s engine control unit. Locksmiths have the necessary equipment to program new transponder keys so they are recognized by the vehicle, allowing the engine to start.

Key Fob Replacement and Programming: For vehicles with keyless entry and ignition systems, locksmiths can replace and program key fobs, which may include integrating remote locking and unlocking features.

Broken Key Extraction: Car locksmiths can also extract broken keys from car doors or ignitions without damaging the vehicle, and then create a new key based on the broken pieces.

These locksmith services ensure that, regardless of the complexity of the key system, a skilled locksmith can provide a solution to get you back on the road.

Process of Making a New Car Key

The process of making a new car key involves several steps that require precision and expertise. Here’s a typical step-by-step guide on how locksmiths handle this task:

Process of Making a New Car Key

Step 1: Verification of Ownership

The car locksmith starts by verifying the owner’s identity and confirming the vehicle’s ownership documents. This step ensures that the service is provided securely and ethically.

Step 2: Determining the Type of Key

Next, the car locksmith identifies the type of key required. This could be a traditional mechanical key, a transponder key equipped with a microchip, or a key fob for vehicles with keyless entry systems.

Step 3: Acquiring Key Code

For mechanical keys and transponders, the locksmith might retrieve the key code using the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This code helps in precisely cutting the new key.

Step 4: Key Cutting

Using specialized machinery, the locksmith cuts the new key according to the specifications derived from the key code or an existing key. Precision is crucial to ensure the key will function correctly.

Step 5: Transponder Programming

If the key is a transponder, the locksmith programs it to communicate with the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU). This step is necessary for the key to be recognized by the car’s security system and allow the engine to start.

Step 6: Key Fob Configuration

For key fobs, the locksmith programs the fob to sync with the vehicle’s wireless entry and ignition system, ensuring that all remote functions are operational.

Step 7: Testing

Finally, the car locksmith tests the new key or fob with the vehicle to ensure full functionality. This includes checking the fit in locks and ignition and confirming that any electronic components communicate correctly with the car’s systems.

Each step is carried out with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that the new key is perfectly suited to the owner’s vehicle and fully operational.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a New Car Key

The cost of making a new car key can vary significantly based on several factors, such as the type of key, the complexity of the key’s technology, and the vehicle’s make and model. Here are some general cost ranges:

Sr. No.

Type of Key Cost Range Details


Mechanical Key $50 – $100 Basic key cutting without electronic components.


Transponder Key $120 – $250

Includes cutting the key and programming the chip.


Key Fob $150 – $300

Replacement and programming of electronic key fobs.


Laser-Cut Key $150 – $250

More intricate cut, usually with built-in transponder.


Smart Key $220 – $500

Keyless start and entry key that needs to be programmed.


VAT Key $150 – $300

Vehicle Anti-Theft System keys, require special programming.


Flip Key $125 – $300

A flip-out key blade integrated into a key fob, common in modern vehicles.


Valet Key $40 – $100

A key that operates the car’s ignition and door locks but not the trunk or glove box.


High-Security Key $100 – $350

Keys with advanced security features to prevent duplication.

#10. Remote Head Key $100 – $350

A key with remote control functions is built into the head of the key.

Note: These are the estimated prices collected from the different online resources. It’s recommended to consult with a professional car locksmith to get a precise quote tailored to your specific needs.


Locksmiths are indeed capable of making car keys for almost any type of vehicle, from simple mechanical keys to sophisticated smart keys. They offer a range of services including key duplication, replacement, and advanced programming for transponder keys and key fobs. 

Opting for a locksmith can often be more cost-effective and convenient than going through a dealership, especially when you need quick service. Whether you’ve lost your keys, need a spare, or require a replacement due to damage, a professional locksmith is a reliable resource for resolving your car key issues efficiently.

A+ Mobile Locksmith Will Help You Make a Car Key

If you’re in San Bernardino, CA, and find yourself in need of a car key, A+ Mobile Locksmith is your go-to provider. As a specialized vehicle and automotive locksmith, A+ Mobile Locksmith offers comprehensive services to address any car key or lock issue you might encounter. Their expertise and prompt service ensure that you’ll receive timely assistance, getting you back on the service road with minimal hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 Can a locksmith make car keys?

Ans Yes, a locksmith can make car keys. They have the tools and expertise to cut new keys and program transponder chips if necessary. This service is invaluable for replacing lost or stolen keys or for creating spare keys for convenience.

Q.2 What to do if a car key is lost?

Ans If a car key is lost, contact a car locksmith or your car dealership immediately. They can provide a replacement or duplicate key. Additionally, consider rekeying the locks to prevent unauthorized access if you suspect the keys were stolen or lost in a public area.

Q.3 How to make a duplicate key without an original?

Ans To make a duplicate key without the original, a locksmith can use the lock itself to determine the key’s cut pattern. They may disassemble the lock or use specialized tools to create an impression or decode the lock pins, enabling them to craft a new key from scratch.

Q.4 How long does it take to replace ignition key?

Ans The time to replace an ignition key varies, typically ranging from 20 minutes to a couple of hours. This depends on the complexity of the key’s design, such as whether it includes a transponder chip, and the specific procedures required to program it to the vehicle’s security system.

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