I am often told by people I come in contact with, that the dealer says that only the dealer can make them an extra key. Well I hate to say it, but that is just simply not always true. I am not a car dealer, so I can't tell you all there is to know about selling cars. The dealer is not a locksmith, so there is no way for them to know exactly what a locksmith is capable of doing when it comes to keys and remotes.
There are some vehicles that we locksmiths cannot currently duplicate or replace, but not many. And all it takes is a phone call to see if we can do it and get a price. If you get a cheaper price from the dealer, please let us know and give us the opportunity to meet or beat it if we can. It's not always possible to beat them, but we will always be honest with you, and are happy to look into it.
There are basically two ways to get spare keys for your car. The first is to cut and program a key into the vehicle computer with a diagnostic tool. The second is to clone a key.
In the first scenario, we would duplicate your key (or make it from scratch if you have lost your key), then hook a diagnostic tool to your cars computer to gain access and add the key into the computer. We are required to do this on some models becasue there are not cloneable keys available. The advantage to a programmed key is that on some cars, you can add keys by a simple in car procedure once you have two working keys. The disadvantage is that it is more expensive, the car must be present to add the key, and if you are having the work done by the dealer, you will be tied up at the dealership for some time.
In the second scenario, we can clone a key. This is exactly like it sounds...just like the sheep Dolly. Every chip key has a numerical code in the chip. When the code is programmed into the vehicle computer, the car reads that code from the key and starts, as long as the code is correct. When we clone a key, we use another computerized tool to read the code from your key and then write that code onto another key. Each time you put a key in the car, regardless of which one it is, the computer sees the same key code. The advantage here is that it is much cheaper, the car does not have to present, you don't have to wait for anyone to program the keys, and you can have an unlimited number of clones. On most vehicles, the computer will only store a certain number of keys (most are less than 10). When using clone keys, the computer only sees one key, so you can have 30 keys if you want to. If you lose your keys a lot, you may want to have a few extra keys and we'd be happy to clone them for you!
Don't always take what the dealer says as gospel. Please give us a call and we can give you all of your options and costs in just a few minutes.