How Do Locksmiths Make Car Keys

    How Do Locksmiths Make Car Keys

    Lost car keys is one of the biggest pains you can encounter. Not only is it stressful, but it puts a block in your scheduled meetings and sudden need for grocery trips, leaving you to use public transportation or find other stressful means of travel. 

    Luckily, with the help of a locksmith you can replace your car key. Locksmiths are one of the oldest professions there is. They are trained to handle keys and locks and have a large collection of locking materials and a wide array of skills to replicate keys and replace them. 

    Before you begin searching for “car key locksmith near me,” here is all you need to know about how a locksmith makes car keys and what a car key replacement entails. But first, it’s crucial to understand the different types of car keys.

    Understanding Different Car Keys 

    Most contemporary car keys combine three types of keys: mechanical keys, coded transponder chips, and remote keys.

    A Mechanical Key:

    In order to unlock the steering lock, the metal portion of the key, which is also used to manually open doors, is inserted into the ignition chamber. Only mechanical key carving or laser cutting can handle these keys.

    Read More: 5 tools you must have in your car lockout kit

    Mechanical Cut Car Keys:

    With this key, the blade's leading edge is carved into a sequence. A mechanical key cutting machine is used to create mechanically cut automobile keys; this is the same process a locksmith would use to create keys for other common locks like front doors.

    Laser Cut Car Keys:

    The more high level method is laser cutting automobile keys. Laser keys have similar cuts on both of the sides of the tip and dull edges. Unlike mechanical keys, they may be used in any direction to start an automobile.

    A Coded Electronic Transponder Chip: 

    In order for the automobile to read the key, it must be put into the ignition, this is where a coded transponder comes in.

    Transponder Chip:

    The chip doesn't require batteries since it is passive; the code is activated when you twist the key into the ignition. In the event that the transponder chip is missing or damaged, the engine won't start.

    Rolling Codes:

    Rolling codes cause the transponder code to change each time the key is turned.

    A Remote Control: 

    Newer automobiles come with remote controls that can secure and release vehicles as well as turn off the alert security system. To communicate a coded signal to a detector on the automobile, manufacturers usually require a radio signal, while some do it with lasers.

    What You Need When Contacting a Locksmith About a Car Key 

    You must be prepared to provide a locksmith with your personally identifiable information and vehicle's identification number. These specifics will be used by the locksmith to verify your ownership of the vehicle. Alternatively, the locksmith might use your details to contact the National Automotive Service Task Force and get a special code. A new key can be cut using this special code. After this procedure is finished, the locksmith might have to reprogram your car's internal system to identify the key codes.

    How Car Keys Are Made By Locksmiths 

    Tracing the key code: This is the most integral part of the keying process. Your locksmith will decipher this key code and cut the key appropriately. The locksmith can determine the right key blank and the specifications to produce the key by utilizing specialized software and checking the vehicle data.

    Key cutting:

    Because metal is cut during the cutting process to create a vehicle key that matches your key code, this procedure involves the use of a very accurate key cutting machine.

    Programming the key:

    A new key must be programmed. In order to finish the procedure, your automobile key locksmith must program. They typically turn the ignition to the on position after inserting the key and repeat a process of turning the ignition on and off again for around 30 minutes. It depends on the car model but, we don’t recommend you do this on your own.


    The scoping procedure enables locksmiths to scan the wafer, enabling the automobile locksmith to view the grooves in a lock and decipher it in order to make a new copy.


    1. Can a locksmith make a car key?
      A locksmith can make a car key even if you lost it or no longer possess the original key. However, you need the car information to move forward with this process as you have to prove ownership of the car. This entails providing a Vehicle Identification Number and possibly other dealership information.
    2. How much does it cost to clone a car key?
      A new car key replacement cost is no joke when it comes to expense. Sometimes the only way to clone a car key is through your dealer which is generally most expensive, costing up to $200. Higher end vehicles can cost in the thousands. Car key locksmiths offer cheaper service than this. 
    3. How do locksmiths make new car keys?
      The quickest method a locksmith uses to make new car keys is scoping which entails capturing the grooves of the lock and filing down to size using cutting machinery or handiwork.
    4. How do locksmiths make car keys without the original?
      Locksmiths will use key blanks and cut the shape of the lock accordingly after getting the shape transferred onto the blank. An auto locksmith will come directly to you to do this process and have a variety of materials to take on the job. 
    5. Can a locksmith make a key from the VIN number?
      Through the vehicle identification number or VIN, the car key code can be retrieved and a new key can be cut by a car locksmith near me. The iffy side in all this is that a lot of vehicles also have transponders that need to be programmed which will require your vehicle to be towed and programmed by a locksmith in person. This process will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. 

    James Cooper

    I am a brand reputation manager at citylocal101, reside in New York City and is in the forefront of developing and putting into practice competitive strategies to elevate companies. Since graduating from Arizona State University, I was immediately pr...