Losing your car keys or having them stolen is frustrating to say the least. Another annoying occurrence is when the remote on your electronic car keys fails. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics that you can apply to keep your keys safe, and to minimise the damage if they are broken, lost or stolen.
Why do keys get stolen?
Many thieves are opportunistic and so your car keys are at risk of theft if they are left in a visible location without anyone around to look after them. Avoid leaving your car keys in the car door or on the windowsill of your house. If you keep your keys in a pocket, keep it zipped and if you keep them in a bag or jacket, never leave that item unattended in public spaces like cafes.
So, I've lost my keys or had them stolen, what should I do?
If your keys have been stolen, the most important thing to do is to alert the police at the earliest opportunity - the sooner that you do this, the more chance you have of recovering your keys. If your keys are lost for good, it is time to change the locks, so that anyone who finds the keys cannot use them to steal your car. Calling out a specialist 24 hour locksmith will usually enable you to get your locks changed there and then, though higher prices are generally charged for call outs late at night or within a tight time frame.
What if the remote in a car key doesn't work?
For convenience, most car keys are three in one. That is, they combine a classic 'mechanical' car key that opens the doors and the boot and switches on the ignition, with an electronic transponder that can be used to lock and unlock your vehicle at a distance at the push of a button. There are several reasons why a remote car key may stop working. The most common reason is a depleted battery, or a jammed button. More rarely, the manufacturer's electronic master codes that are used to link each remote key to a specific vehicle may malfunction, causing you to be locked out of your vehicle. Depending on what the problem is, there are several solutions to a broken remote key. Replacing the battery or taking the button in to a mechanic to have it un-jammed will usually do the trick: in fact, you can often fix the button yourself by using a pin or thin nail file to ease it up. If the codes are the issue, it is time to pay a visit to the dealership that you bought or hired the vehicle from so that they can rectify the issue on their database.
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