What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where you need a spare key for your automobile, and you don’t have one? Perhaps you need to lend the car to your friend or family member, but you’re not in the same location as the automobile and have the only key with you. Maybe you’ve lost the key to your car, and you can’t find it. Any of these situations could mean that you need to get a spare key made. In some cases, you just might need to get one or two extra keys made because you have a big family and different people drive the car.
Spare Key Basics
For older cars, getting a spare key made is easy. All you need to do is take the original key to a locksmith and have them cut a new one. Things are a little more complicated when it comes to newer keys, especially with cars that have keyless entry systems. With that being said, contacting a trusted individual that can provide quality locksmith services is usually all it takes to get the job done.
The Need for a Key
Just imagine that you can’t find the key to your car and you’ve looked all over the place. Even if you have an older car, you can’t get someone to cut the key based on the original if you don’t have it. When you find yourself facing this type of problem, what are you supposed to do? Fortunately, it’s not as difficult to get a new key made as you might think. The first thing you need to do is collect some information. This will be discussed in detail in the following paragraph.
Locate the VIN Number
As luck would have it, your car’s key is actually tied to the car’s Vehicle Identification Number, more commonly referred to as the VIN number. The VIN number is just like a serial number. It’s unique to each automobile so you can use that number to figure out which key configuration your car uses. The VIN can be found on a small placard on the top of the dash, usually in the driver’s side corner. Typically, if you look through the windshield while standing on the driver’s side, you can clearly read it.
If for some reason you don’t see it there, there are a few other places that you can look. You might be able to find the VIN number on the engine or even on a small sticker that’s on the inside of the door when you open it. Open your driver’s door and look on the very edge of the door for a sticker that was applied by the factory. You might be able to find the VIN number there. If you still don’t have any luck, look at the paperwork that came with the car when you purchased it or the paperwork that you have to turn in each year to register the car. The VIN can be found in both locations.
Once you have the VIN number and you write it down, be sure to also record the make and model of the car. It’s equally important that you accurately record the year of the car was built. If you have a car that has certain letters that come after the model, be sure to record that as well. For example, if you have a 2009 Toyota Corolla, the key might be different if the car is an LE model versus an S model. This is easy to find because these letters are always located on the back of the car, usually on the passenger side of the trunk above the rear bumper. Therefore, it’s better to record the information and not need it than it is to need it and not have it written down.
Once you have all of the information recorded, it’s time to call the locksmith. Explain the situation and let them know that you have all of the pertinent information. Ask them if they can help you get a new key and then provide them with the information they need. Be sure to have them read the VIN number back to you in order to ensure that the information was exchanged correctly.
Then, you can tell them that you have a 2009 Toyota Corolla S with a particular VIN number. This way you’ll be certain that you’re going to get the right key. Of course, if time is of the essence, it’s important to ask them how long it will take. If you don’t have any way to get to them, you might also mention that problem and see if they can bring the key to you or if you need to get a ride from a friend. Most reputable locksmith services will go out of their way to help you, even to the point of delivering the key themselves.