They Hold The Key To Your Heart
Let’s face it we Americans have an ongoing love affair with our automobiles. They symbolize beauty, sex appeal, success. Short version of the way we feel about self.
Have you ever lost your car keys? There was a point when I would sit my keys down and minutes later I had no idea where I put them. The worse thing about this was I had several keys attached to this one keyring; so if this mess of keys was lost I could not get in my house, I could not open my desk, and I certainly could not drive my car. Looking back at those times I wonder how I could be so careless and forgetful. As time went on that phase passed; I became resourceful, I stopped carrying all of my keys on one keyring and had copies of all of my keys, just in case. I learned it was not a good thing to have so much weight in your car’s ignition.
Suffice to say I cannot tell you the last time I lost my car keys. However, this deserves a bit of clarity, the truth is I did not actually lose my keys during this careless stage I merely misplaced them. The one and only time my keys were truly lost I was at work. I finished early enough to take advantage of over-scheduling and ended up waiting hours for a locksmith, who relieved me of $100.00 for two seconds of effort some twenty plus years ago.
Technology brought key finders and remote entry devices. For additional cost(be that vehicle selection or upgraded options) you don’t even have to carry a key to start your car engine. However, we everyday folk are still at the mercy of keys. I have been told around and/or about 1999 automobile manufacturers started distributing keys with “chips” in them. Now I have bought several new cars since 1999, and do recall hearing the word “chip” tossed about in reference to the keys, but remember I haven’t lost or misplaced a key in twenty plus years.This”chip” was marketed as an anti-theft device/deterrent, and while there may be some basis in fact here is some harsh reality about these wonderful little devices.
First, if you ever decide you need a spare key you cannot go by the local hardware store or even the large national chain that has a key department and pay a couple of dollars for a quick copy.That little chip has enabled the automobile dealer the ability to almost exclusively be the only option you have to replace this once simple and common item. Getting a key copied is a service department matter; and get this it will take up an hour of your time, and cost you at least 150.00 depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Recently I purchased a used car which the owner only had one key, I found out the hard way and to say I was slightly upset (pissed off) is putting it mildly.
Now there are other options you can order keys and remotes from the internet and do a self-programing job. I am not that good with these types of things so I didn’t even make an attempt. You can also take a chance with the hardware store key and hope it works, but does not mess up your alarm system or starter. I really don’t recommend this.
Low and behold there is a happy ending to this. There is a way to get a fully operational key copy for what the dealer would charge you for the blank un-programmed key alone. Do the research; look for a local small hardware store, not the big national companies they don’t have the equipment.
Strange isn’t it? Do you have any idea why any nation chain home improvement superstore would not have what a small “Mom & Pop Operation” does. What is there to be gained? Indulge me for a brief moment, if the automobile dealers are the only ones who make the keys then they have exclusiveness. A large national chain could put a dent in that exclusiveness, to avoid this happening the automobile companies pay this same chain to keep them from putting a dent in this exclusiveness. Of course this is just a theory. However, once again we the consumer suffer.