Clever Ways to Duplicate Car Keys
If you have ever lost or misplaced your car keys, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only do you have to worry about getting back into your car, but you also have to worry about the cost of having a new set of keys made.
The good news is that there are a few cheap and clever ways to duplicate car keys without spending a lot of money. Here are some of the best methods for doing so!
1. The Basics – Using a Key Duplication Machine
Of course, try this first.
If you have access to a key duplication machine, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to get a new set of keys made. Simply take your old key and put it into the machine, and it will create an exact replica. Key duplication machines can be found at most hardware stores or home improvement centers.
2. Using a Key Blank
If you don’t have access to a key duplication machine, you can also try cutting or filing the keys by hand. This method is a bit more difficult, but it’s still doable if you have the right tools.
You’ll need a key blank (which you can get at most hardware stores) and a metal file. You can also use a key cutter, but a metal file is cheaper. You’ll also need a vise grip to hold the keys in place
Once you have your key blank, simply align it with the original key at the top. Keep them aligned using the vise grip and then file or cut the key blank to size.
3. Making a Copy of a Car Key With Hard Plastic
First, trace your car key.
To get the most accurate trace, you need a cigarette lighter and clear packaging tape.
Hold the original key over the cigarette lighter’s flame. Be careful as the key will obviously get hot. For safety, use long nose pliers to hold it.
When the original key started to show a black coating, set it aside to cool and get a strip of clear tape.
Once cooled, stick the tape onto the key to transfer the black coating. Carefully peel it off and you should have an exact trace of the key.
Stick it again onto a hard plastic such as an old CD case and cut it to size.
4. Cloning Car Keys
While this method is a bit more complicated, it’s also one of the most effective ways to duplicate the car keys of modern vehicles.
Car key cloning involves making a one-to-one copy of the car key transponder. The original key data is read out by the car key cloning device and then copied to a new blank transponder. No programming is needed on the car. You can find products like this on Amazon —way cheaper than getting a duplicate from your car dealership.
Just make sure to check for compatibility before purchasing.
Once you have your new key, be sure to store it in a safe place so you don’t lose it again!
Do you have any other tips for duplicating car keys? Share them in the comments below!
Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.