Programmed Keys

*60% savings represents maximum potential savings off dealership pricing based on a November 2018 independent national pricing study of dealerships in the United States. Price estimates and savings calculated off total cost of key including programming and cutting costs. Actual discount varies depending on key and region.

**At participating stores, in-store stock only and services must be requested at least one hour before store closing when a trained associated is on-site.

***Keys must be purchased from Ace Hardware to be cut or programmed.

If you’re running late for work, the last thing you need is a missing car key. Having an extra car key can eliminate the stress and frustration of being locked out when you need to go. At Ace Hardware, we believe that getting a car key replacement shouldn’t be complicated. Whether you need a spare or a replacement car key copy, we can help.

Use our helpful guide to learn more about the most common types of car keys and how the car key replacement process works.

How Are Replacement Car Keys Made?

Newer vehicles often use car key fob technology, while older, standalone automotive keys are usually made with steel, brass or a mixture of nickel and brass. The car key fob replacement process might involve programming the new car key fob using a specific combination that will allow the transmitter to respond to your vehicle. The car key programming process varies depending on the year, make and model of your car.

Standard keys are cut with a key duplicator machine. The original key is positioned on one side of the machine and lined up with a specialized cutting tool to serve as a template for the new key. A blank key is positioned on the opposite side of the machine where a key guide keeps both keys in alignment. The duplication process sees both keys move simultaneously across the machine, resulting in a duplicate key that perfectly matches the original.

What Are Some of the Most Common Types of Car Keys?

No matter which type of car key your vehicle uses, it’s always good to have a spare. With a variety of automotive keys available, having a better understanding of the basic differences between the most common types can be helpful.

Car Key Fobs

On many modern cars, car key fobs are integral parts of a key set. These car keys are equipped with an internal transmitter or remote and serve as the main devices used in keyless entry systems.

Traditional Keys

Basic car keys are usually found on older models and don’t require specialized encoding. They can be cut from a variety of different key blanks and are usually inexpensive to make.

Laser-Cut Keys

These car keys have slightly thicker shanks than basic keys and less carved out grooves. Laser-cut keys come with built-in transponder chips that must be programmed for the specific vehicle.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Car Key Copy Made?

How long it takes to get a car key replacement depends on the type of car you have. Basic car keys can usually be cut in just a few minutes, while a car key fob replacement could take up to an hour. This is because modern car keys like fobs have unique transponder chips that may require programming.

Use Ace Hardware’s car finder tool to find the best car key replacements for your make and model. Or, use our convenient store locator tool to locate your neighborhood Ace store.