Stolen car keys
Vehicle manufacturers are constantly developing new ways to improve and perfect car security. This is great news for motorists as it makes it much harder for thieves to break into and steel cars.
The technology used to protect your car is known as an immobiliser system. All cars produced in Europe after 1995 are factory fitted with a built in immobiliser that is deactivated by the car key. This means your vehicle can only be started with a correctly programmed key – Hot wiring as you often see in the movies is now virtually impossible for most makes of cars.
Does this mean cars can no longer be stolen? Unfortunately not – thieves are now going the extra mile and steeling car keys before attempting a take the car.
What to do if you car keys have been stolen
Follow our three simple steps:
1. Secure your car
If you car has not been stolen do everything you can to prevent the thieves coming back and taking it. If you have another key you can open the bonnet and remove spark plugs or a couple of fuses. If you are able to block the car in with another vehicle this is even better
2. Phone the police and report the crime
Be sure to obtain a crime reference number so you can keep tracks with any progress.
3. Call an auto locksmith
An auto locksmith can help even if you have another set of keys. Most keys can be deprogrammed making it impossible to stat up the vehicle. An auto locksmith will plug a diagnostic machine into your car and remove all programmed keys and de synch remote locking fobs. If required a new key can be made to fit your existing locks and start the car. It is also possible to change locks so the mechanical key will no longer turn in the ignition and door locks. This will cost much more than just replacing the key and is not always necessary.
4. Contact your insurance provider
While you are waiting for the auto locksmith engineer to arrive you should think about getting in touch with you car insurer. Some insurance companies include key protection as part of their cover and may contribute towards the cost. It is not unheard of for insurers to request a full lock change so its a good idea to check what their requirements are.
How we can help with stolen car keys
If your car keys have been stolen it will be important to take every measure to prevent the thieves returning and taking the car. This is where we can help – using advanced diagnostic equipment we can talk to the cars immobiliser and erase the stolen keys. The keys can be completely removed from the car rendering them useless and unable to start the car.
We can also deprogram remote locking fobs. Most thieves are opportunists and steel keys without even being too sure which car they belong to. They will walk up and down the surrounding streets pressing the remote control hoping to spot the hazard lights flash of the car the keys are for. When we remove keys from the immobiliser system to prevent it from starting we can also wipe off any programmed remote fob devices associated with the vehicle.
After decoding the keys we can then cut and program a brand new replacement car key that will be an exact double for the key that had been stolen. This will then be the only key that starts the car, so if you should be fortunate enough to retrieve the keys we will need to come back to add them back into the cars key memory.
We can also recode locks to a new combination meaning the stolen key will not work in any of the locks. This is an additional cost and may not always be essential, but we will be happy to discuss your situation and advise on the best option.
You may like to read more about how we make replacement keys for your car