Anyway I can get a spare ignition key for my Ranger for less than $140?
July 28, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

A couple of months ago I bought a used 2007 Ford Ranger. I love the truck but it only came with one key. When I went to the local Ford dealer to see about getting a spare key made, they quoted me a price around $140 because it has the Ford SecuriLock chip built into it. That's a lot of money for a spare key, so I had a spare key made at a hardware store that will let me into the truck in case I lock my key in the cab, but if I would happen to lose my key, I'll be screwed. Is there anyway I can get a spare key from somewhere and program it to work in my truck's ignition without spending $140?
posted by Dr.Rhetoric to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ace Hardware does chip keys now.
posted by unixrat at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, a lot of hardware places can do the chip, my local Ace does. It's about $60.
posted by stormygrey at 9:01 AM on July 28, 2010

Half-answer: if you have two chipped keys, you can often program a third yourself, using the car itself as the programmer.
posted by smackfu at 9:03 AM on July 28, 2010

I have been wondering this myself for over a year. Home Depot and Lowe's both told me they couldn't do it. Thank you for asking here - it never would have occurred to me!
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:13 AM on July 28, 2010

We just got a chip key made at our local upscale hardware/gift store for a used 2002 Honda. It didn't work. They tried again. This one works, but not really well. Apparently the original key has degraded with time, so they can't make a really good copy of it. We may end up having to go to a dealer and spending a lot of money.

It's still worth trying the hardware store. They charge less than the dealer (ours cost about $80) and are much more conveniently located. Your car is a lot newer, so you'll probably have better luck than we did.
posted by Ery at 9:28 AM on July 28, 2010

You could also try an actual locksmith. I had a mobile locksmith get me a chipped key once when I'd lost the original and knew only the model. So even that is possible, but he had to re-program the lock so that when I later found the original key it no longer worked.
posted by serathen at 9:33 AM on July 28, 2010

As far as hardware stores go, it depends on the key. Chipped keys have been around for a while and it's most likely that they're limited to doing older generations of chipped keys.
Newer stuff (like '04 and up -ballpark-) is probably going to require the dealership, automotive locksmith, or well equipped shop to program the immobilizer.
posted by Jon-o at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2010

If your keys are re-programmabled you could probably buy a key on eBay and have it programmed at a hardware store (or dealership)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:11 AM on July 28, 2010

Call AAA and tell them you lost your keys (in a lake, river, whatever).

AAA covers $100 of the locksmith fee (I think).

Locksmith/dealer will make you a new PATS (SecuriLock) key.

Go to eBay... buy a PATS blank key (about $15 a pop). Have it cut, then follow the instructions to program/add a new PATS key.

You should now have 3 keys that will all turn on your Ranger. Put one of them in a VERY safe place as insurance.

The owner can add/program new PATS keys without the dealer, BUT... you need to have at least TWO working PATS keys to add new ones.

the reason you want to try and have three keys is, in case you ever lose one, you can always replace it off eBay and reprogram the new one yourself with the two remaining PATS keys.

Otherwise, it's a trip to the dealer for another $140.

In summary:
Locksmith to make new PATS key: about $140
AAA covers: $100 (-)
eBay replacement PATS: $15
Total cost of two new keys: about $55
posted by Master Gunner at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

Whoops, to add:

AAA Basic covers $60
AAA Plus covers $100
AAA Premier covers $160

So, depending on your membership (if you have one), the total cost could be more or less.

(If you aren't a member, then my post is moot, but it's really a very good service to subscribe to, and NO, I am in no way associated with AAA, other than being a member)
posted by Master Gunner at 11:47 AM on July 28, 2010

I found a lock smith local to me who created a transponder key for me for $70. I had to get a bunch of quotes to find someone who charged less than $100.

The main issue is finding a lock smith who has the correct computer that can program the key.
posted by parakeetdog at 12:43 PM on July 28, 2010

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