Replacing Lost Car Keys
February 7, 2015 10:53 AM   Subscribe

After searching for a week for my car keys, I'm to the point of giving up and getting new ones. Any suggestions or pointers in doing that? Do I call the dealership, a locksmith, use an online key replacement system? What is the cheapest/easiest/quickest way to get new car keys. My car is a 2004 Ford Escape. I have the fob thingy, but it doesn't work, which is why I had taken it off my key ring. Anyone been through this and have some tips?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
. I think that ignition key requires programming a transponder.

While this aftermarket place seems okay, the dealer may be able to do it faster.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:59 AM on February 7, 2015

You need to replace the battery in your fob thingy. This is like $2 to $5 - just open it up and find out what type of battery is in there.

I have no idea about the key. Just letting you know you can replace the battery and open your car if you need to without waiting on a service to generate a key.
posted by jbenben at 11:02 AM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

You're gonna have to call the dealership. Car keys are fancy and electronic (even the non-fob part). It's probably going to set you back $100.

And definitely try replacing the fob battery.
posted by radioamy at 11:06 AM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just doing a quick google image search for 2004 Ford Escape keys makes me think that more than likely they are not the type of keys that need programming. If you had the spare key you could probably go to Home Depot and have them copy it. Otherwise I would contact a Ford dealership and since it's not a programmable key don't be surprised if they say you may need a new ignition lock along with the key. I'm only guessing though.
posted by eatcake at 11:06 AM on February 7, 2015

When we lost the only key to our 2004 Ranger, we had to have it towed to the dealership, and they made new keys for it in about 5 minutes.

If you have the premium AAA membership it covers this.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you want the fob again, you can buy a standard one on the internet and have the dealership program it for your car. I did this for my Honda and found the key was significantly cheaper online. It cost me $75.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:38 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

If it's just a plain old key- not one of those fancy electronic ones- the local dealership should be able to make you one just by knowing the VIN number of the car. Call them up and ask. If all of your car's papers are locked in the car you should be able to read the VIN number on the dashboard, on a little metal tag. Or, if you have the title somewhere at home it will have it.
posted by mareli at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2015

I got a ride to the dealership. I took my car title and license and they were able to make a new key. In and out in ten minutes. They said I could purchase a new fob but I'm fine without it.
posted by smashface at 12:22 PM on February 7, 2015

Thanks for the info guys.

In case someone else looks at this question, I contacted a locksmith on Angie's List and they came and made new keys and then programmed them. They are true Ford keys with the black thingy and a chip in them. It was $200, including the travel costs (they were in the next town over from my little town). Might could have gotten it done cheaper with some research, but I was just ready to get back on the road.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:48 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have done this too many times, alas. I always just contact the dealer. The VIN number (on the dash) tells them what kind of key it needs. And they can program it if it's programmable. It's not cheap, but if you have access to another car so you can pick up the keys, it's pretty easy.
posted by pippin at 8:00 AM on February 8, 2015

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