- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 11/5/2021
Prevention is key. Okay, bad puns aside, most of us never think about the importance of having an extra car key until it's too late. What happens if you lose your keys, lock them in your car or your car key gets damaged? You'll be forced to pay for a locksmith, a tow truck or maybe even the cost of a new car window. The best way to avoid all this? Keep a duplicate car key or fob on hand in case of an emergency.
Lockouts are much more common than you might think. That's why it's a good idea to keep a duplicate car key in a place that's easy to get to, such as at your home, with a friend or family member or even at work.
Over time, keys, fobs and remotes will begin to wear out. When keys begin to degrade they become more prone to breaking and can even inflict damage on the lock. Fobs and remotes can experience issues with their battery terminal contacts, buttons and even the shell itself. Having a duplicate key, fob or remote on hand will allow you to switch between the two to prevent damage and extend their life.
If your vehicle is used by more than one person, it's convenient to provide each driver with a key or fob. This prevents you from having to pass them back and forth, which not only saves time, but lowers the chance of them getting lost or damaged.
If you decide to trade your vehicle in to a dealership, you will often be asked for a duplicate key or remote. If you already have one, you'll avoid any inflated costs the dealership will charge.
The battery in your remote or key fob should last between two and four years. One way to get the longest life possible is to be sure to store it out of the vehicle's signal range. Keeping a fob in your vehicle will drain the battery much faster. This is because the fob is constantly signaling to your vehicle's internal computer that it's ready to operate.
Batteries Plus cuts replacement keys, replaces the batteries in fobs and programs replacement remotes for much faster and cheaper than dealerships. At a dealership, a replacement fob can cost as much as several hundred dollars and take weeks to arrive. Batteries Plus can have your new fob for you in about an hour and at half the cost.
It's easy to check whether your store replaces keys and key fobs. Just visit our Store Locator. Select your state and city, then click on the black "Details" button of your specific location. Participating stores will have "Key Fob" listed halfway down the page under the "Services" section.
We also offer a number of other convenient automotive services, including free car battery testing and free vehicle battery installation (at most locations on most makes and models). Visit our Automotive Center for a wide selection of vehicle essentials, including battery chargers, jumper cables, headlight bulbs and windshield wiper blades.