AAA which is an abbreviation of American Automobile Services is the go to place for anybody seeking automotive repairs and services all over the United States of America and Canada. It is not unlikely to wonder about the kind of services one might be offered by the AAA and in this blog post, we will specifically focus on whether one can get their car keys made or replaced through the services offered by AAA.
Some people might accidentally lose their car keys somewhere or forget their car key inside the car thereby, locking themselves out of their own car, feeling absolutely helpless and lost. At a time of such emergency, AAA comes in with it’s outstandingly efficient services.
Read on as we brief you on how you can get your car key replaced with the help of AAA.
How can AAA help with car keys?
AAA is known for offering emergency automotive locksmith services in case you have been locked out of your car. If you have lost your keys, damaged them or the servicer provider cannot gain access to your car, auto locksmith service or reimbursement for auto locksmith services up to $50 which is applicable for AAA basic members.
Some specific memberships like AAA plus, Plus/RV, Premier and Premier/RV receive up to $100 for auto locksmith services. In this way, AAA members can avoid any out of pocket expenses. Towing services in accordance with towing provisions are made available in case the vehicle cannot be operated.
Registered owners of the vehicle are expected to be present during this service and to protect the vehicle, AAA may ask for ownership verification of the vehicle along with an identification proof of the person driving the same vehicle. AAA usually gets hold of state licensed third party automotive locksmith companies like The Keyless Shop at Sears or Pop-A-Lock to handle cases of car keys.
Note that AAA Premier and Premier/RV members have the additional benefit of receiving the services of one home locksmith per year.
What are the Auto locksmith services not covered by the AAA?
- Ignition mechanisms
- Making keys for vehicles with dealer tags
- Door keys or duplicate keys
- Locking lug nuts
- Locking hubcaps
- Steering wheel clubs
- Trunk keys (if the keys are locked inside the trunk and it is not possible to open it then, towing provisions may apply to the same)
What are the roadside assistance membership, pricing and benefits by the AAA?
The membership costs between $40-$165 annually. However, the annual cost and membership benefits will vary depending upon your location so, it is recommended to visit the AAA website and enter your zip code to learn the details of your region’s membership and exact pricing.
AAA Basic/Classic membership:
These memberships are ideally for people within limited driving distances from home, costing between $40-$74. Some of their benefits include:
- You can avail their 24/7 service
- Towing provisions upto 3 miles per year
- Fuel delivery
- Flat tire and dead battery service
- Car lockout services upto $50
Some common limits are:
- 48 hour waiting period after enrolling
- $4/mile for each additional mile that exceeds towing limit
- Fuel provided at pump price
- Up to 4 service calls are allowed per membership year. Charges are applicable after the limit is reached.
AAA Plus membership:
If you drive more than 10 miles or more, regularly from home then, this membership is suitable for you. It will cost you around $60-$124, having the same benefits as that of a AAA classic except that this membership tows upto 100 miles and offers car lockout services upto $100. The waiting period lasts for 5 days after enrollment.
AAA Premier membership:
Suited for frequent travellers and is the most expensive membership out of the three others, costing around $77-$164. Having the same benefits as a AAA Basic membership, it also adds a few more benefits such as, a 200 mile tow, a three 100-mile tows, car or home lockout services and a one day free rental car service along with tow. There is a $150 lockout limit and a 10 day waiting period after enrollment.
New members pay an initiation fee that ranges from $8-$20 per person (depending on the area). Family members can be added as associate members and the cost for that also varies from region and membership tier.
How much does a dealership charge to make a key?
If you have lost your key or fob, a dealer replacement and programming is bound to cost you around $200 or more, depending on the vehicle and key’s design. A new key, fob and programming for a Lexus can cost $374 meanwhile, for a BMW, keyless fobs could be around $500, going by the model.
Can you get a key made with a VIN number?
A car key can be made by using your Vehicle Identification Number as long as you are able to prove the ownership of your vehicle. A new car key can be produced once a key code is generated from the VIN number. However, most car keys have transponders in them which are programmed to the car.
Can an auto locksmith make you a key?
The primary service of an auto locksmith is unlocking a vehicle but they also remove broken keys, duplicate keys and are also able to replace whole locks and ignition switches.
What kind of car keys are available?
- Traditional key: This is the most basic type of key. They are typically found on older cars and do not have any encoding.
- Master key: It has a microchip in the key handle and is more secure than the traditional key. Most cars nowadays do not use Master keys as they are expensive to acquire and maintain.
- Transponder key: These have a microchip in the key handle like in a Master key. In use since the late 90’s, when inserted into the ignition, a sensor responds and activates the transponder. Another type of transponder key is a rolling code key which sends a new code every time a car is used thereby, protecting the car more than traditional transponders.
- Switchblade key: Like a switchblade knife, this key folds within itself. A button usually pops out of the key for use.
- Valet key: There are some cars which have a special key for valets. It allows the owner to give a key to the valet only for unlocking the door and starting the car. It cannot open the trunk, glove box or other compartments of the car.
- Smart key: It is a fob that enables the car to turn on with a press of a button when it is within the range of the car. They can only be replaced through a dealership.
How far can a keyless car be driven without the key?
Keyless remotes for cars contain a short-range radio transmitter and should be within a particular range, ideally between 5-20 meters of the car, in order to work.
Can you replace a car key without having the original?
If you have lost your original key, worry not! You will still be able to replace it. You can visit your dealer to get a replacement but that tends to be very expensive, especially if you have to tow your car to the dealership. A more convenient option would be to summon an auto locksmith which would cost you 50% less than a dealership.
What would your locksmith need to know to replace your car key?
First, you will be required to know the year and model of your car. Keep your registration or title ready to prove the ownership of the vehicle. Your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) will be required by the locksmith.
The VIN number can be found either on the driver’s side doorpost or stamped on a metal plate on the driver’s side dashboard. A key identification number (Key code) is also very helpful for the locksmith to have.
It can be found in your car manual, however it is not a necessity. If you feel that your keys have been stolen then, it is best to let your locksmith know that so they can reprogram the car to make sure the old keys do not work.
How long does it take to make a car key?
Getting a car key produced or replaced can be relatively fast if the locksmith is experienced. Generally, it takes between 20 to 30 minutes approximately. The time range varies from vehicle to vehicle as some could take up more than an hour to get the car key replacement cut and programmed.
If some of your questions still remain unanswered then you can get in touch with AAA services by calling them on 800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4375). If you require assistance with your membership or any other service, you can email them.
We sincerely hope that all your questions have been more or less answered by our post. We have been happy to help!