San Diego Car Key Replacement
Automotive Keys Cut and Programmed For a Low Price!
Car Key Search
Did the key for your car get lost? Is it broken? Stolen?
QLP Locksmith San Diego can help! You can count on our licensed and insured automotive locksmith technicians to arrive quickly to your vehicle's location to cut the key.
In addition we also repair ignitions, rekey door locks, and program transponder keys and Push start keys! All of our car keys are (optional) OEM quality, at hard to beat pricing! Call now to speak to a locksmith!
Need a car key replaced for your car by a fast and affordable locksmith in San Diego?
QLP Locksmith cuts car keys at an affordable price!
Metal car keys are car keys for vehicles equipped without a transponder key which is a computer chip inside the car key called a transponder that sends a signal to the immobilizer chip inside the vehicle's ignition giving the anti-theft system the all clear to start your car. If your car was equipped with an immobilizer and a metal key without a chip was used, the ignition lock cylinder would still turn, but it wouldn't disarm the anti-theft system and ultimately wouldn't be able to start the car. With some vehicle makes and models, if the vehicle has too many start attempts without a programmed transponder key, or a non transponder key, the immobilizer computer in the car may lock up and the computer will need to be unlocked at a dealership. Metal Car Keys are usually found on older cars, before transponder chip technology became mainstream, however even some car manufacturers today don't use transponder chips in their car keys for base model cars.
It is usually difficult to be able to tell transponder car keys, and non transponder metal car keys apart. This is because many vehicle manufacturers put plastic on the head of the key for increased durability, and to make the key easier to grip, and to give it a higher quality look. However, car keys with transponder chips also have a black plastic and could look nearly identical, because the same shell is used, except a chip is embedded in the plastic of a transponder key. Many times, clients don't realize they have a transponder in their car key because, when people hear computer chip, they tend to think about a remote that has buttons on it. Remote car keys with buttons on it and a key blade attached, also has a transponder chip in it, in addition to the RFID remote transmitter. Notice in the image on the right, how both keys look completely identical. The key on the bottom has a transponder chip installed, and the key on the top does not, as you can see the slot for the transponder chip to be inserted into the car key.
Remote car keys are RFID transmitters that send out a unique code that only your vehicle understands because every specific remote is programmed to a car. The code from your remote sends an instruction to the vehicle to perform a function such as lock, unlock, or remotely start the car. Some car key remotes may or may not be equipped with a transponder chip. For example, even a late model remote car key for some Nissan Versa models doesn't have a transponder chip but has buttons to unlock and lock the vehicle as well as open the trunk and a panic button, however their is no immobilizer equipped on this car, and their is no transponder in the key. A common misconception is that car keys with buttons has a chip, and a key with no buttons doesn't have a chip. That's usually not the case, as referenced above, a transponder car key has a chip embedded in the head of the key that sends the all clear code to disable the anti-theft system and allow the car to start. Remotes which are separate from the car key don't have any type of transponder in them as they only operate the vehicles locks remotely. However, on some vehicles, the separate remote will activate or deactivate the anti-theft system when locking or unlocking. If you have a key with a transponder, with a separate remote and it won't start the car, try unlocking the car via the remote or insert the key blade into the door in order to deactivate the anti theft system and allow the car to start. On most modern vehicles the key blade, transponder chip, and remote RFID chip is built into an all in one key fob housing.
Push to start and proximity car keys are higher-tech transponder car keys. Push to start keys lack a mechanical key slot. A button that puts the car in accessory, on, and starts the car is found in place of a traditional ignition lock cylinder. Some push to start keys require a slot, however no key blade is required. All push to start key fobs come with an emergency key that separates from the key fob by sliding out of the bottom of the shell and is cut to match the driver side door and in some vehicles, the trunk and glove box lock tumblers. This is incase the key fob stops working for any reason, you wouldn't get locked out. Once inside the car most key fobs let you hold the key with a weak or dead battery to the push start button in order for the transponder to start the car because the chip still works, the antenna that amplifies the signal of that chip to work while the key is in your pocket has run out of battery.
Proximity car keys are push to start car keys with more features. The primary difference between proximity push start car keys and regular push to start car keys is that proximity keys are part of a system embedded in the vehicle that can detect the key when it is close to the car even while the key is in your pocket. With this type of key, you can unlock the vehicle by pressing the lock and unlock button on the door handle itself, and start the car by pressing on the brake pedal and pushing the ignition button all with the key never leaving your pocket and no buttons on the key itself being pressed. A non proximity push start key would require pressing the unlock buttons on the key to open the car, and inserting the key into the fob slot in order to start the vehicle as pictured in the Nissan above.
High security car keys also commonly referred to as laser cut keys, or internal cut keys, are specialized key blanks that are cut on specialized key cutting machines that require specialized software that can cut your key to match exact OEM specifications. The main difference between regular cut keys, and high security laser cut keys is the way they are cut. Regular keys are made by cutting into the side of the key at different lengths and depths which become the notches that push up on the ignition or door lock tumbler wafers, cleaning the lock cylinder, allowing the key to turn the inside the lock. Standard house keys work the same way except they use spring loaded pins, and car locks use spring loaded wafers to keep the cylinder in the locked position.
Laser cut keys and locks are much more complicated than regular keys because of the precision and type of cuts on the key. Special software is required to guide the key cutter along the key during duplication to ensure precise cuts. As you can tell from the picture above, the high security key is cut into the top and bottom of the key blade rather than being cut into the side. This makes the locks impossible to pick, and the keys themselves are more durable because the structural shape of the key isn't compromised as the cuts are etched into the top and bottom sides of the car key.
If you look to the images directly to the right, you would notice how the red Xs which represents where to cut on the 2003 Ford Focus car key are in a different area than on the 2011 Ford Focus Car key. If you guessed the bottom was was a laser cut key, then you were right. Notice how the cuts are etched directly into the laser cut key as opposed to the cuts on the outside of the regular key.
The high tech key cutter on the left cuts laser cut car keys and regular cut car keys. The machine on the right only cuts regular cut car keys. The average locksmith can only make regular cut keys, we do it all!
Many locksmiths do not have the ability to cut high security car key blanks because the lack of required machinery and software. A dealership for your vehicle is usually able to make a laser cut key for your car, but would charge an astronomical price. Quick Lock & Pick Locksmith replaces and duplicated laser cut car keys. The cost is slightly more than a traditional car key but much less than going to a dealership. The increase in price is due to the increase in cost to us. The parts and equipment needed to make the internal cut car key is much more expensive for us than to make a traditional cut car key. Just take a look at the picture to the right. The high-tech machine on the left makes laser cut and regular cut car keys. The machine on the right isn't capable of cutting high security car keys. However, our prices are substantially lower than the dealership. If you would like an affordable laser cut car key made, then give us a call toll free at (877) 320-8887 today to speak to a technician who specializes in high security car keys.