What Spare Key and Accessories Do I Order for my Vehicle?
Updated: April 2023
So you are looking for a spare key? You probably have a lot of questions like, "how does this all work?" “what should I buy?” “how do I go about ordering this spare key?” and “how much will it cost me?”
Well, worry no more as Tom’s Key Company has put this buyers guide together to get you fully informed and ready to become a Tom’s Key master! So let’s get started.
How Does This All Work?
Tom's Key Company offers you a DIY (Do it yourself) solution in just a few steps and with only a handful of things to know.
The first things to know are a few things about your vehicle, -but don’t worry! Nothing too technical. Just the basics like your vehicle’s year, make, model, and whether it’s turn key ignition or push to start. Once you have this information in mind it's time for a quick search.
You’ll then input the information of your vehicle within our website search and you will be thrown back a few options of items to choose from, which leads us into our next section..
What Do I Buy?
In most instances all vehicles will require 3 things: A programmer, a key, and a key cut. So what are you going to need to leave with in your cart? -A programmer, a key, and a key cut. Got it? Great! Simple enough, right?
Now, it's true that this isn’t always the case as you can be looking for just a key and perhaps own your own programmer, or you may have a key and just need to rent a programmer, and so on and so forth. Which is fine, as we do offer all these items separately for you to pick and choose what you need, however it is mostly the case that most customers will need all three of these items to have a fully functioning new key.
Right about now you’re probably thinking, “So why all these items and things? I thought I was just here for a key…” Well let’s get into that.
What Are All These Items Necessary for Creating A Spare Key and Why?
The Key - So as you can tell, there is a little bit more to getting a spare key for your vehicle than simply buying a new key. Buying and selecting a key is only step 1. This is because all keys for newer vehicles must be programmed and paired with your vehicle in some shape or form, or else you simply have a small shiny piece of metal you can use for a very small kabob, but definitely won’t start your car. But back to the important part… why? Well this is because back in the 90s many vehicle manufacturers decided that it would be a very good security move to create keys that paired with their vehicles specifically, in order to add a layer of anti-theft. -And this is how we end up with a need for a programmer. So let’s get into programmers a bit shall we?
The Programmer - Many vehicles will have their own way of programming. In some instances there are a few vehicles that are capable of doing onboard programming without the need for a programmer, but this is not commonly the case as most vehicles require some sort of independent programmer. Worry not though about which one you’ll need for your vehicle, this will be made clear when you enter your vehicle information on our website’s vehicle search, however if you wish to know a little bit about as to why you were recommended which programmer, you can check out our “What’s the Difference Between Tom’s Key Programmers'' blog article here. It is also important to note that some products like our Simple Key Kits will come with a Key and a Programmer in the box, but all other non-Simple Key Kit vehicles will require you to add this to your cart separately. Now as for the actual act of programming, we will save this for the next section.
The Key Cut - In regards to the three things you must buy previously mentioned, the last thing you will need is our optional “Key By Photo” key cutting service. This is where we use magic photo technology to create a copy of your key with a simple few pictures. We say this is optional because you have the option to have your key cut by a local locksmith or big box store, however note that this will hold back your installation, and some places will be unwilling to cut your key because you’ll cut into their profit. Additionally our key cuts come with a nice peace of mind guarantee. Which means if we mess it up, we fix it! While a big box store or local locksmith will send you packing! So why not just enjoy the convenience and peace of mind of having us do everything?
You will find our Key By Photo option on each key product as an “add on.” If this is not added when adding a key to your cart then you shall receive a key that is uncut upon your order’s arrival. When Key By Photo is purchased there will be a post purchase screen with directions that allows you to upload 3 photos. It is important that one follows the directions properly so that your key is cut in a perfectly expedient manner.
Now back to programming..
How Do I Program a Spare Key to my Vehicle?
Well you’re in luck! When it comes to programming your vehicle’s key, Tom’s Key Company has a plethora of information, -and the best part? In video form! Yay for visuals! You can find our vehicle installation collection by searching on Youtube's search bar, or by visiting us directly at our Tom’s Key Company Vehicle Playlist. All steps are demonstrated with careful detail and instruction, but know if you run into any hiccups with your vehicle’s spare key programming, you can always reach out to our customer service support at Help@Tomskey.com where our key experts will be more than happy to help!
An important thing to remember - You will not be able to program a key for your vehicle if you do not have 1 functioning key. A “functioning key” mainly means a key that can turn the ignition and/or turn the vehicle on. Having a valet key can also be a show stopper and this is also important to keep in mind.
What Will This All Cost Me?
Having a budget is great for all things and it is completely understandable if this is your focus with this project. In regards to cost it really depends on what you will need, but if we assume that you are placing an order for all 3 components: key, programmer, and Key By Photo you are looking at a ballpark figure of $180 - $260 (Not including any fully refundable deposit fees). However this really depends on your type of key (hence the range of pricing), as smart keys tend to be more expensive than your standard blade keys. But remember when compared to your alternatives of having to visit a dealership, you are paying at least half of what they’ll be asking for.
100% Money Back Guarantee
Don’t forget, if things get too hairy and simply aren’t working out during programming or you simply change your mind, don’t fret Tom’s Key Company has committed to a “No questions asked” 100% Money back guarantee in order to make this a stress free experience.
Now you know our product and after this blog article you are more than likely a Tom’s Key Knowledge Master. So what are you waiting for? Get your vehicle back on the road with Tom’s Key Company!