Tip #3 The car is unlocked, but I can’t find my keys. Should I lock it just to be sure?

Whether or not your car is in a secure location makes a difference. It may be okay to keep your car unlocked for the time being if it is safe and secure location that is off-limits to the public, such as a garage. The expense of getting new keys made, however, is substantially less than the cost of potential theft if the car is easily accessible to the public. If it is possible to lock it, this would be highly advisable as most professional locksmiths will be able to pick the lock open when making new keys.


JAY 082 651 6416

Randburg, Northern Suburbs & Surrounds

Owner Operated Locksmith, Auto and Safe Technician

SERVICING Boskruin, Bryanston, Cedar Lakes, Cresta, Dainfern, Ferndale, Fourways, Greenside, Honeydew, Jukskei Park, Kya Sands, Malanshof, Northriding, Northcliff, Northgate, Olivedale, Randburg, Randpark, Rivonia, Sandton, Sundowner and surrounding areas.

Payment with Cash or Credit Card.


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  • First make sure you don’t have a spare key. Many of us put one away as a backup when we lose our key, so take a deep breath and try and remember where it is.
  • If you decide to call an auto locksmith, remember to provide the exact year, make and model; for e.g. “I lost my 2013 Mercedes-Benz CL car key”, or “I lost my 2019 Mercedes EQC push to start key”. This is vitally important for the locksmith to check that he has the correct blank.
  • Ask if the key needs to be programmed or coded, some models do; for e.g., a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter transponder key fob will need to be programmed whereas a 1995 Mercedes E320 will not.
  • If you think you need a new ignition switch/lock cylinder, first make sure you don’t simply need a new key. Changing the ignition for Mercedes is more expensive than buying a replacement key and it will mean that you will have one key for the doors and another for the ignition.
  • If the key won’t turn in the ignition, mention if this is something that has happened for the first time or it’s an ongoing problem.
  • If you have previously changed the ignition cylinder, tell the locksmith or dealer, as this may prevent them from cutting you a new key by code.
  • Finally, ensure you have the VIN number of the car and relevant documents to show ownership as this is required in some cases.

IMPORTANT: Most Mercedes models made after 1998 are equipped with high-security keys, which only a few locksmiths can cut. In addition, models made after 2004 are equipped with a push to start high-security system, which in some cases the locksmith may not have stock on hand and will have to order in.

Calling an auto locksmith or dealer near you when you need a replacement is probably the most common thing to do. Based on your location, an auto locksmith can come to you or you may choose to have the vehicle towed to a dealership.

Some points to remember to help you save time and money regardless of the option you choose:

  • Always ask for a quote. Describe the problem in detail and give the auto locksmith all the details, even if you think they are irrelevant.
  • If the locksmith has all the details it can speed up the process and make it more cost-effective. Remember to give then your exact location as this may affect the price if you are out of their immediate service area.
  • Tell the locksmith or dealer if the ignition has previously been changed as far as you know. A previous ignition change may result in different keys for the ignition and doors.
  • Most Mercedes models today are equipped with chips or transponders; so make sure you mention the exact year, make and model. Check that the locksmith has the necessary tools or if they are going to outsource to a third party – this too will affect costs.
  • Have the VIN number available.
  • Finally, for most Mercedes models, it is not necessary to tow the car to the dealer should you lose your car keys, an auto locksmith should be able to make you new car keys on-site.

If you require a new set of keys, or simply would like to have a spare on hand for emergencies, call Jay on 082 651 6416 for an affordable solution and excellent service.

What to do if you’ve lost your car keys and don’t have a spare set.

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What to do if you’ve lost your car keys and don’t have a spare set

Northriding Mobile Locksmith can help you with lost keys for your car, truck or motorcycle.

For us to give you an accurate quote, you will need to supply the following information:

  • Make and model of vehicle
  • What type of car key you have lost – there are generally two types, these are remote keys and non-remotes (transponder keys). It’s probably easiest for you to WhatsApp a picture of both sides of your key to the Jay on 082 651 6416 to avoid confusion.

Remote Car Key Types

Your remote will most likely be one of the following three types:

a) Remote fob with key

Car Key with Remote Fob

The remote will unlock and turn off the alarm, the key is then used in the ignition to start the vehicle.

b) Remote entry fob with integrated key

Remote Entry Fob with Integrated Key

The remote will unlock the doors, turn off the alarm and immobiliser, whilst the key is used to start the ignition.

c) Remote Keyless System Fob

Remote Keyless System Fob

Keyless cars tend to have mechanical keys hidden in the fob know as a remote keyless fob, for use in emergencies to unlock the doors.

Transponder Keys: Non-Remotes

Transponder Keys Non-Remotes

Most cars after 1995 have transponder chips that are programmed to a specific car.

Non-remote keys will have:

  1. no remote central locking and
  2. no remote control functions on the key.

If your car key is broken then you won’t be able to turn the ignition, therefore the vehicle will not be able to start, so you will need a replace the ignition but not the transponder chip.

How much does it cost to replace car keys?

The cost to replace the key is dependent on the following factors:

  1. Vehicle Model, the make, model and age of the vehicle you have (this includes what immobiliser system the vehicle has);
  2. Key type, if it’s a remote key fob, keyless entry or made before 1995 without a chip inside.

Get at least 3 quotes – we recommend you get a quote from us (which you will most likely find to be cheaper than going to your local dealership), your local vehicle dealership and possibly another auto locksmith, but get a quote for your peace of mind.

I have lost my only car key, does it matter?

No, it does not matter, if you’ve lost your only set of keys, we can provide you with a replacement and re-program the new car key to match your vehicle. The old key will be de-programmed to make it useless, in case it has been stolen.

How long will it take to get a spare set of car keys?

The time it takes to provide a spare replacement key will depend on the following factors:

  1. The type of key (if it’s remote fob, keyless entry or transponder)
  2. The model of your car
  3. In stock–if the key blank is available or we need to order a new one in.

We do carry a range of key blanks but due to the number of different vehicles in the market we would need to check what is in stock at the time of your enquiry.

Can I get a car key made without the original?

If you don’t have the original key, we can program a new key for your vehicle, we may however, in some instances require your VIN number.

Will I have to change my car locks if my keys are lost?

With modern vehicles, there’s no need to change the locks, we may be able to either reconfigure the existing locks or program out the lost keys.

Lost car keys can be programmed out – any lost keys can be programmed out of the database of your car thereby stopping anyone else using them, this is done using specialist diagnostic equipment which is plugged into the vehicle.

What do I do if my car keys are stolen?

If your vehicle keys are stolen, we will be able to do the following:

  1. Stop stolen keys being used by reprogramming your vehicle and deprogramming the stolen keys, so the old ones are no longer operational.
  2. Reconfigure locks and ignition, this is dependent on the age of the vehicle (door locks and ignition barrel may need to be reconfigured).

Type of vehicle keys we can replace

All types of vehicles, it’s not just lost car keys, we can also assist with

  • Motorbike
  • Scooter
  • Van
  • Truck
  • Caravan
  • Canopy

Manufacturer keys that can be replaced

Regardless of what model you have, we can replace most manufacturers ranging from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Land Rover, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Honda, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mazda, Citroen, Hyundai, Audi, etc.

Car key model prices vary, some keys may be more expensive than others due to the immobiliser system the vehicle has, and if the key needs programming.

Do I need to take my car to you?

We travel to you and do the work on site, with key blanks and programming software carried in our vehicle.


In summary, the quickest and most likely cheapest way to replace your lost car keys is to contact us to provide you with a replacement set fast.

Cost of lost car keys – will depend on your vehicle make, model and year.  The price of car keys does vary considerably between different cars.

Don’t have original key – this is no problem at all, as a new key be programmed to your car using specific software