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Aftermarket Vs. OEM Car Key Replacement

Are you planning to buy a replacement car key? If yes, then this article is meant for you. We will discuss some of the pros and cons of replacing your car’s key with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket key.

What is an OEM car key?

OEM car keys are replacements of your original car key. They look the same as the original one but with a different transponder chip in them.

aftermarket car keys
Aftermarket Car Remote

What is an aftermarket car key?

Aftermarket car keys consist of microchips that have been programmed to work for a specific vehicle. Do not confuse these keys with laser-cut keys that you might have seen in the market.

Which is better, OEM or Aftermarket car key?

We will always recommend an OEM key, but it boils down to which suits your needs and which you can afford. Different people prefer different types of keys for their vehicles.

Some like the OEM key because it looks classy and comes with a host of other benefits. However, others like to buy aftermarket key over OEM because it is cheaper overall and works just as well.

car key deals

The real question is: “Am I getting the best deal out there?”

Now there is never a guarantee on what you will get for what you pay. However, if you do some digging around and ask the right questions to the best of your ability, you can always find great offers on both OEM and aftermarket car keys.

A locksmith in Boston is an excellent source of information on this topic because they deal with car keys every day.

benefits of oem car keys

The benefits of an OEM car key:

If you’re someone who likes to buy items that come with a warranty and further benefits, then OEM might be for you. Here are some common advantages of getting an OEM car key instead of aftermarket ones:

  • The key has a better overall fit and finish.
  • OEM car keys tend to have fewer moving parts than aftermarket ones and hence, last longer
  • They use more robust materials for construction, which ensures they perform better when exposed to harsh weather conditions or any other such factors that can affect the functionality of the key in some way.
  • OEM car keys come with an anti-theft system better than the one you can get on aftermarket ones.

Do aftermarket key fobs work?

If you’re looking for a replacement key that comes with the same features as your OEM one, then yes, aftermarket keys do work. The reason why aftermarket keys are not recommended is because of their lack of warranty and lower quality.

aftermarket remote programming

Can aftermarket keys be programmed?

Yes, they can, but not all. If the keys come from the factory pre-programmed and meet specific criteria set by automakers like GM and Ford, you can call a Boston locksmith who will program your key to work with the car.

If it is aftermarket, then only a locksmith may be able to reprogram the key fob as requested. However, this might not always be possible because OEM keys come from genuine manufacturers who have been authorized to make these parts.

How much should a replacement car key cost?

There isn’t a fixed cost associated with replacement car keys. It can vary from $180 to $600 and depend on factors such as make, model, year, and whether you prefer an OEM or aftermarket car key.

However, if you want good value for money, your best bet would be calling Mobile Locksmith Squad in Boston, MA. We have over twenty-five years of experience dealing with car keys and transponders and have excellent customer feedback thanks to our outstanding customer service and fast response.

key replacements without original

Can you make a car key without the original?

Yes, as one of the best auto locksmiths in Boston, we can make you a key without the original if they have access to the car. However, specific procedures need to be followed, so it might take some time for this process to happen.

What is the cost to program a key fob?

Depending on the car’s make, model, and year, it can cost anywhere from $70 to $210 to program a key. It also depends on whether you want an OEM or aftermarket key.

diy car key programming

Can you program car keys yourself?

Programming car keys is not something that you can do on your own. Even if you have the code, it won’t work without our help because automakers enforce the safety features in these keyless entry systems. Only a locksmith or dealer can do this for you, and it is not advisable to attempt a DIY.

How long does it take to program a car key?

It depends on the car make and model, as well as what sort of key you’re getting. Programming a car key may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.

after market keys and remotes sign

Why we don’t recommend aftermarket electronic car keys:

It may be tempting to get an aftermarket key, but if you’re looking for something that lasts you for a long time, then aftermarket keys are not the way to go. Here are some of the reasons why we suggest OEM car keys over aftermarket ones:

  • Aftermarket car keys have no warranty, which means you won’t be able to get them replaced if it malfunctions within the first few months.
  • They are also not as durable as OEM keys and will last for a much shorter time.
  • The anti-theft system on aftermarket car keys is much weaker than OEM ones, and this can make your vehicle more vulnerable to theft.
  • They also may not meet safety standards, and with a car as expensive as yours, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So, the next time you need a car key replacement, make sure you get in touch with one of our Boston locksmiths, as we can do all types of key making and programming services.

Are aftermarket fobs a bargain?

Aftermarket key fobs can be pretty cheap, but they are not a bargain. They are much more affordable because the quality is low, and they do not last for long. After buying an aftermarket key fob, many customers complained that they had to get a replacement in just a few months.

types of remote head keys

What are the types of car keys?

There are seven types of car keys that are commonly used. Here’s a quick breakdown of each option:

Valet keys

Parking attendants or valets usually use valet keys. They are meant to be used for a temporary period, such as when the car is being parked. The key allows the attendant to move the car around without having to worry about the locks.

Master keys

Automakers or car dealerships often used master keys before they started using transponder keys. These allow access to all the doors and trunks in the car but would not work when starting the vehicle.

Smart keys

Smart keys are similar to modern keyless entry remote controls because they have a transponder. The significant difference is that smart keys are not actual keys but rather remote controls that unlock the car to start it. However, because they are a lot more complex, a locksmith may need to program them because you cannot do them independently.

Flip style keys

Flip keys are also known as “folding” or “convertible” keys because the metal part of the key folds to cover up the electronic components. This means that flip keys can only open one side of the car.

Transponder keys

A transponder key is a type of remote car key which emits a 40-bit identification number. This number is used to activate the car, and the keyless entry system has a matching ID transmitter. The two pieces of equipment need to match for the vehicle to start.

The raised buttons on a transponder key are used to start the car. Unlike standard keys, there are no grooves or cuts for this key type because it works electronically.

Remote keys

A remote key is a type of car key that can be used to activate the car. This type of remote key will use a transmitter and receiver to make sure the right vehicle is matched to the key.

The raised buttons on a remote key are used for starting up the vehicle, and there are no grooves or cuts on this type of key because it works electronically.

Mechanical car key

A mechanical key is an older type of car key. It’s pretty much the one you would see in any movie, with grooves and cuts that allow you to start it up manually.

However, these keys are no longer popular because they can be easily lost or stolen by someone who wants to take the vehicle for themselves.

keys and remotes in ad

So would you buy an OEM or aftermarket car key?

You may think that aftermarket car keys are a cheaper and better option because they cost less.

However, there is not much point in purchasing them as they do not last very long. This makes aftermarket keys the worst choice to use if you ever need a car key replacement.

This means that OEM car keys, which cost more than their aftermarket alternative, are the better option if you want your car to be working for a long time.

Key makers provide more protection on the product they sell, which means that OEM keys can last longer and are more reliable.



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