Should You Use a Dealership or Locksmith to Rekey Your Car?

rekey car dealership vs locksmith

There are many reasons you might need to rekey your car. Maybe your locks were damaged in an accident, you bought a used vehicle, you lost your keys, or someone you don’t trust has a copy of your keys.

Whatever the reason you want your car rekeyed, you have a choice of where to get it done. You can either use a dealership or a locksmith. You might think that your dealership is the best place to rekey car locks, but there are several reasons that this is not true. A locksmith is the best place to take your vehicle to be rekeyed.

We’ll lead you through some of the drawbacks you might not have considered concerning using a dealership and explain why a locksmith is the best choice for rekeying a vehicle.

What is Rekeying a Car?

When you rekey your car, you make your lock work with a new key. After rekeying your car, your old keys won’t work in the lock anymore.

Rekeying a car requires you to replace the lock key pins, change the wafer, or change the tumbler setting in your current lock to allow you to open your door with new keys.

How to Get a Car Rekeyed

You can either rekey a car yourself, hire a car dealership, or hire a locksmith to rekey your car.

There are how-to instructionals and videos online that explain how to rekey your own car. However, you’ll almost always ruin your lock if you unsuccessfully try to rekey it yourself. Rekeying your car isn’t the same as putting on new windshield wipers. You need the proper tools and plenty of experience. There are many ways this could go wrong, including damaging your ignition.

Your best option is to hire a professional to rekey your vehicle for you. Professional choices to rekey a car include using a dealership or a locksmith.

Reasons You Should Not Use a Dealership to Rekey Your Car

Dealerships don’t specialize in locks; they specialize in selling and repairing cars. If you need auto repair work, taking your vehicle to a dealership specific to your model is an excellent idea because they’re trained experts in the ways your car can break down.

However, there are several drawbacks to using a dealership to rekey your car:

  • Not professional locksmiths: The mechanics at your dealership are not experts in installing locks. They’re usually not licensed as professional locksmiths, nor do they belong to any professional locksmithing organizations. If something goes wrong, you may end up wanting to take your car to a professional locksmith anyway.
  • Higher cost: You can expect to pay premium prices if you take your car to an automotive dealership instead of a locksmith to rekey cars.
  • Don’t travel to you: Your local dealership doesn’t have a mobile unit that will come to you. Do you really want to spend your whole day hanging out at a car dealership row?
  • Longer wait times: Do you remember the last time you waited for an oil change at your dealership? Their free dishwater-flavored coffee certainly wasn’t enough to make up for your lost day and your stomach growling as lunchtime came and went.
  • Limited key types: Most automotive dealerships are only going to have a standard factory-issued key in stock. You’re already paying a premium price with them, but you’re probably not even going to have the choice of a premium key.

Reasons You Should Use a Locksmith to Rekey Your Car

If you want something done right the first time, it’s a good idea to use an expert. Professional locksmiths don’t just unlock your car when you lock your keys inside. They specialize in providing all sorts of automotive locksmithing services.

You want the person installing a new lock for you to be specially trained and insured. You also want to know that they are members of a professional locksmithing organization.

With the problems you’ll likely encounter using a car dealership, it’s easy to see why professional locksmiths are the best choice to rekey vehicles:

  • Expert locksmithing skills: If you want to make sure your car gets rekeyed properly, you want someone who rekeys automotive locks all the time. A locksmith is an expert at rekeying locks and isn’t going to come back to you with an “oops” story.
  • More affordable cost: In most cases, you’re going to find that a locksmith will charge far less than a dealership for locksmithing services to rekey cars. Lower prices are definitely in order if they charge by the hour since they’ll undoubtedly finish the job faster than a car dealership mechanic.
  • They travel to you: Locksmiths have mobile units that can come directly to you rather than you having to travel to them. They can rekey automotive locks at your home, or office, or anywhere.
  • Shorter wait times: You’re going to be the only customer in line when the locksmith arrives at your car. Plus, since the locksmith has rekeyed many vehicles, they’re going to finish a lot faster than someone who has only rekeyed a handful of vehicles.
  • High-security key choices: You can still go with a factory key option with a locksmith, but they’re also going to be able to give you some other alternatives like a high-security laser-cut key or even a programmable key.

Who Can Rekey My Car Lock in the Dallas Fort Worth Area?

Action Lock Doc is a family-owned business that has been serving the DFW area since 1984. We’re members of the Associated Locksmiths of America and keep updated on the latest trends in security products like car locks.

If you need your car rekeyed in Fort Worth, Plano, Garland, Richardson, Frisco, Dallas, Allen, McKinney, Rowlett, Wylie, or Rockwall, our team of professionals are ready to bring our services to you. Rekeying door ignition and door keys are among our specialties.

Call us today at 972-690-4431 to get a quote or schedule a time for us to come by and rekey your car lock for you.