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Car keys

my son - really - lost the only key to his old 1998 Nissan Altima. what is the best and cheapest way to get a new key without having the original?

Call a locksmith and see if he can replace the locks or tumblers.

A nissan dealer might be able to reproduce it using the VIN number. It’s worth asking.

thanks, but isn’t there a way to get a new key by giving the car’s VIN # to a dealer? also, aren’t locksmiths very expensive?

isn’t there a way to get a new key by giving the car’s VIN # to a dealer?

You need to call the dealer and find out.

Local locksmiths tend to be much less expensive for keys. The one I use in Lowell Mass charges less than half of what dealers charge (for the key, programming and cutting it).

Thanks, that’s encouraging. Do you have to get the car there (AAA)? And what would he be looking at - a $100 or so? (Hope, hope).

why would you not give a VIN to a dealer?

The 1998 Nissan Altima does not use a programmable key - that’s a good thing for you.

If I were you, I’d call several locksmiths in your area to get quotes from them. Most or all do make house calls with their truck full of gear.

However, as others have noted, since you have the vehicle VIN, you might also want to call a Nissan dealer and ask them if you give them the VIN how much they’ll charge to cut a key. In this case a dealer’s price may be competitive with a locksmith.

New cars are supplied with knock-outs on the keys with a code stamped on them. If you can provide the code to the dealer they can make a key. So you might want to check the glove box and owners manual to see if the knockouts are in there or the codes recorded. This is the easiest way to get a key.

Other than that, for a lock smith to make a key, he needs to know the length of each of the 5 or six tumblers inside the lock. The only way to know that is to pull the lock cylinder and open it up. Then they can either make a key or change the tumblers. If the door lock is the same as the ignition, I’d be inclined to pull the door panel off and remove the lock and take it to the lock smith to make a key. If you can’t match the key to the existing locks though, you’ll end up having to re-key all the cylinders.

Too late this time, but I always make sure I have a spare key myself just for the potential losing or breaking the last one. Sometimes we just need to quietly protect the inexperience of youth.

i found a dealer today who could cut a key from the VIN number which he did, and i got two keys for about $25. thanks all for you rhelp!

My dealer made a Subaru copy key for $20 using my VIN. You may as well ask the dealer. Locksmith’s can be thieves too.