Refurbish Broken Key Shells
Do you have signs of a cracked Key Remote Shell? Or worse, do you have a broken key from the remote shell? This happens on a regular basis for Honda & Lexus key shells among others. Buying a new one or having it replaced from the dealer costs way too much.
At Safeway Locksmith, we have the tools, inventory and experience to fix/replace your cracked/broken remote key shell at competitive pricing.
Car Key Shells And Why They Break
Key shells most often break from normal wear and tear, but also break when dropped, or from exposure to the elements. As most people have learned, plastic becomes brittle with age and exposure to direct sunlight, so broken or cracked car key shells can happen to you.
Every time you start your car, the action of twisting the key in the ignition also stresses the area where the key blade meets the plastic shell. Even with specially formulated plastics, cracks will happen and the repeated action of twisting the key in the lock or ignition will result in a broken key shell.
Key shells that seemingly break on queue can seem like a scheme for giving more money to the manufacturer. After decades of using steel keys that comparatively last forever, using plastics for the key handle seems like a step back in terms of durability. And it is. But cracked or broken car key shells are the least of a car owner’s worries when the tradeoff is the high-tech security in the key and the installed immobilizer system. Because of these features we may need to live with the trade-off.
Should you go to a dealer to replace a broken key fob, their price would make you think that it was a major component of the car which required CNC machining and a micro-polished finish. It’s not unknown for dealers to charge hundreds of dollars for a replacement key.
Risks of Using a Cracked Key Shell
One of the major reasons cracks and breaks occur in car key shells is its design and function. It used to be that a plastic handle on a car key was just for holding the key blade in place. So the plastic portion of the car key could be made thick and beefy. But today’s car keys or key fobs contain a PCB (printed circuit board), battery, some chips for the transponder and alarm circuits, and buttons. Cramming all these components in as compact a space as possible necessitates a thin plastic shell. See the problem now? No wonder broken or cracked car key shells can be an issue.
But what would one do with a broken plastic shell? Using cyanoacrylate (super glue) to seal a crack or attach shell pieces together is a risky proposition. This can work if you’re sure that the glue will not get into any of the electronic components when it comes time to finally replace the shell, so that will depend on your skill level and experience with using super glue.
Some owners try to avoid further damage by dabbing on super glue with a toothpick while the cracks are small, and then holding the key handle towards and near the metal blade whenever they have to twist the key.
If the super glue gets onto the components and bonds them to a section of the plastic, then the risk of damage is high when the time comes to transfer the electronics to a new shell.
Repair and Replacement
There’s always the dealer, but that comes with the high end price we mentioned earlier. To be fair, dealer-supplied keys are freshly cut and are guaranteed to work without any effort on your part.
The middle ground between the dealer and doing DIY work is a working with a professional locksmith. An locksmith has the proper blanks and equipment to laser cut a car key and ensure that the transponder works. And they would have the proper shell configuration, layout, and number of buttons to replace your cracked or broken car key shells.
Since all they do is work on keys (automotive and otherwise) day in and day out, their experience level with keys often exceeds what you would get at a dealer. If you have a busted car key shell, there is likely to be reputable automotive key locksmith in your area who can help you out.
If you are looking for a Hamilton Locksmith, contact us today and we would be happy to discuss your key shell needs.