Jeep Key Replacement Cost – Everything You Need To Know In 2021

| Last Updated: September 15, 2021

It’s hard to explain, but car keys are something that’s very unique and special.

They give us that unexplainable good feeling whenever we put them into the ignition and turn them into the start position.

Jeep starts and dies? Learn the causes and how to fix this problem here: Jeep Starts then Dies Right Away

Losing your car keys is the opposite, it’s one of the most annoying things ever, and we know that, so we’re here to help you replace your Jeep car key in the most efficient, least expensive way possible.

About Jeep Key Fob Replacement

There are three types of Jeep car keys, non-transponder keys, transponder keys, and fob keys. The type of key you have depends on the vehicle’s model year. Let’s talk about them and see what type of a key your Jeep has!

Jeep Non-transponder Keys

Security Features: Some keys have VATS while some don’t have any security features.

Programming: Non-transponder keys don’t require any coding or programming.

Key Cost: Non-transponder keys shouldn’t cost any more than $10.

Jeep Wrangler Model Years: Jeep Wranglers from 1991 to 2006 have a non-transponder key.

Jeep Cherokee Model Years: Jeep Cherokees from 1985 to 2001 have a non-transponder key.

Detailed Description:

Non-transponder keys look like your basic, metal house keys. They aren’t programmed which makes them the easiest and the simplest to duplicate. They’re used in older vehicles and they were replaced with transponder keys around the late 1990s-early 2000s

Jeep Transponder Keys

Security Features: Invisible chip at the top of the key.

Programming: Transponder keys require programming from a dealership or a locksmith; they cannot be self-programmed.

Key Cost: Transponder keys will cost you about $10.

Jeep Wrangler Model Years: Jeep Wranglers from 2006 to the present have a non-transponder key. (You might want to know: Difference Between Jeep Wrangler Models)

Jeep Cherokee Model Years: Jeep Cherokees from 1998 to 2001 and from 2014 to 2019, depending on the model, have a transponder key.

Detailed Description:

Transponder keys are the most common car keys you’ll see today. Not all transponder keys, but most, usually have a keyless unlock option and another button or two. They require locksmith or dealership programming, where both, the key and the car need to be present. They’re still present today, even with the existence of key fobs.

Jeep Fob Keys

Security Features: Invisible chip at the top of the key.

Programming: Fob keys must be programmed by a dealer or a locksmith, and they cannot be self-programmed.

Key Cost: Fob keys cost from $30 to $80 depending on the vehicle as well as the key fob itself.

Jeep Wrangler Model Years: Some Jeep Wranglers from 2018 to the present have a fob key.

Jeep Cherokee Model Years: Some Jeep Cherokees from 2014 to the present have a fob key.

Detailed Description:

Fob keys aren’t your basic keys. They don’t have the metal part that goes into the ignition. Instead, they are like a remote controller for your car. Fob keys are made for push-to-start vehicles and it’s important to note that you won’t be able to drive your vehicle without the fob key in the near vicinity.

Because they don’t have to be in the ignition, they’re the easiest to lose and unsurprisingly, the most expensive to replace. For the key coding, both the vehicle and the key need to be present.

Jeep Key Replacement Options and Cost

There are various keys and various key replacement options. We researched the cost of each one, so you should have an easier time replacing your Jeep key at the lowest possible cost.

Jeep Basic Key Replacement and Cost

The most basic, without a single feature, and the least expensive are the basic non-transponder keys.

As we’ve mentioned, basic keys are the least expensive option, but they’ll only work on older Jeep models. The key shouldn’t cost you any more than $10 and there aren’t any additional costs. However, that’s only if you can find the key somewhere online, the dealership will, of course, charge you much more, about $40.

Once you get your basic key there isn’t any programming that needs to be done. This is a huge plus in the money-savings department, but it’s a terrible minus in the safety department.

There are also basic keys with VATS. VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System) keys have a little resistor inside of them. The resistor value is set, so these keys don’t require any programming. However, the resistor inside of the key needs to have a specific value in order to be able to turn the vehicle on.

The Key Cost: A basic key will cost you $5-$10. A basic key with VATS will cost you $20-$30.

Programming The Key: A basic key doesn’t require programming.

A Duplicate Key: A duplicate key will cost you the same as the basic one.

Jeep Transponder Key Replacement and Cost

Transponder keys are the most common keys you’ll find, and every relatively modern vehicle will have a transponder key unless it’s a push-to-start vehicle.

A transponder key will cost you about $10, that’s the good. The bad is that you’ll need a locksmith or a dealer to program that key with a specific code. The coding will cost you $100, but the issue is that a dealer won’t come to your house, and a locksmith will charge you more for their on-site service. Keep in mind that this is usually the case, but it’s always better to call up a dealership and a locksmith and ask them about the price.

Creating a replacement transponder key costs so much because the key needs a specific code. That’s why you should create a duplicate key alongside the replacement key. The dealer or the locksmith will charge you less because they won’t have to search for the code.

The Key Cost: A transponder key will cost you around $10.

Programming The Key: Programming the key will cost you $100.

A Duplicate Key: A duplicate transponder key will cost you $50-$60.

Jeep Fob Key Replacement and Cost

The Fob key is the most modern and the most complicated key. Some people love them, while others, not so much. Regardless, here’s how much they cost.

Fob keys cost anywhere from $30 to $80. They require programming/coding, which is an additional $180. But that’s not all, do take into consideration that the replacement key, as well as the vehicle both need to be present, so you’ll most likely have to tow your vehicle. 

Even if you don’t need a replacement key, it’s a great idea to create a duplicate fob key. The duplicate will cost you much less than a replacement key.

The Key Cost: Fob Key will cost you from $30 to $80.

Programming The Key: Programming the fob key will cost you about $180.

A Duplicate Key: A duplicate transponder key will cost you $100.

Remote Start System Cost

Some Jeeps have a feature known as the “tip start”. The feature will allow you to integrate a remote start system into your Jeep with a simple module, without any wiring. Newer Jeep models have this feature; you can learn more about tip start here – Jeep Tip Start.

Tips on Avoiding High Key Replacement Costs

Since our Jeeps cannot run without these little pieces of metal and plastic that cost so much, here are a few tips that will help you save money on a new key.

  1. Before you even think about getting a key replacement, find a good, modern locksmith! Otherwise, you’re wasting your own time and money.

  2. Next, write down your vehicle’s VIN before calling the dealership/locksmith. That way, they’ll be able to give you a more accurate quote, and you won’t be surprised by additional costs.

  3. Once you’ve found a modern locksmith, try to get a quote including every fee, and then find a few more locksmiths! Let them know that you have a quote and ask them whether they’d be willing to make you a key for cheaper. Doing this might or might not sound awkward to you, but would you rather endure a few minutes of awkwardness or save yourself your hard-earned money?

  4. Hopefully, you haven’t lost your key and you’re just looking for a spare one to store just in case you do lose the original key. This will save you loads of money because a duplicate key shouldn’t cost more than $60 if it’s a transporter key, or more than $100 if it’s a key fob.

  5. The reason why a duplicate key doesn’t cost as much is that the dealership, or the locksmith, doesn’t have to search for the key code. Additionally, if you’ve lost your key, it’s a good idea to ask the dealer, or the locksmith, to make a new, duplicate one.

Conclusion 

Replacing your Jeep car keys isn’t that complicated, but it sure is expensive. Hopefully, you’ve learned which key your Jeep needs to run, as well as the benefits of each key type. Don’t forget to make a duplicate key, and even more important, don’t forget to negotiate and get the best price on a replacement key.

People Also Ask

Car keys are something that shouldn’t be that expensive, but they are, and for a good reason too. We often receive very similar questions about Jeep car keys, so we wanted to save you some time and trouble!

Here are the answers to the most common question our staff gets about Jeep key replacement. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact us if you still have unanswered questions.

Why Are Replacement Keys So Expensive?

Replacement keys are expensive for two reasons. The main reason is coding and programming the key. It’s relatively difficult for a locksmith to find the correct key code for a specific vehicle and program it into the key. The second reason is the making, or cutting, of the key, especially on vehicles without the original ignition.

Can I Drive My Jeep Without the Key Fob?

You can drive without a key fob as long as your vehicle is running. You will get warning messages letting you know that the key fob isn’t present, but you’ll be able to drive until you run out of gas. Once you run out of gas or shut off the vehicle, you won’t be able to turn it on without the key fob.

How Do I Program My Jeep Wrangler Key?

Unfortunately, you cannot program your own car key. You need a locksmith or a dealer to code/program the key for you. This is so because every individual vehicle has a specific key code for security reasons.

Who Worked on This?


Brian

Editor

A master of organization, Brian helps keep everything running smoothly for Your Jeep Guide.

No Jeep yet but we’re working on that!

Cory

Writer

Cory loves his XJ and frequently thrashes it through the hills. He’s constantly fixing something.


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