Car keys - John Boy
During the summer I went to a car boot sale in the countryside, about 100 miles from home. When we returned to the car (X-reg Vauxhall Astra 1.6 8valve), I discovered I had lost my keys. Naively, I thought a call to my breakdown service would quickly sort this out. In a sense, it would in that they could indeed recover me and my car to my home or to a Vauxhall dealer. The problem was that the car was locked with the handbrake on, so they couldn\'t simply put it on a spectacle lift and drive away. They would have to crane it onto a lorry and I would have to pay for this. It soon became obvious that I would have to accept an alternative - a locksmith would come, pick the door lock and re-program the car\'s electronics to accept an ignition key that he would provide. Apart from not having my spare key, I didn\'t have my car pass information with me either i.e. No number to program the new key. A phone call to a neighbour with a key to my house, however, sorted that out. When he arrived, the locksmith took about half an hour and I was on my way - £125 poorer, with a new key which did the business but which lacked a remote door opening facility. Later on I discovered that my original spare key would open the doors and start the engine, but the engine would cut out after a few seconds. I therefore had to pay Vauxhall £30 to reprogram that key to do the full works. I again have 2 keys, but only one has a remote opening facility.
This post is not a complaint. I\'m impressed with the security - the locksmith told me that most modern cars are now almost impossible to steal. I\'m just saying:

- Don\'t lose your keys
- If you don\'t carry a spare key, at least have your Car Pass with you
- Tell me how to hide a spare key on the car!
Car keys - Ian (Cape Town)
- Tell me how to hide a spare key on the

some form of plastic watertight box, key-sized, glued/rivetted/wired inside the bumper/wheelarch etc.
Failing that, a spare in your wallet (it's unlikely you'll lose wallet AND keys, unless you get mugged!)
Car keys - AN Other
Triumph used to stick one from new inside the offside rear light cluster in the first few years of Herald production. I can't believe this widely accessible piece of info wasn't put to good use by tea leaves... Then again, not exactly a hard car to steal sans keys. If you've got a 948cc Herald, it might still be there!
Car keys - X5
And when Triumph were producing Stags they placed the spare key under that huge Stag badge right on the front, and yes - they were all too frequently used to relieve the owners of their prized set of wheels.
Car keys - Canon Fodder

A very interesting post JB. Being both careless and absent-minded, losing keys is a particular horror of mine.

One question - what is a 'Car Pass' - is it particular to Vauxhall, or should I have one for my [6 month old] VW?

Car keys - alan kearn
cnon fodder

I think it is the car key number it should have in with the car manual when you bought the car. By the way my wife carries the spare key and number with her so if i lose mine and she is wih me i am not stuck, if she is not with me no matter where she is i am in contact with my spare key and number.I priced up a non remote key for a new Polo from VW dealers £50.
Car keys - pdc {P}
With my Golf (Aug 98) and with my Passat (Nov 2002) I received a small, flat plastic key which can be used to get into the car and drive when you lose the main key. It fits nicely into my wallet. A neighbour got a Bora in March this year and was told they no longer provide said key. Maybe to force you to pay them £50 for a new key instead.

Car keys - Canon Fodder

Ah yes, thanks Alan - I do have a 'key number' that is needed to order new keys etc [I too have a Polo], I'll make sure I keep a copy of that number in the car.

Car keys - pdc {P}
So that a thief can then get a key cut?
Car keys - Phoenicks
I understand you used to be able to start a Hillman Imp directly thru the rear engine without a key. dont know why you would want to tho...
Car keys - AN Other
Afore-mentioned Triumph used to provide a handy button on the solenoid so that the engine could be turned over without the key. A length of wire to make the ignition circuit and with no steering lock you were away! I'm not old enough to know, but did people just not steal cars in the 1960's or something?
Car keys - Aprilia
In days gone by (when inertia starters were used) the solenoid was a separate unit and often mounted on an inner wing. Many had a rubber button over the plunger so you could just reach under the bonnet to fire the starter. Done this many a time. Cars were certainly a lot easier to steal, but there was much less car theft. I guess there's more crooks about nowadays.
Car keys - Garethj
Don't know about less car theft, but if you remember the Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite it doesn't even have door handles on the outside. The owner just slides open the window and pops the latch from the inside.

If you run an old banger it can be easier to not lock it at all, then if it's recovered you won't have the cost of a broken window to deal with. Grey are for insurance perhaps?

Car keys - kithmo
Afore-mentioned Triumph used to provide a handy button on the solenoid
so that the engine could be turned over without the key.
A length of wire to make the ignition circuit and with
no steering lock you were away! I'm not old enough to
know, but did people just not steal cars in the 1960's
or something?

To me it seems like in the 60's and 70's most people had more respect for other people's property but there were still a few undesirables about. These days it seems to be the other way round, only a few people have respect for other peoples property and there are more undesirables than respectable people. Or have I lost faith in human nature ?
Car keys - Canon Fodder


Your lateral thinking is a lot better than mine pdc!

Maybe I'll keep a note of the number in my wallet - disguised as the mother-in-laws telephone number to fool a mugger/car thief combination!


Car keys - John Boy
My Vauxhall Astra Car Pass has the following 6 numbers: VIN, Security Code, Engine Type/No, Key No, Radio Type/Code and Serial No. I had the Security Code No with me assuming, foolishly, that it would provide the information needed to make a new key. Unfortunately, the Key No is required for that. I was trying to keep things to the bare minimum - I find remembering Passwords and PIN numbers (and keeping them secure) a real problem. I use the Internet for lots of everyday things, so I seem to have at least 20 of them.
Car keys - Andrew-T
JB - one trick is to camouflage your list of PINs etc as a list of friends' telephone numbers that only you will be able to unravel.
Car keys - Altea Ego
What happened to that magnetic metal box thingy you could buy. "Hide a key"? "keep a key"? something like that. Box with strong magnet on it, key went in box, box was clamped to something metal not for prying eyes. Dont see them now.
Car keys - pdc {P}
When the cadet minibus broke down the other week (seperate thread) the AA man hid the key somewhere under the chassis for the recovery lorry driver to find, while he took me and the cadets onwards to woodvale to fly.

I was on edge all day until getting back to the squadron, where the van had been safely recovered to, as I had broken down in Liverpool :-)
Car keys - John Boy
Thanks for that Andrew. A good suggestion! Any more along these lines would be really appreciated.
Car keys - THe Growler
I keep several valuable numbers disguised as fake phone numbers in my cellphone directory. This has come in handy more than once.

I also have a wonderful girlfriend who acts as my memory back-up: spare sets of keys and reading glasses in her purse at all times.
Car keys - John Boy
Thanks for that one too, Growler. I didn't mention that having a mobile on this particular occasion made things a whole lot easier.
Car keys - HisHonour {P}
A young partner with a handbag can come in handy for things like spare keys, reading glasses, spare pacemaker battery, viagra, etc.......

Keep it up Growler, if you will pardon the expression!

Value my car