How Often Should You Rekey Your Car Locks?

Rekeying your car locks is an important aspect of vehicle security that many owners overlook. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding when and why to rekey can help protect your vehicle and provide peace of mind. Let’s explore the factors that influence how often you should consider this security measure.

Key Factors in Determining Rekeying Frequency

Several situations may prompt you to rekey your car locks:

1. Change in ownership: Always rekey when purchasing a used car.

2. Lost or stolen keys: If your keys go missing, rekeying prevents unauthorized access.

3. Lending your car: If you’ve given keys to mechanics, valets, or others you don’t fully trust.

4. Wear and tear: Over time, locks can become less secure due to regular use.

5. Security upgrades: If you want to improve your car’s overall security.

As a general rule, consider car rekey every 2-3 years for optimal security. However, this timeline can vary based on your specific circumstances and risk factors.

Signs It’s Time to Rekey

Watch for these indicators that your car locks may need attention:

– Keys become difficult to turn in the lock

– You’ve recently experienced a break-in attempt

– You notice signs of tampering with the locks

– You can’t account for all copies of your keys

– Your key fob isn’t working consistently

If you observe any of these signs, it’s wise to consult a professional locksmith to assess whether rekeying is necessary.


Rekeying your car locks is an essential but often overlooked aspect of vehicle maintenance and security. While there’s no fixed schedule that applies to everyone, being aware of the factors that necessitate rekeying can help you make informed decisions. Generally, considering a rekey every 2-3 years is a good practice, but always be responsive to specific events or signs that suggest your locks need attention. By staying proactive about your car’s security, you can significantly reduce the risk of theft or unauthorized access, ensuring your vehicle remains safe and secure.

car rekeying