Nissan Leaf Lost Car Key Replacement – All the Information You Need to Get a New Nissan Leaf Key. Tips, Costs, Your Options, and More.
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In this article:
Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2011. This model has three types of keys.
Remote key fobs: 2011 to 2023.
- Please keep in mind that while some keys or key fobs may look the same, they have different capabilities/frequencies/keyways. Therefore, having the right key or key fob is essential.
- Already have your key? Need information to guide you through programming your Nissan Leaf key fob?
Quick access or go to FAQ
Click on the type of key you had or your year model below to get the most accurate information:
2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023: (CWTWB1G0168)
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017: (285E3-3NF4A)
2011, 2012: (285E3-1KM0D or 285E3-1KM0A)
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Q: I lost my Nissan Leaf car keys. I don’t have a spare, so need a replacement. How and where can I get a replacement key?
Generally speaking, you have three options:
First, call an automotive locksmith near you that offers a mobile service for Nissan Leaf cars. We can connect you with a locksmith near you.
Second, tow the car to a Nissan dealership.
Third, order a key online and have the dealer or locksmith cut and program it for you (if necessary).
A word of caution: The type of key you need depends on the year and model of your Nissan Leaf. Therefore, the options for getting a new key made and programmed depend on whether you need a remote key fob, a transponder chip key, or a regular metal key.
Let’s review each option.
An automotive locksmith can make most car keys on-site, including keys for the newest Nissan Leaf models. Most automotive locksmiths offer a mobile service because most Nissan Leaf keys made after 1998 need to be programmed or coded to the car.
This Coding process can’t be done remotely and involves connecting the coding machine physically to the car’s OBD (like in the picture below) and therefore the car must be present.
Saying that, you will have to make sure that the locksmith carries the necessary equipment to cut and program a replacement key, including the right coding machine (e.g. Autel MaxiIM IM608S or Autek IKEY820 Pro) and the right key blank (remote key fob or chip key).
The best way to do that is to provide the locksmith with the year make and model or VIN number when you call.
Because Nissan Leaf is a very common car, chances are they will have the right key blank for your model.
Usually, a locksmith would be your fastest, most convenient and cheapest option overall to get a replacement key.
Order the key online:
Today you can get most Nissan Leaf keys online (with the exception of the most recent model) and relatively fast within 24 Hr. Getting a replacement key online has its pros and cons.
This option is mostly relevant for people who need a duplicate or spare key and can drive the car.
For people who have lost their Nissan Leaf keys and don’t have a spare, it may not be as relevant.
The reason is because when you order a key online, it is what we call a “blank key”.
A blank key is a key that needs to be cut, and, as mentioned above for most Nissan Leaf keys made after 1998, programmed or coded with a special machine.
Therefore, ordering a replacement key online is only the first step. You will still have to contact and pay either the dealer or locksmith to have the key cut and programmed.
Moreover, remember that although many car keys may look alike, they have different security features and chip values. This is especially true for remote key fobs sold online and so it’s very easy for most people to get confused and order the wrong key.
The third option- Nissan dealership:
The last option to get a Nissan Leaf key replacement without the original is to look for a Nissan dealership near you.
The plus side is that they will have the right key blank in stock and should be able to program the key for you as well, even for the latest model as they carry the newest coding machines for Nissan models.
The downside is that the dealership usually charges more for a replacement key than a locksmith would.
Another major downside of getting a replacement key at the dealership is that if you had a transponder chip key or key fob (or in other words if your car was made after 1998 as explained above) you will have to tow the car there, which will make the process even more expansive.
If your Nissan Leaf had a chip key or key fob, and you need a replacement ASAP, a locksmith would be your best bet.
The only exception for that is if you just bought a brand-new car, and then a Nissan Leaf dealer would be the best way.
In case you only need a spare key, you can try and get it online, but make sure you know exactly which key blank or part number you need.
Not ready to call for service just yet? Click here for some GREAT ideas on how to find lost car keys.
Q: Nissan Leaf key replacement near me – How to find a locksmith or dealer and what should you tell them?
First, make sure you have the exact year, make, and model, e.g., 2020 Nissan Leaf.
In addition, write down the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car located on the left side of the dashboard near the mirror. The VIN helps the locksmith or dealer verify the year, make, and model of the car and determine which key you had.
Also, keep in mind that many locksmiths offer mobile service and travel up to 30 miles radius from where their store is located. Therefore, depends on your location, it might be a good idea to expand your search and call for a few additional quotes, even if on the map, these locksmiths seems to be far from you.
Their distance as you see on the map, is their business address, not their physical and current location. All you have to make sure, is that they carry the right equipment to cut and program your Nissan Leaf key.
You can also try and call a few Nissan dealers near your location, but remember that you will need to tow the car there.
Finally, make sure you can show ownership of the car by having the necessary documents – title, ID, insurance card, etc.
Q: Nissan Leaf key replacement cost – How much does it cost to replace a Nissan Leaf key without the original? What is the average price?
In short, replacing a Nissan Leaf key can cost between $300 to $450. The cost depends on a number of factors:
- The type of key you need
- The car’s year of manufacture
- Time of day & your location
- Where you get a key replacement (dealer, automotive locksmith, online, etc.)
- Availability of code to cut a new key
- Original ignition or not
The type of key you had and the year the car was manufactured are the most important factors for identifying if you need a chip, intelligent fob, “push to start”, remote, regular “non-transponder” key. The newer the car is, the better the security features the key has. On later models, you can therefore expect to pay more than $250 for a replacement key.
the price depends on where you get a key replacement. Did your replacement key come from the dealer, or an automotive locksmith? Or did you get it online? Click here to get a more detailed explanation of how to get a replacement key.
The dealer usually charges about 10% to 15% less for the replacement key than a locksmith would charge. However, you will likely have to tow the car there to program the new key or remote. Therefore, the total price is usually higher.
consider that if you have a locksmith come out and make you a new key outside regular business hours, the price may increase.
If you have previously had your ignition cylinder replaced, which is quite common in older cars, this probably means that the code for the key may not be useful. In such cases, the key will have to be cut manually by a locksmith, or you will have to change the ignition again, and here the dealer can’t help.
For a more detailed explanation and GREAT TIPS on how to save money, please visit our blog post: Car keys replacement costs
Tips for Nissan Leaf key fob replacement – What to ask and verify before and after you get a new key fob:
Very often when people get a replacement key fob, there are certain things they forget to check and ask the dealer or locksmith.
We gathered here the most relevant information and tips to make sure you won’t face a problem down the road.
Make sure to get the key code of your Nissan Leaf key fob – Every key fob, has a unique code which locksmiths and dealers use to know the exact cuts to match your ignition, door and trunk cylinders.
Obviously, this code is different from one car to another. This key code costs money, and before the locksmith or dealer cut you a new key fob, they must pay to get the code from the Nissan database, which may cost them up to $100. Make sure you write down this key code and keep it in a safe place. In case you lose your Nissan Leaf key fob again in the future, it will cost you less to get a replacement, and the process will be faster.
Verify they cut you the emergency key, and that it works on the doors cylinders and trunk – Every key fob comes with an emergency key attached to it. The emergency key can be used to access the car in case the battery is dead.
Sometimes, when locksmiths or dealers program a new replacement key fob, they forget to cut the emergency key as well.
Make sure they cut you the emergency key and that it works for each door and the trunk to avoid a future lockout situation. It should work smoothly, just like your house key. Don’t be lazy, check it on site.
know which battery your Nissan Leaf key fob has – These key fobs, like all key fobs, are battery operated. Make sure you know the type of battery you need and keep a spare one. (Nissan Leaf key fobs usually use CR-2025 or CR-2032 battery. That depends on which key fob you have).
Q: Can I get a Nissan Leaf key replacement by its VIN?
A: That depends on the year of manufacture of your car and the type of key you had.
The VIN gives dealers or automotive locksmiths the option of accessing the key code on file – i.e., to cut you a replacement key by code which makes the process fast and easy. There are however two things to consider:
- If your vehicle is older than 10 years, Nissan dealers will no longer have its key code record, so an automotive locksmith will be your only option to get a replacement key.
- For vehicles equipped with a transponder system and/or a remote/intelligent key/fob key, the codes should be available. However, as coding is required, you will have to either tow the car to the dealer, or have an automotive locksmith come and code the key on site.
Q: Nissan Leaf key programming – which keys can you program yourself? Which keys require a programming tool? & more
A: Nissan has different types of keys. Some require programming, and some don’t. All transponder chip keys and/or smart key fobs need to be programmed. This process requires a special programming machine that only an automotive locksmith or the dealer has. There is no need to program non-transponder metal keys.
To make things simple, we divided all Nissan keys into two categories:
- No programming needed (Non-transponder keys).
- Keys that need to be programmed (Transponder or remote keys). These keys required the expertise of an automotive locksmith or the dealer.
No programming needed:
Nissan non-transponder keys are metal keys that have no chip in them, so no programming is needed.
Nissan Leaf has none of this key type – all Nissan Leaf keys have a chip and need to be programmed.
For Nissan Leaf keys that need to be programmed, you will need an automotive locksmith or the dealer:
These keys, also known as remote smart keys, intelligent keys or key fobs, and transponder keys, have a security chip. Programming is needed. Also, a special machine is needed to program them. An automotive locksmith or dealer should do it for you. This process must be followed for most models made after 1998.
CWTWB1G0168, 285E3-3NF4A, 285E3-1KM0D/285E3-1KM0A.
Keyless entry information for the Nissan Leaf:
For year models 2011 to 2023, there is a built-in keyless entry in the remote key fobs.
Nissan Leaf key fob battery – important information: How to replace, size, cost, and more.
Nissan has different kinds of keys. If your model uses a key fob, here is some important information you should know about the battery.
Watch a short video here: how to replace Nissan key fob battery, type of battery and more:
Things to remember when your Nissan Leaf key fob battery is dead:
Before we get into some specific information, here is some useful information you must know:
First, if you are locked out of your car because the key fob battery is dead you can use the emergency key provided with the key to unlock the car door.
How to start a Nissan Leaf with a dead key fob?
You can start your Nissan Leaf by pushing the “Start” button with your key fob. The car’s computer recognizes the chip inside the key fob and authorizes the process.
This way, you will be able to start your vehicle EVEN if the key fob battery is dead.
For older Nissan Leaf models (up to 2012 or so), you can start the car and charge your key fob by inserting in to the designated slot, usually located on the left side like in these pictures:
Nissan Leaf key fob battery information:
Nissan Leaf key fobs are battery operated. Every two years or so, or when the battery is low, you may need to change the key fob battery. Here is all the information you need.
The type of battery you need is a CR-2032 for CWTWB1G0168 remote key fob and a CR-2025 for 285E3-3NF4A, 285E3-1KM0D/285E3-1KM0A remote key fobs. The average price for these batteries is about $5.
Also, you can find it at Home Depot, Walmart, AutoZone, etc.
Here is some general information about the Nissan Leaf key fob battery:
Type of battery: CR-2025 lithium
Size: Diameter – 20 mm, height – 2.5 mm
Type of battery: CR-2032 lithium
Size: Diameter – 20 mm, height – 3.2 mm
Finally, remember that your battery life depends on several factors such as usage, weather conditions, etc. To better protect your Nissan Leaf key fob and extend its battery life, it may be a good idea to have a key fob cover or a case. You can order a key fob cover here.
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