Like most of us on here my car keys are flaking badly and look tatty and worn. This seems to be a common issue to all of us and bad design and/or manufacturing on the part of Fiat/Alfa.
As always I was not content with the obvious option of having to replace my damaged keys for main dealer new ones at a cost of nearly £300 a key, I decided there had to be a better option!
First I tried to paint them, and it didn't work out well, the paint wouldn't ad hear regardless of what type I used or how I primed them, so I turned to a friend of mine who is an expert model maker. I gave him a spare key and said what can you do.
Here is what he has come back with:
He can cast a replacement key end out of white metal and it can then be electroplated in either copper, or chrome and will last up to 5 years! He is doing one for me as a proof of concept, and will send me some photos to use on here for you all, but he has said he can make a batch of these for others for a nominal fee.
All you do to repair your old key is buy this replacement end, remove the pin that holds the end on, prise the old one off and replace it with the new metal one and replace the pin! Job done!
In the above picture the Plastic end cap sits over the Key Blade and Holder. The Metal release button is part of the Key Blade and Holder also. The part that is being replaced is the Plastic End Cap only. The rest of the key will stay the same. This means, no recoding and no swapping internals from the transponder etc. What you will be doing is removing the cheap plastic end cap that the original chrome plating could not properly bond to and replace it with a metal one that looks identical but that is durable.
The process of making this replacement is white metal is melted down and moulded in a mould. Then it is prepp'ed and electroplated in copper. This initial stage is because the chrome will not properly bond to the metal directly and could fail much like the original key did. The copper bonds 100% so forms a primer layer. Then its electroplated again in Chrome which bonds 100% to the copper. So it will be visibly no different although perhaps a few microns thicker when done! It will for sure be much more durable than the original plastic end cap.
Estimated cost will be £45 per key, for a newly manufactured durable (metal not plastic) replacement end cap. This is a direct like for like upgrade to the current chipped, peeling plastic end of the key that was originally chrome when you bought the car, and is now probably a mucky off yellow colour like mine!
He needs to do the electroplating in bulk so I am here to gauge interest. If you want one or a set of these, let me know and I will add you to this post:
- JabawokJayUK - 2 Keys
- NicQ - 2 Keys
- 1878 - 2 Keys
- McTavishh - 1 Key
- alfaholic1001 - 1 Key
- adamcot - 1 Key
- Kayjey - 2 Keys
- Havocwreaker - 1 Key
- ffedele - 2 Keys
- Leagle - 2 Keys
- Gezc - 1 or 2 Keys
- Speenvark - 2 Keys
- Mackem - 2 Keys
- Emdalziel - 2 Keys
- charliealfamike - 1 Key
- Pdw16396 - 1 Key
- faldo22st - 1 Key
- Amir - 1 Key
- elmason - 2 Keys
- cockspur - 1 Keys