Transponder keys are also known as chip keys because the keys have a microchip embedded in them that are programmed to work only with the system that has matching codes embedded in them. These keys are widely used by automobile companies as it adds an element of security to their products. Read on to learn how this transponder key programming system works.
Transponder keys are made by the automobile manufacturers and provide a radio transmission between the key and the ignition system of the car. The key will have a serial number that is unique to it because it has been programmed into it. The same number will be embedded into all the units in the car that control its operation. Unless these two numbers match, the car will not be able to start or perform any of its functions. Hot wiring of cars is also disabled when you have such a transponder key to operate these vehicles.
Transponder key programming acts to introduce the computer that is in a vehicle to a chip that is installed in the key. This programming requires special tools and equipment and can only be done by people who are trained to make the machines follow instruction. Onboard programming allows keys to be made without any expensive equipment, and allow the making of an extra key, as long as you have keys that are already functioning.
Key programming is a technological development that ensures that no vehicle can be started without having the right key. When you lose such a key, you are better served if you go back to your dealer, though there are professional locksmiths who can undertake the replacement key with the right program that will match your vehicle. Programming codes are often part of driver’s manual and these are used by the locksmiths to program any blank transponder key that they will have. It is essential to ensure that these locksmiths are licensed, bonded and insured for carrying out such work, and there are no illegalities attached.
Vehicles that have transponder keys are virtually theft proof, but this imposes an obligation from a vehicle owner to take a lot of care in ensuring that their keys are never misplaced or lost, as getting a replacement can prove to be quite costly. Most vehicles will be provided with two keys when they are originally purchased, and it then becomes incumbent on the owner to take steps to safeguard the extra key. Some vehicles allow their keys to be programmed through the onboard computer, but it can require instructions to be followed, which at times can be difficult for a layman.
Transponder keys that are programmed are also used in some other applications other than vehicles. They can be used for gates, alarm systems, and even for entering homes without the use of keys. Doors in the range of the transponder keys will open automatically and also close securely as soon as the transponder moves out of range.
Transponder key programming is a skill that requires some training to acquire it. Locksmiths who have had this training can greatly extend their business.