Most, if not all new vehicles today are equipped with a transponder key. Transponder keys are part of today’s technology as they are equipped with an RF transmitter. A receiver is placed near the ignition switch so the key can transmit a signal when it is placed in the ignition.
The reason transponder keys are used are to prevent instances of hot-wiring. Therefore, the ignition will only start if it detects the signal transmitted by the key. If a key is copied but does not contain the signal, the car cannot start either. That is why you need to call a skilled locksmith when you need to clone a transponder key or have a new one made.
How a Transponder Key Is Different
A transponder key is different than a traditional car key in that the top part of the key is thicker than a key made without a transponder. Whilst this is not always true, in most cases, it is a valid sign. You can also test to see if the key is a transponder by wrapping the top or plastic part in several wrappings of foil. If the key is a transponder, the car will not start when wrapped in the foil.
If you need to call out a Baldivis locksmith to make a new transponder key, it will cost significantly more than if you have a regular key made. Naturally, the technology involved in the making of the key definitely has some influence in this regard.
The Two Basic Types of Keys
Basically, automotive keys can be segregated under two classifications – transponder keys and flat metal keys. Sometimes people confuse chip or transponder keys with vehicle remotes. Auto remotes can be used to lock or unlock a car and some remotes may be added inside keys. Others, on the other hand, may be separate (fobs). Remotes operate separately from a locking system that uses a transponder key.
The transponder key today is part of a vehicle’s anti-theft or security system. Transponder is a combination-type word that comes from the two words – “transmitter” and “responder.” The small chip that is in-built into the head of the key then receives a signal from the ignition cylinder’s antenna ring.
Why You Need a Locksmith’s Help
Given that transponder keys have in-built chips and operate, in some cases, using complex algorithms, you definitely need to ask for help from a locksmith if you cannot find your keys. You need the services of a locksmith as the keys will need to be cloned from an already-existing car key or programmed to your vehicle.
Today, transponder keys are offered in two types – encrypted and zero-bitted. The keys that are zero-bitted can be copied whilst encrypted keys have a random and pre-set encryption that must be programmed into a vehicle.
You can tell the difference between a zero-bitted and pre-set encryption key when you see how the locksmith makes your key. If you notice that they insert the key into a tool and insert a key blank into the same tool, they are making a zero-bitted key, however, if they affix a tool to your vehicle’s (on-board diagnostic) OBD port for programming, they are adding a new encrypted transponder key to your car’s security and locking system.