Gone are the days when your vehicle has a simple key that can be copied as many times as you need to. Today, most vehicles have what is called a transponder key. If you have ever lost one and needed to replace it, you know that these are no ordinary key from the price tag on one of them. Ninja Locksmiths is here to talk about transponder keys and what makes them more pricey than your run of the mill replacement key.
What is a Transponder Key?
The thing that sets transponder keys apart is a small chip that is locate inside the key itself. This little chip has the ability to start and stop your vehicle because the engine has an immobilizer system to detect it. The chip inside your key transmits a low-level signal that engages a receiver near the ignition of your vehicle. Without a key that has been programmed properly, you are not able to turn the vehicle on.
Proper Transponder Key Programming
Before transponder keys were a thing, all you needed to worry about was the cut out you were going to use to make the key. Now not only does the key have to be cut to fit the car, but the chip inside it needs to be programmed in order to disarm the immobilizer. Every single transponder key for your car has a unique digital signature which the transponder will calculate and respond to before the vehicle can start.
How to Tell if You Have a Transponder Key
You may be wondering if you have a transponder key or not. You can usually tell if your key is a transponder key simply by its size. The plastic portion of your key is usually much thicker and larger than a key that isn’t a transponder key. If you still aren’t able to distinguish a transponder key base on looks, you can try wrapping the plastic portion with several layers of tin foil and attempting to start the vehicle. If you are unable to get the car started, you know that there is a transponder in the key. Another way to decipher what type of key you have is to contact your dealer. By giving them the VIN number, they can tell you how much a replacement key will cost you. If the cost is only a few dollars, you know that you don’t have a transponder key. If they are going to charge you up towards $300, you definitely need a transponder key.
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The reason you will end up paying several hundred dollars when you buy a replacement transponder key from your dealer is because they charge you for the key as well as an hourly rate to program the key to your car. When you choose Ninja Locksmiths to handle your replacement transponder needs, you will find that you only pay a small fraction of the cost that you would at the dealer. Call us today for all your locksmith needs!