What is a transponder car key?
I’m sure you are familiar with how a key works. On a vehicle you slide a key into the ignition lock and if the the cuts on the key match the pins in the lock it will then allow you to turn the key and start the car.
A transponder key adds an extra layer of security. Auto manufacturers first started using transponders about 20 years ago. Before transponders it was cheap and easy to duplicate a key or even use a very similar key to start a vehicle. Now even if you have a correctly cut key that allows you to turn the ignition on the car, if the transponder code does not match, the car will not start.
So what exactly is a transponder? Transponder simply means to transmit and respond. In addition to needing the correct key, vehicles now have two additional devices, a microchip within the key and an immobilizer in the vehicle. You key now has a tiny microchip, usually placed within the plastic part of the key, that has a code that when the key is turned in the ignition receives a small charge that then sends the code via radio frequency to the computer within your car that, if correct, will turn off the immobilizer and the engine will start. If no code is sent or if an incorrect code is sent, even if you can turn the key, the vehicle will not start.
The introduction of the transponder key, while not perfect, greatly increased auto security. But that technology has also increased the complexity and cost for auto keys. Instead of having a new key made for a few dollars down at the local hardware store you now need a key with a microchip that can be programed correctly to your vehicle. This make cost hundreds of dollars and a trip to your local dealership.
What are the options if you lose your transponder key?
As mentioned, you can always go to your auto dealership to have a new key made and programed but this can be very costly and time consuming. It’s recommended that you always have a spare key for emergency situations. But in emergency situations when no spare key is available, CallOrange can help. Our mobile technicians can be at your location usually within a matter of minutes. We have the equipment to make you new keys and program transponder keys on-the-spot! We can make high-security laser cut keys and even program keyless entry systems!