What is a transponder key?
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of automobile keys: transponder and non-transponder. Though, sometimes people are confused thinking that their electronic key fobs are transponder keys when, actually, they are not. There are also electronic key fobs and keys with built-in remotes which are not the actual key but rather a remote with an electronic chip attached intended to lock and unlock car doors.
So, what exactly is a transponder key?
A transponder key is a part of the vehicle’s anti-theft system. The word is made up of two parts: Transmitter and Responder. The microchip that is embedded into the plastic head of your key receives a signal from your automobile’s antenna ring that is located on the ignition cylinder. The car’s computer system must receive a signal from the transponder key to operate. Newer systems often use encryption with a rolling code, which means the code changes every time it’s used. This is an added measure to prevent car thefts.
There are two basic types of transponder keys:
- Zero bitted
Zero bitted transponder keys are designed to be easily cloned because they have no preset inscription. Encrypted keys, on the other hand, have preset, random encryption that needs to be programmed to the car.
Changing the Batteries on Transponder Keys
Some chips require batteries, and some do not. If you have one with a battery, these batteries will need to be changed eventually, and a locksmith will be able to do that as well and will charge a lot less than a car dealership will for the same service.
Duplicating Transponder Keys
Different car manufacturers design different styles of transponder keys, so depending on the make and model of your vehicle, your transponder key may or may not require the original key to be present when attempting to make a copy of the key.
When you need a transponder key copied, it is not the traditional process of cutting grooves as is the case with metal keys. Instead, these keys must be programmed to sync with your specific vehicle. There are two main places you can have this done:
- A car dealership
- A professional locksmith
The main difference in how the service is provided by asking a car dealership or a car locksmith to duplicate your transponder key is in time, convenience, and cost. A locksmith will be able to perform the exact same service as a car dealership for a fraction of the cost and won’t require you to have your car towed into the dealership and set up an appointment to wait – Instead, a locksmith is able to come to you on-demand and get the transponder key programmed and you back on the road in no time at a fraction of the cost.
Contact our Car Key Replacement team for more information about transponder keys, transponder key replacement, and transponder key programming. We are available 24/7 and offer fast Transponder Keys services. Call us at: (480) 339-2152