All you need to know about transponder keys

For the most part, car keys are very reliable. They are designed with automotive security in mind, using the latest technologies to provide car owners with the best possible protection. Unfortunately, nothing is ever fully immune of damage and glitches, and issues may arise when you least expect them.

That is why we are going to spend some time educating you about some of the most common automotive key problems you may encounter along the way. For this post, we will pay particular attention to transponder key issues, as these tend to be quite common. But we will also provide you with all the information that you need to know about what to expect from professional automotive locksmith services too. After all, a reliable professional should be able to provide expert care for all car key types, no matter the car manufacturer, make or model.  

We want all car owners in Chino, California, to be able to understand the basic key issues they may be faced with.  A top notch locksmith service such as Chino Fast Locksmith will be able to effortlessly attend to any issues that arise with your car keys, especially transponder keys. This includes key programing, duplications, extractions, chip replacements, battery replacements and so much more. In fact, you should be able to rely on a locksmith to provide you with fast and easy to access assistance for all issues, big or small. After all, nobody wants to be waiting several days for new car keys nor should they suffer in distress in the case of an automotive lockout. If in need, call a locksmith, and they should be able to get things figured out in the most time efficient manner.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. So, here is an overview of everything you need to know about your automotive keys.   

Let’s start with the basics

Most vehicles today use transponder technology or embedded chips that are very difficult to duplicate. A locksmith in Chino, CA, will have all the required equipment needed to duplicate and program new types of keys for car owners whenever they need an extra copy or a replacement for a malfunctioning key.

There are various car key types, with varying levels of security. These include: 

  • Mechanically cut/flat metal keys – the most common type of car key, these are mechanically cut and are made of ridges on each side. These keys can easily be duplicated using a metal cutting machine, and can only be inserted into the ignition on one side.
  • Laser cut/sidewinder keys – much more secure than mechanically cut keys, lasers are used to cut these in a very precise manner. These are comparatively difficult to duplicate, requiring specialized machinery to do so, and can inserted into the ignition on both sides.
  • Smart keys – not widely used because this is still a new technology. This type of key allows car owners to remotely access their cars from a distance, and in some cases to start their vehicles.
  • VAT keys – a type of key that contains a resistor chip on its blade which acts as an anti-theft mechanism. These resistor chips, which are different from what you would find in a transponder key, are very difficult to duplicate.
  • Valet car key – this key, as the name suggests, has been created to be handed to valets for the parking/retrieving of a car. These are modified to only allow the operation of ignition and door locks, and are usually issued alongside a transponder key.
  • Transponder keys – a combination of the words transmitter and responder, these keys include an embedded microchip in its plastic head, which sends a signal to vehicle. Simple transponder keys work with ID numbers, whereas newer keys may use encrypted code. Some transponder keys will have in-built remotes, independent of the key system, and are very difficult to duplicate without specialized equipment. 

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s focus on some of the main transponder key issues.

When should you change a transponder key battery?

We are focusing on transponder key battery malfunction because these are a common locksmith request.

Not all transponder keys will be microchip and battery operated. But if yours has a battery, here is what you need to know.

Most batteries will last a few years. So if you are experiencing issues with a brand new transponder key, it may actually be a glitch in the programming of the key itself. That’s why some issues like having to press a button multiple times to open your car door can just as likely to be the result of battery failure or a programming problem.

The best way know if you are experiencing a battery issue is by using an alternative key. If another key works, then you need to replace the battery. To be certain about a programming glitch, rapidly turn your car on and off eight times in less than ten seconds to try and reprogram the key. If issues persist, contact a locksmith for transponder key programming.

How can a locksmith help with transponder keys?

With locksmiths based in Chino, CA, car owners can get timely assistance for persistent issues. If you are locked out of your vehicle because of a dead transponder key battery, a broken key, a broken door lock or any other issue, you should be able to call them for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Not only will a locksmith provide round the clock emergency assistance, they also have all the equipment required to duplicate all transponder keys, and to quickly replace all transponder key batteries. We don’t recommend you trying to perform any fixes yourself, as it may incur more trouble than you bargained for. Remember, transponder keys may be especially encrypted to work with your car so a DIY job may lead to loss of access to your vehicle.

Simply put, a locksmith can give you full peace of mind about all car key issues – and you won’t need to fork out huge amounts of cash. Locksmiths in Chino, CA, will have all the machinery and components to handle all car key types, and all battery replacements for all types of vehicles.