To start your car, there are several different key options that will turn that ignition. There are traditional mechanical keys, electronic key fobs, and transponder keys. If you’re wondering, what is a transponder key, the following is an easy-to-understand description.
Like most areas of our lives, car keys have advanced in technology over the years. What once was a metal key mechanically cut with specific grooves to fit into an ignition is now a simple touch of the button, and your car starts. As new as they may seem, the technology that goes into transponder keys has actually been around for more than two decades.
A transponder key is most commonly used to unlock and start a vehicle but is also used in keyless entry systems, garage doors, gates, or homes. The transponder key’s name is made up of two words: Transmitter and Responder to form the term, “transponder”. A transponder key is a device that has been designed to transmit a radio signal from the device you hold in your hands to a remote receiver. When used for cars, each transponder key is programmed to start a specific vehicle. Since your key will only unlock or start your specific vehicle, it cuts down on the possibility of theft.
Most cars nowadays come with at least a keyfob remote. Many have a transponder key that not only unlocks the doors, opens the back gate or trunk, and turns on the alarm system but also starts and stops the engine. These keys have become popular not only for their convenience but also because, in the eyes of insurance companies, they make the vehicle virtually theft-proof. However, thieves are always working to figure out ways around theft-proof devices, so be aware. When you purchase a car that operates with a transponder key, the automobile manufacturer has usually programmed the car to fit the transponder key.
If you own an older model vehicle, it is possible to have it retrofitted for a transponder key. To make sure this is done correctly, you should contact an automobile dealership or a qualified, skilled, and knowledgeable automotive locksmith to do the job for you. Keep in mind, to retrofit a vehicle with a transponder key can be costly but the benefits may be well worth the expense.
Transponder Key Programming
For a transponder key to operate properly, it must first be programmed. The transmitter contains a small microchip that has a serial number that is unique to that specific microchip and set up during the initial programming of the transponder key. The way it works is, for instance, when you want to unlock your car door or start your vehicle, the microchip transmits a request to the vehicle to validate the serial number. If the vehicle does not recognize the serial number, it will not respond.
Always keep a spare transponder key on hand since reprogramming them can be costly, but don’t worry if you lose your keys. When you need to know what is a transponder key or have one you need set up and programmed, call us at Glendale Locksmith 24.