September 12, 2019 | VL | Advice

What is a Transponder Key?


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transponder key, car key, ngcl, car

Do you know what a Transponder Key is?

Since their introduction in 1995, transponder keys are becoming more and more common. Almost all new cars today are manufactured with a transponder key. But what exactly are they? What is the difference between a transponder key and a remote key? Are there any advantages of having a transponder key?


What is a Transponder Key?

Transponder keys use microchips that transmit a low-level signal from the key to the receiver, located in the car. The manufacturer programs the microchip in the key with a unique serial number that will only match up to the digital serial number in the car. Using a RFID (radio frequency identification) the receiver will detect the serial number and will only unlock or open the car if the correct serial number is identified.


What is the Difference between a Transponder Key and a Remote Key?

Is it a transponder key or a remote key? Unless you are an auto locksmith, you probably won’t know the difference as they look very similar.

A remote key has two levels of security, both of which locks and unlocks the car door. The first way a remote key is able to do this, is by inserting the key into the car door lock and the second uses radio frequency that unlocks the car from a distance by pressing a button on the key fob.

The difference between a remote key and a transponder key is that a transponder key has one more layer of security over its counterpart. Meaning that not only does a transponder key have the two layers of security like the remote key, but it also contains an added third layer of security on top. Embedded inside the key is an electronic chip which is able to connect to the ignition locks signal, so unless the unique digital serial number in the key and the ignition match up, the engine will not start.


What are the Advantages of a Transponder Key?

There are a couple of security advantages when it comes to having a transponder key over a regular remote key. Firstly, if a thief attempted to enter your vehicle without the correct key then an alarm will be triggered, alerting you to the danger and hopefully scaring the thief away. As a transponder key and the receiver uses RFID technology the engine cannot start without the correct key present and hot wiring the car is almost impossible.

Secondly, due to each and every responder key containing its own unique serial number the car cannot be accessed with a different key, a method car thieves are known to use.


Do you have a Transponder Key?

Lost car keys? Locked keys in car? Need a car key replacement? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you need to know if you have a transponder key or not so a car locksmith can get you back on your way. There are a few ways you can check this.

Start by digging out your car owner’s manual and in the ignition system section it should tell you whether your key contains an electronic chip or not. Lost your manual? Try calling your local car dealership, tell them the make and model of your car and the parts department should be able to help you. Furthermore, if your car was made after 2000 then you may be able to presume that your car contains an electronic chip.


Safety First!

Although having a car with a transponder key is more protected from thieves than a regular remote key, there is nothing you can do to fully protect your car against theft. Always remember to close all of your car windows, ensure all the doors are locked and always be cautious as to where you park your car.