Do you have a chip key, transponder key or programmable key?

These keys make it harder for a thief to steal your car. While it might be a bit expensive for the consumer to duplicate or replace this key, it ultimately works as planned. Chip keys have codes that enable them to with with vehicles using a transponder system. Your key has a unique code, so the chip in your key corresponds to your car’s computer and is the ONLY key that will start your car. You may have several types of keys for your car, “mechanical keys” can unlock the doors or trunk, but not start your car. The transponder key should do both, although we have seen cars where the ignition has been replaced, resulting in mismatched keys.

Tips to avoid costly key replacement.

  • When purchasing a new or used car, insist that the dealer give you at least 2 sets of keys. They can program keys themselves for less, but prefer to charge 2 or 3 times what an independent locksmith would charge if you lose your key. AND you will have the additional expense of having to tow your vehicle to the dealership
  • If you only have one set of keys, make sure you get a duplicate made before it’s too late. It’s roughly 1/2 less expensive to cut a duplicate than to have a new one made if all keys are lost.
  • Treat your keys like any other electronic device. Don’t allow it to get damaged through carelessness. We’ve had instances of people who use their keys as bottle openers, let their babies chew on them, and other similar damage. There is an electronic chip in the plastic head, damage to the head can damage the chip.