Transponder keys are most commonly used for cars, but can be programmed to operate gates and keyless entry systems as well. What a transponder key does is unlock and start a car using a radio signal specifically programmed to open one lock, called the remote receiver. The actual transponder is a chip implanted into the key. When the chip was created, a serial number is programmed into it that matches the one of the car’s onboard computer. When the owner hits the button, the chip is essentially “asking” the car to confirm the serial number. If the number matches, the car will unlock or start. The benefits of transponder keys include strengthened security and convenience.
Transponders were invented in 1944 and currently two types exist. Electric coupled transponders are used in satellites, airplanes, and in any system that needs to transmit messages over long distances. In order to work properly, these transponders need a lot of electricity. The kind that is more familiar to most people and is used in cars is called a magnetic coupled transponder. They do not need electricity and so do not work for very long distances, but are best suited for unlocking car doors and the like.
There are two basic kinds of transponder key cuts: 1) Zero-bitted and 2) Encrypted. Zero-bitted keys are designed to be copied and have no preset code. What this looks like is one of our locksmiths will put the original key into a copying tool, and then insert a blank key into that same tool. Your new key now matches the original and will unlock and start your car. Encrypted keys have preset codes and a locksmith will need to programme that specific serial number into a new key. Transponder keys and their various cuts and programmes differ from car make to car make, but our team of locksmiths are highly-trained and able to identify the different transponders and steps necessary to copy and replace them.
The advantage of a transponder key is that theft of your vehicle will be very difficult. Even if a thief can get inside the car and turn the engine, they will not be able to start it without the code. This includes situations where thieves attempt to “hotwire” your vehicle; without the code, there is no way a person will be able to start the engine. Most cars that use transponder systems will be advertised as “theft-proof,” but this is not entirely true as some thieves will be able to use bypassing systems to gain access to your car. However, statistics on car thefts among cars with and without transponder systems have proven that a car with a transponder system is much less likely to be stolen. If you are concerned about theft, a transponder system and key is a good to give yourself some peace of mind. Be sure to take other reasonable steps to protect your vehicle, like making sure all your windows are closed and always remembering to lock your doors with your transponder key.
In addition to cars, transponder keys have been applied to wireless alarm keys, garage doors, and other keyless or wireless operations. These systems enhance security for a gated community and individual homes as a thief will not likely be able to simply pick a lock to get to his destination. Transponders are also convenient and make it easier to control your various security systems and locks remotely. With all the types of transponder keys and systems out there, you have a range of options when it comes to distance. Again, having a transponder is no reason to be careless and leave windows open, doors unlocked, or replacement keys nearby. Transponder systems will greatly increase your security, but they are not a 100% guarantee against break-ins.
Locksmiths Maroubra are equipped to replace your transponder key if lost, and can also retrofit your car with a transponder system and key. Most of the cars that come made with a transponder system are high-end, but if you want to simply refit your current vehicle with this added security measure, we are able to do so. We can also programme “blank” keys to fit your car or any other lock for an affordable price so you do not have to go directly to your manufacturer and pay a high fee to replace or add another transponder key to your inventory. Our locksmiths have years of training and experience, handling all makes of transponder keys, and are prepared to provide our customers with any transponder service that they may require.
If you have any questions about transponder systems or need us to replace or program a key, please contact one of our representatives.