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Keys to Your Vehicle

Posted on February 9, 2022 by Gregory Campbell

Automobile safety has changed dramatically in the past several decades. We've gone from the era when there were only 2000+ key combinations used for each and every car of the largest automobile manufacturer, to transponder controlled ignition systems, that change electronic codes every time you start your vehicle. In the 30's to the 60's it was somewhat common that you may know someone whose car key also match your vehicle. Today simply to get a duplicate key for your vehicle, can be difficult and costly.

Which are transponder controlled systems and how do they operate? The technology, it might surprise you is really quite old. A"transponder" is in essence a combination radio frequency transmitter and receiver. It transmits a radio signal or binary code which may be picked up by another recipient, if the signals or codes fit, then some action is permitted. Transponder technology has been used for several decades, and continues to be used today for aviation management. When a pilot has to be positively identified in a radar environment, air traffic management will give him a particular code, that he'll dial into his transponder, the transponder will always transmit that code, which is obtained by the radar, a branded"blip" will appear on the air control radar which shows precisely where that aircraft is. The miniaturization of electronic equipment today allows a transponder to be put in the mind of your car key, this transponder transmits a particular code that's received by a receiver at the dashboard of your vehicle, if they fit, you can begin your car.

Some of the Issues with current transponder systems include;

No standard system - at last count there are five distinct manufacturers of these systems - how and that they allow to create duplicate or replacement keys appears to disagree with each system.

Some will allow only the maker of the vehicle to service any component of the system - that usually leads to severe time and cost penalties.

Some will just permit the auto dealers to support systems or provide duplicate keys - the result is more time and cost.

Some will allow locksmiths to support systems and provide duplicate keys - there is no time delay involved, because technical electronics must sometimes be used, it will still be more expensive than the user may expect.

Some programs do not require the use of technical equipment, but might require that two or more original keys and the car be present to permit"programming" duplicate keys into the car.

Due to the difficulty of describing these systems, and the cost which may be involved, some traders or amateurs are reluctant to go over these systems. It's very important that you know whether your car has an ignition protection system, how it functions, and what's involved in obtaining keys. You might need to demand that you receive this information.

The advantage of these systems is that having duplicate keys, does demand that they be programmed into the vehicle, by some method. The chance of a person getting an unauthorized duplicate is quite remote.