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What You Need to Know About Your Car Key

Do you know where your spare car key is? No? Then before you get locked out or lose the primary key, bring it in to our shop to have it cut and programmed so that it works with your car. What’s that? You think we’re confused by saying that your key needs to be programmed? Nope! We are spot on, and that “programming” component is extremely important — if you want to start your car, that is.

If you have a vehicle made since the mid-’90s, it likely has something called a transponder key. The key comes with a transponder chip in the black plastic part (you’ll usually know this because the plastic part is bigger and thicker than on an older, traditional car key) that interacts with a small responder device near the ignition via a low-level electronic signal. The signal is so low that the vehicle can only detect it when the key is in the ignition.

If we think of the concept of hot-wiring a car, we realize that we don’t hear of it all that much anymore, specifically when it comes to newer vehicles. It would be fair to generally think it’s harder to do these days because of how computerized and sophisticated new vehicles are, but really, the transponder key alone has a lot to do with the lack of hot-wiring success. We can see this looking at the statistics of the most-stolen vehicles, which show that older models are most common (though it’s worth noting that this is for a variety of reasons, better security technology in new cars being one).  The transponder key comes into play here because vehicles won’t start if the device near the ignition doesn’t get the signal from the key. Similarly, if you have a copied key that isn’t programmed right or doesn’t have the transponder chip in it, the car won’t start. When you do get a new key, it needs to not only be cut right, but also have that chip in it and have it be correctly programmed to the vehicle.

At All Secure Lock & Security, we encourage you to purchase your key through us so that we can cut and program it to your vehicle and guarantee that it will work. You can buy the key through other websites, but some keys and remotes coming from China don’t have the right chip in them, so we can’t provide the same guarantee. Of course you can also get a key through your dealership, but that typically involves more waiting while they order the key — which we usually have in stock — and our prices are tough to beat. If you’d like more info about the transponder car keys that we provide, give us a call at 303-667-2736.

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