Transponder car keys are one of the later additions to car security systems—introduced just over twenty years ago. They’re expensive, but car security doesn’t get better than a transponder. Many people don’t know this, but the inspiration came from the technology used by the military to identify friendly airplanes back in World War 2—also used in modern radar systems.
It’s a technological marvel that we’re able to recreate the same mechanics within hardware that’s minuscule compared to the detective equipment used by the military. Since 1998, car key transponders have become increasingly popular, responsible for reducing car theft by as much as 40%.
How Does a Transponder Work?
The application of transponders in automobiles involves installing a chip in the car key or a fob to identify original car keys from duplicates. Each key has a chip installed that is capable of transmitting signals to and from the Engine Control Module. When you slide the key into the ignition, the ECU transmits signals to the key, and if the key responds appropriately—the ECM signals the car to start.
The chip in the key doesn’t require any external power source, requiring minimal energy, and runs on the radio signals transmitted from the ECM. In terms of making the car secure, there’s no way someone could steal a car—short of stealing the keys from you. Even then, it’s possible to stop the car from starting if you lose your keys to someone.
What to Do When the Transponder Stops Working?
While transponders have significantly reduced the chances of having your car stolen, these are expensive to replace or to repair. You’ll have to go to a qualified automotive locksmith who has extensive knowledge of the technology, and they’ll need to reprogram your car keys so that the chip responds to the signals sent from the ECM.
While the job doesn’t take a long time, it’s a lot more expensive compared to metal keys that your locksmith could replace. The skill and technical knowledge required to replace, and duplicate transponders attach a premium to these keys, raising their prices beyond what other car keys might cost. Usually, though, people are just happy because there’s no telling how many times someone might have tried to steal your car—but couldn’t—because it only works when the transponder is in the ignition.
Looking for Expert Locksmiths in Houston, TX?
Car Key 4 Less is a premium locksmith and car key replacement service provider in Houston, TX. Our automotive locksmiths have years of experience resolving automobile lock problems for old and new car models alike. If you’re looking for car key replacements for Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, or BMWs in Houston, call us now, and we’ll be over in 30 minutes!
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