How Does Transponder Car Key Programming Work?

How Does Transponder Car Key Programming Work?

What are transponder keys?

Transponder keys are car keys with transponder chips inside. These chips function as an extra security tool that increases the user verification standards to gain access to the vehicle. 

The vehicle has a transceiver that seeks the correct signal to be unlocked. The chip in a transponder key gives off that signal which communicates with the transceiver. Without it, the car doesn’t start. 

A vehicle that features a transponder key system won’t work without a key that supports it. However, a properly programmed key may still be able to gain access to the car doors and trunk, but you’ll need a programmed transponder to start the car. 

Why you need to program your transponder key

For a key to work in your car’s ignition, it needs to be programmed to work with it. It may not be required for all cars as some older modes use the mechanical metal key without any electronic components. 

If you only want an extra key that can unlock the exterior locks on the vehicle, such as the trunk and doors, you don’t need a programmed transponder chip. However, to start a car with a transceiver in it, you’ll need a programmed transponder key. 

Is key-cutting a part of key programming services?

Most technicians are trained to provide both services, but key cutting is a separate procedure from key programming. 

As a programmed key needs to get inside your ignition switch to start the car, getting it programmed wouldn’t be helpful if it hasn’t already been cut. 

Moreover, the transponder chip only acts as a supplement to the security systems of an automobile. The technology must be implemented into a properly cut key unit.  

Transponder key programming: from a remote location

In some cases, car keys can be easily programmed using an original or existing key unit. In this method, the vehicle does not need to be involved at all. However, this isn’t the case for all cars and keys. 

In your particular case, your locksmith will let you know if some sort of mechanical manipulation needs to be performed inside the automobile for transponder programming. 

Transponder key programming: in-car

Getting your transponder key programming using the vehicle is the best way to provide your locksmith with more options in the process. For instance, some cars require keys to be inserted into the ignition to be programmed. 

With in-car transponder key programming, there’s no need for an existing working key or the original unit. Using a transponder key programmer tool, your locksmith will find the code that works with the vehicle’s transceiver and program the key accordingly. 

Different key programmer tools work with different automobile makes and models. However, some kits support almost all types of vehicles, such as the autek ikey820 key programmer.

A working code can be programmed into a key that is properly cut by code. To avoid the risks of using aftermarket vehicle keys, make sure your key is un-programmed and blank. 


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