A transponder key is actually just a fancy name for a type of car key. Most vehicles nowadays come with transponder keys, but that doesn’t mean that all do. Regardless of whether your car has transponder keys or not, there are a few types of car keys you should be become familiar with:
• Transponder key – Being first introduced in 1995, transponder keys are still in use today. This type of key has a computer microchip coded and embedded inside a plastic casing. To be able to start the car, the code embedded in the microchip must match the code in the vehicle immobilizer. If the code is damaged or doesn’t match, the vehicle will not start.
• Remote controls – Almost all modern cars come with remote control car keys. Your car is probably using it and you’ll most likely know how it works. Basically, the key has one or two buttons for unlocking/locking the doors as well as one for the car’s alarm system, and the remote sends radio signals to do these two functions.
• Rolling codes – This type of car key is similar to a transponder key and works using a similar principle, though it has one major difference: the microchip in this type of key will produce new codes every time it is used, while a transponder key always has a fixed code. It is therefore a more secure way to prevent car theft, but they are expensive to replace in case you lose them.
• Master key – Master keys are generally not used today and hence are slightly obsolete. You should also know that master keys are not meant for normal usage. Even though they come with the car, they are only to be used by a locksmith to duplicate missing keys or make duplicates. The reason why they are not used nowadays is that car dealers now have a centralized database which include car key codes to duplicate missing keys, hence making master keys redundant. Nevertheless, if you have an older car model, you might still have the master key with you.
Now that you know about a few different types of keys, you should also understand that car keys are something you should handle with extreme care and you must definitely avoid misplacing, or worse, losing them. Why? Simply because your car will refuse to start without a valid key. Furthermore, if somebody else comes in possession of your keys, you risk losing your car to a thief.
Now suppose you somehow lose them. Does this mean that you will not be able to start your car forever? Of course not. There are places which provide solutions for such problems. If you lose your car key, the first thing to do is check whether you still possess a duplicate key. If you have one, then you are good to go (but don’t give up searching for the lost pair!). If not, you need to contact one of the many locksmith in Hawthorn in your area (or else a local car dealer) to get a new key cut for you.
Since a car key is such an essential thing for any car owner, it is always a good idea to keep a duplicate around you just in case. You might already be keeping a duplicate, but if you are not, you should go get one or two just in case.