A lot of modern car technology is about the protection of the car owner. One of these key elements is a transponder key. A transponder key features a small chip programmed to match the computer of the car. The ignition can only start when the chip matches the car's computer. While these keys offer extra protection, there can be extra costs associated with getting them replaced. Instead of getting caught in a scam, it's important to learn as much as you can about transponder keys.

Along with the information, you can confirm the details and get help from a professional locksmith.

Expensive Transponder Key Copies

Having a spare key for your car is vital in case you get locked out. Spare transponder keys need to be programmed to work in the ignition, but you can also have a key made used just to gain access to the car. A professional locksmith can create a standard spare key.

This key will not work in the ignition, but it will unlock any keyholes on the trunk or doors. When you are getting this type of spare made, it's important to specify that you do not want a transponder key. You should also label the key separately so you do not mix it up with the ignition key.

Transponder Keys Are Not the Same as VAT Keys

As the advanced key technology developed, the VAT key was produced by several manufacturers like GM. VAT keys feature a special chip directly on the key blade. This chip is typically visible while the transponder keys hide the chip in the head of the key. When getting a VAT key replaced, it is a far different process than a transponder key. It is important to understand the differences and costs of these keys while shopping for them. A vehicle equipped with a VAT system will not work with transponder keys.

Check your car's manual to read up on the keys and the different varieties that are available.

Transponder Key Names

Sometimes it can be confusing when trying to find out what type of key you actually have. Depending on the dealer or locksmith, the transponder can be called a number of different things. All of the following names are all just different names for the transponder key. Abbreviations for the transponder key may be referred to as XPNDR, TR, TPDR. Longer names that are used for transponder keys include a smart key, a chip key, or an immobilizer.

Purchasing Transponder Keys Online

Many people look for an cheap way out by purchasing transponder keys at online retailers. While these keys can be cut to work on your vehicle, it will have to be programmed to your exact chip set. This is where the high costs for the keys come in.

Locksmiths use a lot of special programming software to create the keys. This means after purchasing a blank key online and then having it programmed separately could cost even more money. This is why it's a better idea to complete all the services directly at a locksmith.

Dealer Key Processing

Many times when you purchase your keys, the car dealer will say you have to return to them to get an extra copy of your key. This is not the case. Locksmiths have the gear and technology to create the keys without working with a dealer. This gives you the option of searching for prices and getting the best deal possible.

Once you have an account with a locksmith, you have the ability to get extra copies made at a later date. The process will be sped up and more convenient.