In 1995, the automotive locksmith industry changed forever when the first transponder key was brought to the market. Compared to the mechanical keys locksmiths were used to, transponder keys were a gamechanger, and introduced a new technology that is still used in modern cars today.
If you have purchased a car since 1995, there is a high chance that your car key is a transponder key, which you may not even realise! Since their introduction, transponder keys have greatly increased the security of cars, motorbikes and trucks all over the world, reducing motor vehicle thefts by a whopping 40% every single year (1).
Not to be confused with the buttons on your car key that unlocks and locks your car, or the key blade that goes in the ignition, a transponder key has a microchip embedded in the plastic head of the key, which allows the car to be turned on.
But, how does the microchip start a car?
Nowadays, most cars have an engine immobiliser, which prevents the engine from running, unless deactivated. Each transponder key has a built-in microchip that is programmed with its own unique serial number. When the transponder is near or inserted into the ignition, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) sends low-strength radio signals to the transponder. As transponders do not have a battery, this signal from the ECU powers the transponder.
If the transponder’s digital serial number is an exact match to the one programmed in the car, the engine immobiliser is deactivated, and once the key in the ignition is turned, the car will start. This eliminates a thieves ability to hot-wire a car or break the ignition lock – so the only way to start the car is by having the correct transponder key, with the accurate mechanical key cuts and unique code.
Due to the complexity of first cutting the key accurately and then programming the transponder, these keys are difficult for untrained people to duplicate. In a mechanical key, there are thousands of different ways the key can be cut. However, transponder keys have a mechanical key section as well as a microchip that needs an exact serial number to operate a car, meaning there are millions of possible combinations between the two, greatly reducing the chance that someone else can copy your transponder key.
If you have lost all your keys for your vehicle, this is even more complex again, as even more training and specialised equipment are required to be able to make a key that suits your car. Luckily, it’s no problem for our fully-qualified team of automotive locksmiths at Rechenberg.
If you’re looking to get a transponder key, replace an old mechanical key, or you have lost all your keys for your vehicle and need new keys to be made, get in contact with a trusted locksmith. At Rechenberg, we have an expert team of Bundaberg locksmiths with over 60 years of combined experience in the automotive locksmith industry. With our state-of-the-art transponder key programming technology and the latest electronic key cutting machines, we ensure your key is cut to factory specifications every time.
Whether you’re in Bundaberg, Bargara or Moore Park, Rechenberg can cut and program the latest transponder keys. We make transponder keys for most car makes and models, ranging from the most common cars seen in Australia including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Holden, Subaru, Ford, to European models, such as BMW, Mercedes, VW and Audi.