Since about 1999, most automotive manufactures began to incorporate transponders into car keys. The purpose of these “chip-keys” is to add security to your investment, and possibly line the pockets of the dealerships. Most people are unaware that transponders are embedded inside the heads of their car keys.
How do they work?
When you turn your car on, it first checks to make sure the key is a digital match. In most vehicles, transponder readers are fixed directly to the ignition. Transponders do not require battery, however they must be within an inch or two of the transponder reader. The transponder reader sends a challenge message to the car key and if it reads the key as a good key, the car will start. Your local locksmith is often the best person to see about having additional keys added. Keys can usually be removed from memory as well as added, this is helpful if you have had your keys lost or stolen.
We recommend having at least one spare transponder key. Losing your last key is much more expensive than getting a spare ahead of time.