The word “transponder” is a combination of transmitter and responder. Transponder keys were first used during World War II by fighter planes. Today, almost every new car comes with some transponder key. The transponder keys have a radio frequency transmitter inside them. And since there is a device near the vehicle’s ignition switch that has a receiver, the key will transmit an extremely low-level radio frequency that only the specific car will detect when the key is in the switch.
The device at the ignition switch cannot start if it does not detect the low-level radio frequency signal from the transponder key. Thus, transponder keys perform a very good job in helping to prevent the theft of your car by thieves who hot-wire to kick-start the car. If someone tries to hot-wire a car designed for a transponder key, it won’t start as there is no signal from the key. If someone uses a copied key without the radio frequency signal, the car won’t start either. Only a person with the transponder key can start and drive the car.
AZ Car Keys
That way, the transponder key offers the best security for your car against thieves. There is no conceivable way a criminal will have access to your car unless he first has the transponder keys. Even if the criminal does manage to gain access to your car, he can’t start and move the car. The transponder key has to be made available before the car starts. And, only the car owner has access to the transponder key; therefore, only the car owner can start or move the car.
And, even if a thief decides to tow your vehicle away instead of driving it, he will still have to reprogram the car for him to be able to drive it at last. That is an inconvenience that will deter and ward off car thieves.
Since the transponder keys cannot be duplicated, ensure you ask for a spare key from the manufacturer for emergency purposes.
Transponder keys can also perform a variety of other functions when you are within a short distance to the vehicle. For example, it can help to lock or unlock car doors if you just press a button. Moreover, there is an alarm system included in the coded security system. Therefore, the car will sound an alarm if an unauthorized person enters or attempts to enter your car.
Some new car models permit you to start the car remotely with the aid of a transponder key. Thus, instead of entering to sit in a frozen or sizzling seat, you may turn the engine beforehand so it may begin adjusting the temperature.
Because the transponder keys help to ward off car thieves, many insurance firms consider cars with transponder keys to be theft-proof. Thus, insuring the car against theft with an insurance company is easy. Insurance rates are usually pegged on the amount of risk: the riskier, the higher the rates, and vice versa.
However, the drawback here is that it is often difficult to convince insurance firms that your car was stolen as they believe that vehicles with these keys are theft-proof.
And what happens if you lose the key?
As earlier advised, keeping two transponder keys is a good idea since replacement of a transponder key is rather expensive. If there is a need for a replacement, they can be made by a locksmith or auto dealer- but that can be expensive too. You can also find kits that can bypass transponders. There are tutorials as well for bypassing transponder keys by using electrical relays and wiring. Moreover, with some car models, you can get a new plain key cut for the ignition, and then tape the transponder key on the steering column’s inside so that it is so close as to turn off the engine immobilizers- then the person can kick-start the vehicle with a plain key.
Another transponder key drawback is that the range of the key radio frequency is limited. You must be very close to the car to be able to use the transponder key. And, of late there have been reports of thieves towing the car away instead of driving. They can then go on to reprogram the car. But the process of towing the car to reprogram it is hectic and grueling, and, ideally, should deter any thief.