| What is a Transponder key?
|| Keyless Entry Remotes
||High Security Keys
|| Remote Batteries
| Lock out services
|| Lost Keys
|| Worn Keys
|| Key Cloning
| Toyota/Lexus ECUs and Immobilizers
|| Honda/Acura Type 1 Systems
|| Isuzu Immobilizers
What is a transponder key? These keys are becoming more common every year with automotive manufacturers. Adding additional theft security to the vehicle, the chip in a car key “responds” to the vehicle’s computer requests and verifies that the correct key is used. The vehicle’s computer then allows the engine to start. Some car key transponder chips are not much larger than a grain of rice and often get mistaken for a key not having one. If you own a vehicle made within the past 15 years, you may have a transponder equipped key. A competent locksmith can inform you if your vehicle is equipped with a transponder. We offer a free check to determine if your key has a transponder or not. It is more cost effective on most vehicles to add a 3rd key when 2 keys are available compared to only having one or NO keys, which can get very costly. We can duplicate, originate, and program transponder or chip keys for most vehicles. Factory original keys with their respective logos are also available.
LOCKED OUT? Did you lock your keys in your car? A lockout can be frustrating and embarrassing. Be careful who you allow to attempt entry into your vehicle, We see vehicles damaged from improper opening methods often. We are fully equipped and specialized in DAMAGE FREE vehicle openings. We carry more specialized tools than any local competitor. We also utilize yearly training and invest in the newest equipment every year to keep up with the new vehicle models.
Lost Key? A lost car key is never fun, especially if it was the only one you had. We can provide prompt, service in making you a new working key, often times saving you from towing your vehicle to the dealership for transponder programming. The term 'dealer only' is no longer correct when it comes to car keys and keyless entry remotes, contact us today for more information.
Worn Keys. Worn car keys can break easily. Whether it's a broken or severely work key, most people assume that the car lock is the problem, that's not always the case. Bring your vehicle and car keys to us for a free inspection before you replace your locks. Should you need lock replacement, we carry many popular automotive locks in stock and can obtain others within one business day. We use quality replacement automotive locks, many times directly from the original manufacturer.
We are seeing an increased number of cloned transponder keys lately. This is due to hardware stores attempting to get into the modern automotive key market. By purchasing key cloning equipment, they can offer their customers a transponder car key with minimal training to their employees. Sometimes it's a good option, other times, it's not.
What is Key Cloning?
Key cloning is a way of making extra transponder keys to operate a vehicle. It does this by mimicking a key that is already programmed into the vehicle. A cloned key tricks your vehicle's anti-theft computer into thinking that the programmed key is being used to start the vehicle when in fact it's a totally separate key from the actual programmed key.
Key cloning is making it's way into the mainstream for many reasons. It does not require the vehicle to be present to get an extra key. Because of this, another key can be made with little training to the person performing the operation. This makes it appealing for some retail stores.
Does it matter if I get a cloned key or a programmed key?
In some cases, yes. While a vehicle's anti-theft computer will allow you to start the vehicle with either type of key, it can cause some complications in different scenarios later on.
If you lost one key to your vehicle, a locksmith can disable that lost key in the anti-theft computer, stopping it from being able to start the vehicle. But if a cloned key exists, all cloned keys and the key that was used to clone all have to be deleted since the computer can not tell the difference between them all.
Some vehicles require 2 programmed keys in order to program a third key without special diagnostic equipment. One programmed key a clone of that key does not count as 2 programmed keys, requiring diagnostic equipment or another cloned key.
Some early versions of cloned keys required batteries to power an emulator that mimics the programmed keys' unique signature. If the battery dies or is replaced, it no longer starts the vehicle until it is recloned. Not a good scenario if you are in a parking lot somewhere. If you lost the original programmed key and all you have is a cloned key, then special diagnostic equipment is usually required to program new transponder keys.
Some vehicles only require one key to program another. In these cases, cloning is sometimes a more expensive, and unnecessary option compared to getting another programmed key.
If your vehicle has a RHK (Remote Headed Key) then a cloned key will not have the remote functions on it. Most vehicle manufacturers do not offer a separate remote unit for vehicles that use a RHK. Non-RHK keys can also be programmed into most vehicles. This scenario creates the largest "apples vs. oranges" problem that we see. We can help you in making an informed decision.
Is there anything good about cloned keys?
Absolutely, cloning can be a good option in some circumstances. But many times it's determined on a case by case basis.
If the vehicle is not able to be present to have an additional key made.
On some vehicles the only way to add more keys is to erase all keys programmed into the vehicle's anti-theft computer and the program all wanted keys into (or back into) the system at that time. This can create a problem if one key is not available during programming.
Some vehicles only allow a certain number of programmed keys (usually 4-8). If you want more than that, cloning is the only option.
The cost of a cloned key is sometimes less depending on the particular vehicle. This is often the case when comparing price with a RHK, but non-RHK versions of programmed keys are often available. As stated about, the RHK issue created the most confusion.
E-Z Key Locksmith, Inc. can help answer any specific questions that you have regarding which solution is best for you.