Transponder Car Keys Ensure Security but Can Also Be Problematic
A transponder car key is one in which there is an electronic transponder chip that needs to be read and verified by the car, before it will allow the ignition to be activated. The mechanical part of the key acts to release the steering lock, while some keys may also have remote control for unlocking doors and switching of an installed anti-theft alarm.
Problems do arise when you have lost your keys, had them stolen or they stop functioning. Cutting a new car key rarely cost more than a couple of dollars, but the expense is from the electronic chip that needs to be put in along with any new programming that the vehicles computers will understand. This can set you back quite a bit. It is sensible to ask for an extra set of these keys when you first acquire a vehicle. You must arrange to keep this away safely, even in a bank vault if necessary, as if it falls in the wrong hands your vehicle is in serious danger of being stolen.
Mechanical locks are easily repaired or new ones prepared by locksmiths down the road, but for transponder car keys you will have to visit the specialists, or even your original dealer. The dealers have very high markups for such replacements, and it will be less expensive to look for certified professionals that can get you a new key, that is programmed to suit your car. Make sure that the person or agency is one of repute and can be trusted. Test you new keys thoroughly especially if it is one that performs a number of functions. Transponder keys do not need to be charged as this function will be performed while the keys are in use and the car is running.