Automotive Keys and Transponders

Whether you are looking to copy your key or lost the only key you had for your car, times have changed.

Starting in 1989 auto manufacturers started combining new electronic technology with the mechanical cut key on their high end models. Today almost all cars need electronic chip or programmable transponder keys to start the car. A mechanical key will generally open the doors and the trunk, but not start the car.

Cloning or programming is required to make a copy of your key. Because each manufacturer uses different soft ware and up until recently you needed a different programmer for each manufacturer, keys were only available through the dealers or locksmiths with the correct machine for your car.

Recently, new programmers allow us to cut several manufacturers keys on one machine. Cloning a your key to produce a duplicate usually runs between $45 and $65.

Lost your only key? Call the dealer first. They may have the key code listed in their computer and with that information you can sometimes get a working key from the dealer or a locksmith.

Without the key code, you may either need someone to come out or tow it to the dealer. Either way, the expense is a whole lot more than the cost of making a duplicate now.