(202) 760-4589 [email protected]

Car keys are a part of many people’s everyday life. These keys are used for a lot of things—open your car door, pop the trunk, and start the engine. Car keys have become far more intricate than anyone could imagine. Have you ever considered how many different types of keys there are? Let us take a closer look at the different kinds of car keys and their pros and cons.

Basic mechanical key

Mechanical keys look a lot like house keys—simple and lack any internal technology. Before 1995, most cars had two keys: one for the ignition and doors and another for the trunk. Mechanical keys are simple and inexpensive to replace, but they have security features and are easy for criminals to make a copy of.

Transponder key

First became available in 1995,  transponder keys are car keys with a small electronic chip inside. This chip transmits a signal to the vehicle’s computer, and the car will not start if the sensor receives the wrong signal. Some transponder keys use rolling code technology that sends a new code every time the car is used. The high cost of replacing transponder keys is one of their disadvantages.

Key fob

A key fob is a compact device with buttons for unlocking and locking the doors of a car. Traditional key fobs are attached to the car key, but the newer versions (keyless fobs) have entirely replaced the key to start the engine. These keys are safer from traditional forms of theft, but the risk is that hackers could exploit the technology and take your vehicle. 

Laser-cut key

Laser-cut keys are made using lasers to produce an elaborate design that is difficult to recreate without using the same machine. This design makes them far more complicated to pick than standard keys. The disadvantage of these keys is that they are costly to buy and replace.

Switchblade key

Like a switchblade knife, a switchblade key folds into a key grip and pops open when a button is pressed. They are a terrific method to save space while protecting your keys from damage. However, they do not provide much security or technology and are frequently combined with other current designs.

Smart key

The smart key communicates with the vehicle through radio waves, detecting and confirming its presence. The door automatically locks or unlocks with a touch of the door handle when the key is within 1.5 meters of the driver’s car. The disadvantage is that replacing these keys can be costly, and you may have to wait for them to arrive from the manufacturer.

Valet key

These keys can access the doors and engine but not the vehicle’s trunk and glove compartment. They also have extra features, such as limiting the engine speed or the distance the car can travel. The only drawback is that not all vehicles come with valet keys, so you may have to order one from your manufacturer separately.

Master key

Master keys are only used to make duplicates or replacement keys; they are not designed for everyday use. A master key can be incredibly expensive to replace, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In some circumstances, the complete engine management system may need to be replaced.

Turn to MacArthur Locks & Doors for your car locksmith needs

When you need an auto locksmith Washington DC service, MacArthur Locks & Doors is the place to call. We are a local door and locksmith service company offering the DMV area a range of automobile locksmith services, including car key duplication, transponder/key fob programming, car key extra extraction, and ignition replacement. We also offer emergency locksmith service, so our mobile locksmith can assist you if you are locked out of your car or require a duplicate key. Call us at (202) 760-4589 if you need an emergency auto locksmith service.

Call Now ButtonCall Now