You have probably had that one terrifying experience of having locked your car keys inside your vehicle. It is, without a doubt, an unexpected and frustrating moment. Usually, it happens when you are on vacation, on your way to an important meeting, or running late. However, with a transponder key and increased car security, locking your keys in the car is impossible. 

Unfortunately, nothing, including transponder keys, is infallible. Criminals have devised different ways of breaking into cars, including those equipped with transponder keys. So, ensuring these unique keys are working is necessary these days. But what else can you do if your transponder key suddenly stops working? First, let us overview what a transponder key is made of and why it is so important to have it always working.

transponder key

What is a Car’s Transponder Key?

Transponder keys are standard on most cars manufactured in the last 20 years as part of the anti-theft security features. Since then, car manufacturers have adopted these keys as an industry standard. In addition, these special keys feature an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip embedded in the head of the key, offering another degree of security to your vehicle’s ignition.

How Do a Transponder Key Work?

When a key is inserted into a car’s ignition with an immobilizer system, the automobile checks for an RFID chip in the key and programs it to the vehicle. The immobilizer system prevents the ignition from allowing the car to start if the vehicle does not recognize the key. No one can steal your car because the transponder key and the engine immobilizer operate as anti-theft devices. In addition, they are designed to work together, so if one fails, the other will.

What Makes a Transponder Key Safer?

Transponder keys increase vehicle security in two ways. First, they make ‘hot wiring’ or breaking the ignition lock useless, which helps deter and prevent car theft. The automobile will only start if the key’s microchip or exact serial number is not detected. A transponder key’s digital ID is unique compared to a standard ignition key with with a few basic cut combinations. Thus, it lowers the risk of someone else’s will use their key to start your car.

What to Do When Your Transponder Key Stops Working?

Here are some troubleshooting tips that can help you going:

Look for devices nearby

The RF signals required to start the engine can sometimes interfere if you have many keys for the exact vehicle. In another case, you may disrupt the ignition process when you have two transponder keys in or near your car. As a result, you should inspect the vehicle and any passengers to discover if another gadget is there. If this is the case, remove it from the area and check if yours works.

Battery replacement may be necessary

Small batteries are used in many transponder keys to send messages to the car’s onboard computer system. There’s a risk that your vehicle’s battery is dead if you bought it pre-owned or have had it for a long time. These batteries are usually available in various retailers and you can replace them by gently removing the gadget with a screwdriver. Reviewing your vehicle’s owner handbook for the most up-to-date instructions is best.

Discuss it with your car dealer

In rare cases, the issue may not be with the key but with the vehicle’s transponder device. When alternative options fail, you may to have to change the antenna ring. Thus, your best option is to ask your vehicle dealer or a car repair professional to restore its normal RF signal connection.

Contact a car locksmith to repair your transponder key

When the preceding methods fail, or you have broken or misplaced your car keys, a local auto locksmith can give the specialist help you require. These pros will be able to reprogram your old key or provide, cut, and program a new device to get your car started and keep it secure.

Why Call for A Reliable Emergency Locksmith Service?

At MacArthur Locks & Doors, we are what you call transponder experts. We have spent years dealing with these keys and have learned much about what causes transponder keys to malfunction. Our valued customers can attest to how quickly we can respond in as fast as 30 minutes to deliver prompt service and resolve any of your car keys problems, including car key duplication, key programming, key ignition repair, and more. With cutting-edge technology and automotive expertise, we are commissioned to provide our clients with cost-effective solutions to car key issues.

So, if you are experiencing problems with your transponder key anywhere in Washington, DC, and the DMV area, best to rely on an emergency locksmith service from MacArthur Locks & Doors. Trust only the best car locksmith to help you figure out what kind of automobile key you have. To learn more about our services, call (202) 760-4589 or fill out our online form to request responsive assistance today.

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