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Locksmith Tyler: Potential Problems with Transponder Keys

Transponder keys bring a lot of convenience to vehicle ownership. These new types of vehicle keys bring technology to your vehicle in a cutting edge way. However, when you add technology to anything, there is the potential for problems to arise. Here we will go through potential problems you may face when dealing with transponder keys.

What are transponder keys?

To start, let’s explain what transponder keys are. A transponder key is a car key that has a chip inside. This chip sends a radio signal to your car’s ignition (when the key is in close proximity). This lets the car know that the rightful owner is nearby, and the ignition should turn, allowing the car to start. If your car is later than a mid-1990’s model, it is likely that your key contains a transponder chip. You may also refer to this as a “key fob”. You might think that the fob is only used for opening and locking your vehicle. However, it is likely that a transponder chip is inside your key fob. This technology was created not only for its convenience, but as an anti-theft measure.

Transponder Key Problems

While this technology is great, it does come with its own set of problems. Just like any technology we utilize in everyday life, there are positives and negatives that come with it. Below we will list some potential problems with transponder keys.

Chip Damage

The chip in your key, or the corresponding chip in your car's ignition can face damage. When this happens, you will find that your transponder key only works intermittently (or not at all). This can be a very frustrating experience. If you think your chip has undergone damage, please call a locksmith for assistance. They are trained to deal with transponder keys for all makes and models of vehicles. If the problem lies with the chip in your car's ignition, a locksmith can still help. They are trained to deal with the full lock mechanism, including your car's ignition system.

Misplaced Key

This problem is due to human error, but it can happen. If you have misplaced your transponder key, you will not have a way to get inside of your vehicle, or turn your vehicle on (since the chip in the key will not be near the ignition). This situation may seem impossible. However, there is a solution. You can call a licensed and insured automotive locksmith to help you. They will be able to program a new transponder key for you (even if you have misplaced the old one). There are specific tools and equipment that are needed to get this done. This is why you should call a reputable auto locksmith for help. They can come out to your location and assist you. Many locksmiths also offer 24/7 emergency assistance. This means they will come out and help you even if you find that you have lost your keys in the middle of the night.

Key not working

If you have your key, but find that it is just not working - this points to a malfunction with your key. One problem may be a dead battery. Many new transponder keys do not use batteries to power them. However, older transponder keys may still rely on batteries. Signs that the battery is wearing out usually appear before hand. One sign is that the buttons on the transponder need to be pressed multiple times in order for them to work. If you are starting to notice inconsistency in the way your key buttons function, it may be a battery issue. If your car has push button start, you may have to press the start button multiple times for the car to fire up. You may be ignoring this issue, out of worry that the fix will be expensive. However, it could be due to a weak battery in your key fob. The key fob emits a signal to your vehicle's ignition. If the battery is weak, the signal between the two will be weak, thus the technology will not work correctly. Definitely have this looked at, as you don’t want to end up stranded due to a dead battery in your transponder key. If your transponder key does use a battery, you will need to change it. If you are uncomfortable handling this yourself, call a professional to do it for you. One thing that’s important to stress is that if you are starting to have issues with your transponder key get it looked at right away. Depending on your key’s settings, the chip may “reset” if the battery is allowed to become completely dead. This means that if the transponder battery dies completely and you change it, the internal chip has already “reset” and will not work. You will then need to get the key reprogrammed. So don’t ignore any issues - get them looked at right away.

Programming Issues

If you have purchased a refurbished transponder key, perhaps online, then this key may not be able to be programmed for your vehicle. Lots of these refurbished keys are using parts from various other transponder keys. However, some of these chips have safety mechanisms built in, and will basically become “locked”. When this happens, you will be unable to reprogram the transponder key to work with your vehicle. People sometimes look to online sources as a way to save money. You may have saved money initially, but you will end up paying more when you find that the transponder key you purchased does not work. If you need a new transponder key, or a duplicate key, it is best to call an expert. They can create a new key for you, and you can ensure it works before you hand over any payment.

Whatever your issue may be, an automotive locksmith can assist you. They can work with any type of car, and are often available 24/7. The other upside of using a locksmith in these cases is that the locksmith will come out to your location, which is very convenient. If you are in Tyler, TX and are looking for a qualified locksmith, call the pros at Locksmith Tyler.