Automotive manufacturers use transponder keys, also known as chip keys, to make cars harder to steal. Chip keys have digital codes that enable them to communicate with vehicles fitted with transponder systems. Each key has a unique digital code, so you must place the right chip key in the ignition to start the car. Because the technology is sophisticated, replacing chip keys is more difficult and expensive than replacing other automotive keys.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Personal identification
- Vehicle registration paperwork
Call a local automotive store and ask if it can cut chip keys. If it can, take your chip key to the store and request a duplicate copy. An additional chip key can only be cut if you have one of the original keys.
Call a locksmith. If you need to replace a lost chip key, you must contact a professional with the appropriate equipment to create a new chip key and program your car to recognise the key.
Tell the locksmith the year, make and model of your car and ask if he has the equipment to cut and program new chip keys. A locksmith can create new chip keys for some vehicles, like Fords. You must take other vehicles, like BMWs or Volvos, to a dealership for key replacement.
Call the local dealership that specialises in your vehicle's make and request a new chip key. Make arrangements with the dealership for your vehicle to be towed to the dealership.
Present the dealership with your identification and vehicle's registration paperwork. You must prove ownership of the car before the dealership makes new chip keys.
Test the new chip key before leaving the dealership. If it does not work, notify the service department so that the key can be programmed properly.
Tips and warnings
- Keep track of your automotive chip keys. While replacement keys can be cut, the process can be costly, especially if you have to go to a dealership for replacement keys.
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