Transponder ignitions were instituted by car insurance underwriters in Germany who refused to insure German luxury cars without the manufacturer placing an electronic safeguard on the car's ignition. The transponder sends a 30 character alphanumeric code to the ignition that lets it know that it is OK to start the car and the proper key has been inserted. A transponder key is expensive to replace since most times it needs to be programmed by the dealership who can charge anywhere from £16 to 300 for a replacement. Circumnavigate this problem by bypassing your ignitions transponder completely.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Universal transponder bypass kit
- Transponder key
- Pliers (optional)
- Hot glue gun (optional)
- Velcro (optional)
Purchase a bypass kit that is specific to your make and model of car or, if it will fit your particular car, a universal bypass kit. Be sure that you purchase one to either bypass the kit or one specifically made for installing a remote starter.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, link your bypass kit into your car's wiring by matching each wire by colour to the corresponding ones in the car. Each make and model will have a different series of wires so be careful to follow the instructions.
Test your bypass kit by turning the key in your ignition. If it doesn't start, recheck the wiring. If you continue to have difficulty with your install, contact a reliable automotive locksmith who is associated with a professional organisation such as Associated Locksmiths of America.
Grasp the base of your key's head where it meets the blade with a pair of pliers. Wiggling back and forth, free it from the key's blade. Do not grab it from the top as it will shatter the transponder inside your key's head.
Bypass your ignition by placing the transponder key's head as close to the ignition as possible. Use either hot glue or Velcro to attach it on the underside of the steering column. Velcro is more convenient as it will allow you to remove the transponder when you have to leave the car in an undesirable location, or for an extended period of time.
Start your car with the key's blade. You can now make inexpensive copies of your car's keys for everyday use.
Tips and warnings
- If you are familiar with electronics, you may want to make your own inexpensive transponder bypass. Video sharing sites and car forums will often have advice on how to build your own.
- Do not use just any locksmith advertising in the phone directory. The phone directory is full of fake locksmiths who are looking to get access to your valuables or will do shoddy work on your car and charge you double and triple the price upon arrival. Call the Better Business Bureau if you feel uncomfortable or receive a higher quote when they arrive.
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