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What Happens when a Transponder Key goes Bad

What Happens when a Transponder Key goes Bad
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A car key is said to have a transponder(Chipped) if it has the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) inside the handle of the key.

As the auto industry continues to evolve, manufacturers have continued to implement various types of transponders in a bid to cub auto-theft. 

This is because even if a key is copied the car will not start because the proper signal was not received.

Evolution of the car key

Imagine parking your car in a shopping mall without looking at it? Such was the condition of the early cars.

They had no locks and were referred to as “horseless carriages” the only way of starting the engine was through the use of a hand crank.

The use of the hand crank possessed so many safety concerns, that there is a risk of the crank handle being thrown back at the driver the moment the engine starts up

The story started changing in the year 1910 when the first type of car key was introduced, the system was further refined with the addition of a start button.

The safety concerns posed by the crank handle were then eliminated, hence with the push of a button the engine starts running.

But this was not enough because hoodlums, under aged individuals, and some other unauthorized individuals can easily press the button and zoom off with someone’s car, there was then a pressing need for a locking mechanism.

In 1949, the Chrysler Corporation came up with a brilliant innovation of a key that would start the engine, when inserted into an ignition tumbler.

Letter on Ford went ahead to refine the Chrysler innovation by making the key with cuts on booths sides of the blades.

Ever since then things have grown from good to better in terms of technological sophistication and general increment in the car security systems. 

Part of this advancement was the addition of the transponder in keys, making it difficult for fake keys to unlock the car.

So what happens if the transponder goes bad?

What happens when a transponder key goes bad?

When the transponder key goes bad you will experience difficulties, in starting your car, it may trigger the alarm system or an anti-theft mechanism.

During this hassle, you may be temporarily locked out of your vehicle.

What to do when the car transponder goes bad

Here are some of the things you do when your transponder key goes bad.

Replace the key fob battery

This is applicable to vehicles with push-start ignition, this problem is common with this type of ignition.

Visit the dealer

The car dealer can help you obtain a new key, dealerships can offer some good help in this regard.

Visit an auto locksmith

An auto locksmith can copy or reprogram your transponder and bring everything back to normal once more.

How do I know if my car has a transponder key?

To be sure if your car has a transponder you can give your local dealership a call and make inquiries, alternatively, you can check the information on the window sticker of the car, as it provides more insights on the vehicle’s specifications and other details.

If your window sticker is no longer available, you can generate a window sticker, from the Detailed Vehicle History.


What is the difference between a transponder key and a chip key?

There is no difference between the two, it is either a transponder or a chipped key, that is transponder keys use microchips to transmit a low-level signal that is captured by a remote receiver.

Get your windows sticker by VIN now

Detailed Vehicle History provides a reproduction of the original window sticker or Monroney sticker. We provide you with factory options, packages, and pricing, engine and transmission specifications, manufacturer’s MSRP price when new, standard features and equipment, fuel economy rating, and factory recalls. Besides a copy of the original window sticker, you can also request the custom window sticker that is fully customizable to cater to your needs.

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