Auto Keys today come in an array of types that include varying degrees of security. From your standard one sided metal key of the yesteryear to the new generation of smart keys, JD Locksmith Solutions wants you to be aware of what you have, the good the bad and the ugly. We can make duplicates and replace keys that went missing and are available 24/7 at (508)535-5625
When I state metal key I mean a non chipped cut metal key. These can be double or single sided, laser cut (high security) or standard cut keys. They’re great because they are the cheapest to make copies of. As long as the blanks are available even some hardware stores make them. That being said they offer little security. The biggest issue with these is that the key can be copied anywhere without the car being present making key control difficult. Engines are easily hotwired with this as your only level of security.
GM introduced VATS (or vehicle antitheft system) as a theft deterrent system and they were essentially the first of the electronic auto keys. The system was quickly replaced with Transponder chip keys and had an array of problems but still did quite a bit to expand on auto security. They used an imbedded resistor to which electricity flows through and if the computer reads the output as different than what it has recorded it will not allow the car to start. This meant hotwiring the vehicle was now a more difficult task.
Transponder chip keys
Transponder chip keys are the most prevalent around today and for good reason. They incorporate the physical security of a metal key with a transponder chip which the VEHICLE needs to be programmed to accept. The vehicle kust be programmed to accept the key. Any key inserted into the ignition, even if its cut to turn the cylinder will not start the vehicle if the cars not programmed to accept it. There are 100s of variants of transponder chip keys with different programming requirements. When all keys are lost a specialized key programmer is required to add keys on all vehicles. Laser cut (or high security) transponders exist as well.
FOBIKs are a key integrated with a remote that doesn’t utilize a blade in the ignition. I consider them a step back from your standard transponder key as they work off a transponder but don’t have the physical security of a cut key. They typically have an emergency key hidden in them to open the doors should the battery fail. A dead battery in the fob does not stop the car from starting.
The newest key type, Smart keys (or proximity keys) are used on push to start vehicles and are a fob with buttons to unlock the vehicle. When in the vehicle they allow it to be started with the push top start. Many of them aren’t supposed to allow you to lock them in the vehicle but we’ve seen issues with the reliability of that. A key blade is hidden in these to allow keyed access to the vehicle in the event of a dead battery in the fob or car.
A cut metal key hidden in a fobik or smart key in order to allow entry to the vehicle in the event the battery is dead in the fob or vehicle. Used only for access to vehicle.
A transponder key integrated with a remote to lock/unlock etc. If the battery in the key dies the transponder stills works.
Used for access to the vehicle with power door locks and trunk etc. Often added aftermarket with alarm.