When we are called out to a late-night emergency as your transponder key is refusing to open your vehicle, did you know that with most cars, you can use the key in the old-fashioned way and simply unlock the door when pressing the button continuously doesn’t work for you? You are almost certainly not locked out of your car if the transponder key fails.

You probably won’t need to call out a 24 hour locksmith to get into your car if your transponder key isn’t working unless it is linked to a pushbutton start for your car instead of the method most people use, which is simply inserting the key and turning it to fire up the engine.

So What are Transponder Keys?

car-remotes-transpondersUnlike old-fashioned keys, it’s easy to recognise a transponder key because the bulk of the non-locking fob part of the key is quite large in comparison.

Transponder key sends a radio signal from the fob in your key to a receiver, hidden deep and dark inside your vehicle. The signal is usually to open your car doors, or if you are lucky enough to have selected the right model, the open all of your windows to let the heat out.

Transponder keys are also used to open electric gates to garden areas of buildings, often to let your vehicle through and sometimes as keyless entry systems into a building. Each single transponder key is carefully programmed to match just one specific vehicle, mostly to reduce the chances of stealing a car.

For expert thieves, there are ways to bypass transponders and equipment required isn’t expensive, but for the other 99% of the population the transponder key will only open your vehicle and your security will be excellent around 99%+ of the time.

Using Your Microchip

There’s a small microchip in the plastic part of your transponder key. It is matched with a unique serial number which is transmitted to your vehicle when you press the button. The signal being sent is a request for the car to accept the serial number and to turn off any of your engine immobilisers.

Get Two Keys

In some vehicles, you will be able to enter the vehicle using the key part of your transponder key, but where the computer hasn’t received a message to turn off the immobilisers; you may not be able to use the key to actually start the car.

This is why it is a very good idea to keep at least two transponder keys available for your vehicle, but many dealers will only issue you with one because there are a very expensive item.

If you’re transponder key is failing to work, you might simply need to change the batteries inside to set it into action again. Your emergency locksmith can explain all of this to you if you have a transponder key problem.