If you live in the United States and your car has been made in the last 15 years or so, it probably has a safety feature located within the key, known as a transponder. It uses a small microchip within the key that uses radio waves. Any time that you want to start or unlock the car, the chip validates the serial number and allows you to access the vehicle. The number is provided when the car is being built and a locksmith will need to re-key it with the correct serial number for any new keys that are made.
Why Not Use The Basic Key?
If the chip within the key is unable to validate the serial number, the car will not move. The actual key may allow you to open the doors or even to the start the car, but the vehicle will not move. Obviously, this invention is popular because it makes it less likely for the vehicle to be stolen, but the problem occurs when the original key with the microchip is lost, stolen, damaged or just quits working.
If any of those problems occur, you are stuck until you can get a locksmith with the necessary tools and knowledge to make a new key with the same serial number. There are not any other options, so it is a good idea to always keep an extra copy of the chipped key in case of an emergency.
Why Call A Locksmith?
Although you may find that the locksmith you use for your home can provide you with a chipped key, there is no guarantee of that. Therefore, it is best to contact a mobile or vehicle locksmith, as they are more likely to be able to come to you and have the necessary tools. The technology needed to create and verify a chipped key is not always owned by a locksmith who specializes in safes, businesses, etc.
Before unlocking the car or making a new key, you should be asked to verify your identity and the ownership of the vehicle. That could be through its registration information, proof of insurance, etc.
What Should Be Done When The Keys Break Off In The Ignition?
A common problem involves the key breaking off in a door or ignition. If it is possible to remove the key without damaging the vehicle, do so. If you cannot, a mobile locksmith may be able to remove the broken pieces.
It is helpful to do so because the presence of a functioning key, even if it is not intact, may make it easier to make a replacement. In addition, car dealerships can also replace the chipped key, at a much higher price than a locksmith in most cases.
In conclusion, even a basic model of a newer vehicle in today's world requires professional assistance when keying issues occur. Fortunately, you can make life easier for yourself by always having an extra key with the necessary programming when you lose or break a key. Do not wait till it is an emergency, when a locksmith is always available.