Issues with Car Key Programming
In the past, most vehicles used a simple starting mechanism. It involved joining two wires to create the spark necessary to start the engine. All that was needed was a simple key that could fit in the ignition and turn the engine over.
Though convenient, this method was also prone to security concerns. Anyone with a fitting key could simply stick it in the ignition and start the vehicle. Unwanted persons could either use the ignition directly, or "hotwire" the car by connecting the component wires needed to turn the engine over.
Introducing the programmable key
In the mid-1990s, the programmable key was introduced to boost car safety. These keys come with an electronic chip that is integrated into a transponder within the key itself. When one attempts to start their car, the key transmits a signal to the ignition. The ignition will determine if indeed the code matches, and the car will be able so start.
As safe and efficient as the programmable key is, it is not prone to failure. There are situations where a key needs to be re-programmed because it is not transmitting the right signal to the ignition. Programming issues can be incredibly frustrating to the motorist, and they can cause drivers to be unable to operate their car until reprogramming is done.
What does reprogramming involve?
- Repairing the key fob
If your key has issues with the programming code, there are several repair options available. The most convenient one would be to cut a new key and to programme it to your ignition code. This is a relatively quick process that can be completed in a matter of minutes by a reputable locksmith.
If a new key will need to be cut, the locksmith will collect signals from the ignition by using a key that works with the vehicle. They will then clone the appropriate signals into your new key to ensure that it works.
- Repairing a broken transponder chip
Transponder keys use a radio frequency and an electronic chip to unblock the vehicle's ignition. The electronic chip is the one mainly responsible for transmitting the appropriate signal. If the chip is broken, a diagnostic machine may be needed to read the code from the chip and produce a new key. The machine will access the vehicle's core information and use programming software to produce a new functional chip.
- Replacing a broken remote key
Remote keys operate slightly differently from transponders. They can use a radio frequency to unlock the car, but they also have a regular key that can unlock the vehicle in case the remote fails. Remote keys are typically easier to reprogram than transponder chips.