What Is A Transponder Key?

In general a transponder key is part of your cars anti-theft
system.They were first introduced to the car market in the mid 90's by
FORD and HONDA.At that time the Honda Accord and the Ford Mustang were
the most stolen vehichles.Transponder systems were tried on these
models and was so effective that they are in 85% of all cars and light
trucks sold today.At this point they are not used much on motorcycles
or heavy trucks. The broad definition of a transponder is a wireless
electronic identification device.Transponder technology was first
developed in WWII by the American and British military.The purpose at
the time was to identify friendly aircraft.At the time it was called
The IFF system,Identification Friend or Foe.In the 50's transponders
were adapted to general and commercial aviation.Later they were used
to track cattle,emergency vehichles and train cars.Now they used in
our vehicles anti-theft system and to identify our cars at toll
booths. For todays automotive applications,the transponder is buried
in the head of your key,usually not visible.Each transponder chip has
it's own unique electronic signature.Most vehicles utilize a ring
shaped device called a transciever ring,usually mounted around your
ignition switch.It's job is to transmitt and recieve RF (radio
frequency) signals.When you initially turn your car on,the transciever
ring sends out a specific RF signal,known as a query.The transponder
chip in your key answers back with it own RF signal.If your cars
computer recognizes this signal it will allow your car to start.If
your key is not recognized your car will not start and will usually
see some type of flashing security light on your instrument cluster or
dash board top. Transponder keys are also called chip key,computer
keys or immobilizer keys.When you hear the term clone key it is
refering to a transponder key that leaves the factory with no
electronic signature.A machine called a cloner copies the electronic
signature of your existing key to a clone key.This system is used by
locksmiths and hardware stores to make copies of your existing
transponder keys.A clone machine will not help you if you have lost
all of your keys. If you lose all of the keys to your vehichle that
has a transponder system,you will have to involve a locksmith or
dealership mechanic.Using a on site locksmith will save you from
having your vehicle towed into a dealership.The first job is to
originate a mechanical key,then duplicate it to the proper transponder
blank.The next step is to program the new keys to your cars
computer.This is accomplished using a programmer/scan tool.It plugs
into the OBD port.At this point keys can be added or deleted.Most
systems can store 5 to 8 keys.

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