Boulder Mobile Locksmiths: All Automotive Keys Are Not The Same!
Automobile manufacturers it seems have gone Schizophrenic these days with the variety of keys that they are producing for their cars. It seems that they cannot make up their mind what to give you to start that new car with, from an actual key to a fobik key to a proximity key to a laser cut flip key that comes out of it’s hideout in your remote like a switch blade you just don’t know what they are going to do next. While these are all pretty cool options they end up costing you the consumer a lot more than that good old car key we all used to know and love. With the need to make hotwiring a car impossible the migration to an immobilizer system was a logical move but how did we get to all these different keys. I will attempt to cover the types of keys out now and you may be able to identify the type you have for your car. Knowing what type of key you have will help you when you call us to ask if we can make one for you.
Mechanical Keys – Regular mechanical keys are often found on vehicles made before the late 1990’s, early 2000’s. However, this is not to say that a vehicle cannot be retro-fitted with a more advanced lock and key system. The reason most car manufacturers are now shying away from mechanical locks is that it is incredibly easy to make duplicates. In some cases the same key will start two different cars. These locks provide little security and even with the doors locked, the car is still at risk of being stolen.
Transponder Keys – These keys offer more security from thieves because they have a computer chip in the key mated to the car’s internal computer, the immobilizer. Both the key and the car must match up before the car will start. This makes it much more difficult for thieves to steal your vehicle since they cannot just put any key that fits in the ignition and start the car or hotwire the vehicle. Duplicating these types of keys with the appropriate chip is virtually impossible without highly specialized equipment.
Remote Keys – These keys are a vast improvement in automotive key technology. These keys not only have a transponder matched to one particular vehicle they also have a built-in remote that controls door locks and other functions, thus eliminating the need for a separate remote. Flip keys are also considered remote keys. Most remote keys also have a panic button that controls the car alarm in case of emergencies and some even have a remote start option. It is very unlikely that an individual could create a working duplicate of this type of key. This option starts to get more expensive for the vehicle owner though especially with some manufacturers.
Laser Cut Keys – These keys are some of the most advanced keys made for vehicles to date. Laser cut keys are also known as “sidewinder” or “wave” keys and they cannot be made with normal key-making equipment. Not only are these keys made with special equipment, each car maker uses a specific transponder and remote in the head of the key. Auto makers such as Audi, BMW, Lexus, Honda and VW have embraced the laser cut key trend to assure customer safety and security. Many more car manufacturers are now choosing the laser cut key for their newer vehicles such as GM, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Subaru etc.
Fobik Keys – Although looking more like a car remote than a traditional key, it does insert into the dash. These keys are all electronic and used mostly by Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and BMW vehicles. Being all-electric, they are vulnerable to troubles a dead key battery would cause, these keys also require specialized equipment to duplicate or replace and are very expensive to replace. As with some of the other keys we’ve mentioned, duplication is extremely difficult and requires extremely customized equipment.
Proximity Keys – These keys are usually reserved for the higher end vehicles sold. These all-electric keys have the special feature of opening the doors or trunk by simply being near the car. There is no need to insert a key in the ignition, drivers can leave the key in their pocket or purse and push a button on the dash to start the car. This kind of convenience comes with a hefty price tag if the “keys” ever need be replaced or duplicated. Another downfall is that a dead battery or internal damage will make them virtually useless.
All-in-all, the best keys available for vehicles are laser cut keys. The simple reason is of the double security features. Keys that are both laser cut and that have a transponder make it so that it is very difficult for the key to be duplicated.
To talk more about high security keys, key duplication or any other topic, please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with you.