Transponder car keys are becoming the norm for most vehicles on the road today. If your car was manufactured after 1995, chances are that the ignition assembly requires a transponder key in order to start the car.
How does a transponder car key work?
A transponder is a little chip inside of a car key that disarms the immobiliser when the car key is turned to start the ignition. When the car key is turned, the cars (ECU) or engine control unit will send a message to the key, and if the message correctly identifies with the car it will start. This extra process allows for a high security level for cars, but also includes a higher cost of replacement.
How do I replace my transponder chip key?
If you have completely lost your transponder keys, you have 2 options. You can call your dealership of choice and ask if they can make you a key, or you can call a locksmith to come cut and program a transponder key for you. We recommend the latter for a few reasons. First is speed, many dealerships will not be able to make the car key quick enough when you need it, many locksmiths are mobile and offer same day service. The second being the price, many times a dealership will charge more than a local locksmith company that specializes in car key cutting & programming.
How much will my transponder key cost?
It ranges very much, but from the lower end of 150$ with service call all the way up to 500$+, depending on your vehicle.
Tip: If you lost your transponder key and are having a locksmith come cut you a new one, consider getting a second spare cut at the same time. Since your paying for the key cutting codes anyway, the second key should be much cheaper, and if you happen to lose your car keys again it will save you a bundle!