tranpsoner keyMost of the new cars today come with transponder keys. Transponder keys are ignition keys that are fitted with a transponder chip that electronically communicates with the car to prevent theft. Back in the past, it was easy enough for a locksmith to replace your car keys had you lost or damaged them. But now, with transponder keys, it’s not so simple anymore.

The transponder key must be programmed to match the vehicle. New transponder keys with separate fobs or integrated fobs that can be operated with a button. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on transponder keys.

Who should I call if I’ve lost my transponder key?

You should call an automotive locksmith or your car dealership to get a new transponder key cut and programmed to match your vehicle. Your best bet is to go to an automotive locksmith, as they do the job a lot faster, are generally inexpensive and arrive at your location. With car dealerships, they take several days or even weeks to cut a new transponder key. They require you to tow the vehicle to their location and they charge a lot of money for the service. So, always call an automotive locksmith if you’ve lost your transponder key, or for that matter any sort of car key.

How can I tell if my car key has a transponder inside it?

A transponder key will have a plastic casing around the bow (the bigger part of the key that is round or square-shaped, which remains outside the keyhole when the key is fully inserted). You can always ask an automotive locksmith to tell you if your car key has a transponder chip inside or not.

Can I program a transponder key myself?

We strongly suggest that you should get the transponder key programmed by a professional. Every car has its own unique procedure for programming a transponder key. Don’t attempt it by yourself.

Where should I get my transponder key cut or programmed?

You can get your transponder key cut at an auto shop, a local car dealership or by an automotive locksmith. It’s always better to have it cut by a locksmith, who will do it faster and won’t charge as much as a car dealership or an auto shop for the service.

Help! My key isn’t working even after I’ve had it cut!

Transponder keys need to be programmed after having been cut by the locksmith. Don’t worry; your locksmith will program the key for you.

Why should I show my license and registration to the key cutting service?

You’ll need to show us your license and registration number to verify that you’re the owner of the vehicle. This is for your own protection.

How much does it cost to cut or program a transponder key?

The cost of cutting and programming a transponder key depends on your area, make and model of your car. It would cost you a lot more to have the key cut and programmed at a dealership, anything from $500 to $1,000. You can have it cut by a locksmith for much less than that. Do call us at 858-353-7430 for further details on this.