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All you need to know about car key programming

Modern cars rely on computer chip technology for just about everything, including its locking mechanisms. Most new cars on the market come with a transponder car key to increase its level of security. This makes it nearly impossible for someone to hot-wire your vehicle like thieves used to do in older cars.

A transponder car key is much more sophisticated than a standard car key because it has a computer chip inside of it. This transponder chip is basically an electronic authorization device which provides a hidden password to a vehicle’s anti-theft system. The password is sent through a radio signal frequency between the key and the system. 

The car manufacturer programs the password into the key so that it matches the password of the anti-theft system. That is why no other key will be able to start the ignition because it doesn’t contain the same password. When you put your key into the ignition and turn the key, it sends electrical power to the transponder chip within it. That is how the radio signal gets sent to the anti-theft system within the vehicle.

If you ever need to program a master key, the easiest solution is to visit your local auto dealership or call a professional auto locksmith for assistance. However, there is one trick you could try first to program the key without professional help. 

Stick a “blank” car key into the ignition and turn on the electronic accessories, but not the engine. Leave everything on for 10 minutes and then turn everything off. Then, do the same thing again for another 10 minutes. Repeat one final time and your car key should be programmed with the appropriate password information.

If not, contact a professional for assistance.

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