Like many things in life, car keys have gotten complicated; but this complexity comes with added benefits. At Karpilow, we try to eliminate unnecessary complexity when simplicity will do. Please visit our shop or call if you need a copy of your car key.
Many car keys contain a mechanically cut blade and a transponder chip. A transponder chip disarms a vehicle immobilizer. An immobilizer is an electronic security device that prevents the car from being started unless the correct chip is present. Immobilizers, which have been used in cars since the 1990’s, substantially reduced car thefts.
When a car key is turned in the ignition the engine control unit sends an electronic message to the key, or more specifically the transponder chip. The car will start only if the correct message is received back.
A variation on mechanically cut auto keys is the edge cut key. This high security key features a winding cut on the edge of the metal blade that is incised by a specialized key machine. Most of us are familiar with these keys as they are becoming increasingly common on newer vehicles.
Auto key technology does not stop with simple transponder keys. Most of us have seen or used Proximity keys. These “keys” do not have a metal blade. Rather the car senses the Proximity key, sometimes called a fob, when you approach the car allowing you to open the door. Once inside the vehicle you merely need to press a button to start the car.