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How Do Transponder Keys Work? Working Principles ExplainedSeptember 28, 2020

Most of the latest car offerings from different manufacturers have been incorporating high-level security systems to prevent thieves from gaining easy car access. Others, however, are still stuck with the traditional lock system that can be quickly accessed and opened by criminals.

Given the vulnerability of some cars, there are car owners who just outright upgrade the security systems of their cars. After all, a car must be strongly secured as it often carries personal belongings that are too important to be taken and stolen. Additionally, improving car security can significantly minimise the chance of criminals taking the whole car.

One great car security enhancement that one can get is transponder keys.

Overview of Transponder Keys

Transponder keys, which are also known as chip keys, are keys that are intended to eliminate auto theft and enhance the security of the whole car. These keys are equipped with an inbuilt electronic microchip that is required to access the engine immobiliser. Without these keys, it would be impossible for thieves to steal and drive the car. Hot wiring the vehicle is also prevented with the presence of these keys.

The word transponder comes from the combination of transmitter and responder. What is great about transponder keys is that they do not need constant electricity just to retain data information on their system. Their non-volatile memory likewise allows them to decipher and verify the information that the engine control unit of the car sends to the keys before starting the car.

Types of Transponder Keys

To date, there are two types of transponder keys. One of these types is electric-coupled systems. This type of transponder keys can send data anywhere within a few inches to many miles. Electric-coupled systems would require constant energy to process all information that they may get and receive.

Another type of transponder key is entirely powered with magnetic-coupled systems. This type of transponder keys does not require constant energy just to send and receive information. They can easily transmit and receive data. However, they only have a limited transmission range due to the lack of constant, stable power. Transponder keys that possess magnetic-coupled systems can send data and penetrate certain materials like plastic, which is often used in making car keys.

Transponder Key Performance

There are a couple of components that are associated when opting for transponder keys. Aside from the key itself, your car must be equipped with an antennae ring around the ignition, an engine control module, and the immobiliser. When a programmed key is placed into the ignition lock cylinder, the antennae ring will send out a wave of energy for the absorption of the transponder chip. Once the transponder chip receives the energy, it will transform it into a radio frequency signal and send it back to the antennae ring.

The radio frequency signal carries the identification code of the car. And so, the antennae ring will transfer the signal to the engine control module. Once the code is verified, the security light of the car will go out, and that the immobiliser will disable itself so that the car can start its engine.

A code that is not verified by the system will keep the security light blinking. Even if you are the owner of the car, it would be impossible for you to start the car. In this case, you may want to call for a professional locksmith so that they can help you solve the issue.

Altona Locksmiths

15c Slough Road, Altona
Phone: (03) 9315 0522

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