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What are the different types of car keys and what is their purpose?

Car key, remote key and smart key

A little over two decades ago there was only one type of car key, a metal key. A lot has changed since then, as the years progressed the vehicle manufacturers started making vehicles with transponder systems. This change would require the key to have a chip inside of it.

How does this work you ask? Well there is a chip reader around the ignition lock cylinder so when a programmed chip key is inserted, the reader recognizes the chip and neutralizes the immobilizer system and enables the vehicle to start. If the key is not programmed to the vehicle or there is no chip in the key the vehicle will not start.

Why do we need a transponder system?

Let’s say someone is trying to steal your car and was able to drill out the ignition and get it to turn. If there is no transponder system, once the ignition is turned on he'll be able to start the car and drive off with it. This is where the transponder system comes in. The transponder system will prevent him from starting the car even if he is able to turn the ignition on. Therefore, it prevents thefts and secures your vehicle.

Types of car keys

• Regular Keys (Metal).

• Transponder Chip Keys.

• Smart Keys (for push start systems).

• VAT System Keys.

• Remote Head Keys.

• Remote Flip Keys.

• High Security Keys (Laser Cut).

• Fobs (Keyless Entry Remotes).

What are smart keys?

A smart key is a key that works with a proximity system and it is meant for vehicles that have a push button start.

The way it works is the vehicle detects that the key is in proximity and lets you unlock the door and start the car without having to touch the key. This system is very convenient, most of the newer vehicles today come with smart keys.

What are Remote Car Keys?

A remote key is basically a two in one key.

It gives you the ability to unlock your vehicle manually or with the keyless entry remote which is located on the head of the key. Some vehicles also have a remote start feature. After using the remote start feature, you will need to insert the key manually to the ignition when preparing to drive the vehicle. Most people use this remote start feature to prewarm their vehicle on cold days.

The second type of remote key is a remote flip key. The differences are that you must push a little button for the key blade to flip out. Hence the name remote flip key.

What are high security Car keys?

High security car keys are different than the standard double-sided cut car keys.

They are cut by a laser cut precision cutting machine and no it is not cut by a laser beam, that is just how it is called.

The high security keys are cut by a small cutter that engraves the cuts on top of the blade at the top center or the top sides.

Fobs & Keyless Entry Remotes

Car key fobs look like a car remote but are also used as a key. They must be inserted into a plastic ignition and turned forward just like a regular car key would.

A keyless entry remote is just as it sounds a keyless way to unlock the doors and trunk via remote.

There you have it all you need to know about the different types of car keys. If you lost your car keys or just need a spare, you can find a trusted local automotive locksmith online. You will need to provide him with your vehicle information (make, model & year). The locksmith will be able to determine what type of key you need and provide you with an estimate.

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Additional credit goes to:

The Original Locksmith Boynton Beach for helping gather content for this blog.



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