What are Transponder Keys?

What are transponder keys (chipped keys)? Well, in a nutshell they are the modern key that has an electronic chip in the head of the key. What does it gain? Security, your vehicle will not start if you don’t have the proper key(s). So, basically it makes it much harder for a thief to steal your car. I’m going to try and address the most common misconceptions and questions about transponder keys. They are becoming standard equipment on just about every make and model of vehicle made today. This will be a general coverage, some makes don’t provide many cars with the option and some makes it is an option only.

Ford Motor Company – Including Mercury – Lincoln.

Ford has been including transponder keys on everything they have made since 1999. 1997 and 1998 this was an option, mainly on their higher end vehicles, like Mustang and others. There is exceptions, like fleet vehicles and large trucks. You can identify your chipped key as a large square plastic head with an offset key ring hole, and a large oval head with a key ring hole almost the same width of the head.

Chrysler Motors – Including Dodge and Plymouth

This is easy, if you have a grey or light tan head on your key, your car is chipped. Also, most of the keys with a remote in the head is also chipped. There isn’t any exceptions to this rule. There is, however some early run remote/key combos that weren’t chipped, but they are very rare.

General Motors – Pontiac, Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, GMC.

This is generally easy to identify. Most factory keys are marked. Circle with a + in the center is the latest version. PK3 and PK3+ are earlier versions. Also, the newer flip keys are also chipped.

Japanese imports – Honda, Toyota, Scion, Nissan and Subaru including their luxury brands, Lexus, Infinity and Acura.

These brands have been slow to adopt the chipped keys. And the keys are tough to identify. Some companies chipped keys and regular keys look the same. If you want to know if yours is chipped, come in and we can tell you. The luxury brands pretty much all are chipped, but like I said. There is always exceptions.

Korean Imports – Kia and Hyundai.

Very few of their cars come chipped. Mostly their higher end, luxury cars

European cars – Volvo, BMW, Fiat, Mini, Mercedes.

Pretty much all of these brands are chipped since 1995. There is exceptions, but they are rare. Volkswagen is another exception, they were slower to adopt. But, a good percentage are now chipped.

I realize that I didn’t get all the brands, but this is a just a quick overview of what is out there. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us during business hours and we can answer your questions.

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