Modern advancements in technology have allowed us to optimize our vehicles, adding features that enhance drivability, entertainment, safety, and more. Many vehicle manufacturers incorporate things like rearview cameras, lane departure sensors, surround sound stereo systems, artificial intelligence programs and more in most modern versions of vehicles, with more and more upgrades coming out with every new model. One of the smallest yet most influential safety features in modern vehicles is the transponder key. But what exactly is a transponder key? In today’s blog, Tommy’s Locksmith, the best automotive locksmith in the Bay Area, will go over what a transponder key is and how it can keep your vehicle safe.

Transponder Keys

As modern safety standards and technology advance with time, more and more features need to be added to vehicles. As such, car companies are constantly looking at ways to adapt their vehicles and the components within them in order to maximize the amount of features each vehicle can hold and still be able to function properly. Where other safety features, like backup sensors and lane occupancy sensors, can take up a lot of room and computing power within a vehicle, things like transponder keys can offer an amazing safety feature without taking up a lot of space.

Transponder keys have a radio-frequency (RF) transmitter inside them. While this does make them slightly bulkier than other keys, it’s not usually by much, especially in newer vehicle models. This RF transmitter emits an extremely low signal, one that can only be picked up by something extremely close by, such as a receiver placed near the ignition switch of your vehicle. If you have a transponder key, the frequency from the key will be picked up by the receiver near the ignition switch, allowing the vehicle to start normally.

Why Manufacturers Use Transponders

Transponder keys are one of the best ways to keep your vehicle safe. When your vehicle has a transponder key, the only way to start the engine is to have a key with the correct RF signal. If someone tries to use a key or another object that doesn’t have the correct RF signal, or if it doesn’t have an RF signal at all, then your vehicle’s engine won’t start. Similarly, if someone tries to hotwire your vehicle, it won’t start without the correct RF signal.

RF transmitters can also be placed inside remote start keys. While your vehicle’s key doesn’t always have to go into the ignition switch in order to start the automobile, if your car, truck, or SUV has a transponder, it will still require the correct signal in order to start your vehicle. With most push-to-start ignitions, you’ll be required to have the key present inside the vehicle and close to the steering wheel in order to have it start.

At Tommy’s Locksmith, we can help repair, replace, and reprogram transponder keys. Because we’re the best mobile locksmiths in the Bay Area, we can provide all kinds of automotive locksmith services, including key fob duplication, broken key removal, rekeying services, and much more. Learn more about our automotive locksmith services, get to know our Bay Area locksmiths, or contact Tommy’s Locksmith to answer any questions and to schedule your locksmith services today.