Useful Facts about Modern Car Keys – Part II
Continuing from the last article, in this part we’ll see some more facts about car keys. Here we’ll see how you can get your car key copied if the key has a transponder.
A few cars (for example, Chevy and Ford) don’t need special equipment always to design keys to them. A process called On Board Programming (OBP) is used to program keys. This can be performed even by the owner of the vehicle, if they have instructions for that and 2 existing, non-cloned pre-programmed keys.
We’ll look here an example of the method of programming a Ford key.
Note that a key and its clone copy won’t work since the car is not able to differentiate between an original key from its clone. For the car, you are using only one key.
Programming Instructions of Ford PATS 2-5 OBP:
Turn the ignition with the first working key but don’t start the engine. Once the ‘theft’ light on the dash is off, take the key out and insert the second working key. Turn the key again to the RUN position but don’t start engine. When again the ‘theft’ light goes off, take the second key out and put in the new key and turn it to RUN position. Again when the security ‘theft’ light goes off, turn the key to off and start the car with the new key. Test if all the 3 keys work correctly.
End of Program.
As mentioned earlier, a car has no ability to differentiate between the original key and its cloned copy; hence before making the payment for a new copy of transponder key, remember to ask your locksmith about what kind of key you will be getting. All transponder keys are not created equal.
Types of Transponder Keys
In transponder keys, there are two types, viz. zero bitted and encrypted.
Note that various locksmiths have different sorts of equipment and they get transponder created by different manufacturers. Some can be better than others. For example, some chips need batteries while others don’t. If you receive one that doesn’t need a battery, your worry about the battery going off and leaving you in mess is eliminated forever.
- Zero bitted keys have no preset inscription (000,000) so they are set up to be copied.
- Encrypted keys feature a random, preset encryption that has to be programmed to the vehicle (945,321).
How would You Know the Difference?
You can tell the difference by looking at what the locksmith is doing. If he makes your key by putting it into a tool and then inserting it blank into the same tool, it means that he is cloning the key on a zero bitted key blank.
If, however, he takes out a new key to your vehicle with a tool which is hooked up to the OBD port of your car to program the key, it means that he is entering an encrypted unique key to your system.
Again note that while introducing an encrypted key to your vehicle, certain makes (e.g. Honda) need a working key and in some other cases, all working keys should be present. If they aren’t, the new keys may be rejected by your car’s computer.
In the next and final part of this article, we’ll know more about batteries.
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