Replacement transponder chip keys: Should you choose a dealer or a locksmith?
About two decades ago, car manufacturers sought to prevent theft by making transponder chip keys. This type of key contains an RFID chip programmed with a serial number that is unique and communicates with a receiver located in the vehicle called the immobilizer. To further strengthen security, each vehicle make and model is programmed differently.
Thanks to the increasing technological sophistication of keys, replacing a key if you’ve lost or misplaced one seems much more complicated than it used to. That is one reason that many people believe they must use a dealer to get a replacement or duplicate transponder chip key.
However, for an experienced full-service automotive locksmith, the process is not significantly more complicated. Most automotive locksmiths have the equipment needed to program and make a duplicate transponder chip key and have had it for a long time. Locksmiths are highly experienced in this type of work. Many are capable of making keys and proximity remotes for push to start ignitions for most makes and models. Here at Flatirons Locksmiths we make keys for many models for the following brands: Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Subaru, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda and now many Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi.
Many consumers are led by hardware stores or dealers themselves to think that dealers are the only game in town if a replacement transponder chip key is needed. They aren’t. Because many customers think that only dealers can perform this service, they often pay a very high price for replacement transponder chip keys. Locksmiths can charge as much as a third less than a dealer.
If you need a replacement key, you will need to let your locksmith know the make and model of your car, along with the vehicle identification number (VIN). In addition, you will need a driver’s license or other identification to prove you are the owner of the vehicle.
Because replacing lost keys can be time-consuming and stressful, we recommend that you ensure against a lost key situation by going to a locksmith to have a duplicate made before your only one grows legs and walks away. Then, keep it in a safe place or with a friend or relative.
If you need a replacement or duplicate key, contact us at Flatirons Locksmiths today. We service Lafayette, Broomfield, Erie, Louisville, Boulder, Superior, Niwot, Longmont, Westminster, Frederick and Firestone.