Car theft has become a major problem for motorists, insurers and the police around the globe since the 1990s. Stealing a car was, and still Is, like a child’s play, and there used to be an urgent need to arrest the trend. Consequently, a wide range of electronic immobilisers was developed, and the transponder keys came to be the most commonly used.
Electronic coding or matched chip became essential for starting the car when the transponder keys were introduced by car manufacturers. The car could start only when the perfect match was available via an onboard computer in the car. Most cars sold in the Australian market post-2000 are fitted with the immobiliser security.
Reproducing a transponder key is pretty hard since special software and equipment are needed to make the key and then program it. Special techniques, as well as software, are also necessary for producing central locking remote systems which are mostly incorporated into the key head in modern times.
Cost of replacing transponder keys
In most situations, replacing a transponder key during normal working time can cost between $150 and $400, or perhaps even more disregarding whether you have an original remote or key. Some keys that cost less are the “cloned” versions (by copying the electronics), though all keys cannot be replicated this way; some would still need to be programmed on board the car through special process and equipment.
Lost all keys?
If you have unfortunately lost all of your keys, the situation gets further more complex. The process of getting a key made from scratch could involve unlocking the car first and resetting various codes using specialised diagnostic tools. Maintaining a spare key at all times can save you money as well as avoid major hassles.
In the Australian market, some cars may even require removal of the onboard computer and reprogram it. The new key and remote would then be introduced to the vehicle through special techniques and equipment. The cost of the exercise can go up to $1000 depending on the make and model of your car. Location of your vehicle, weekend jobs, after normal working hours, can all add up further to your cost.
Choosing the right locksmith
Modern cars do offer a significantly higher level of security through the transponder keys. But when you run into a problem with these keys, the most important thing to remember is finding the right locksmith. Remember that all locksmiths are not equipped to handle such complex jobs requiring special equipment and expertise.