Almost all vehicles today come equipped with transponder keys, also known as chip keys. These keys have a component inside of their plastic top that needs to be programmed before it will start your car. This is a safety feature that makes auto theft less likely. Unfortunately, these keys are very expensive to duplicate unless you are able to program one yourself. This article examines the issue of programming a chip key on your own.
Whether or not you can attempt to program a transponder key depends on what type of vehicle you have. Not every make and model of automobile allows you to perform this task yourself. In some cases, you will have no choice but to let a professional handle the job. Fortunately, many manufacturers do allow for this possibility. You should be able to find out whether you can program a duplicate chip key by checking the owner's manual.
You will often need more than one existing chip key to make a duplicate. The make and model of the vehicle makes a difference in this case as well. You might be able to program duplicates with one existing key for some vehicles, but this is generally the exception to the rule.
The first step in the process is to purchase a blank duplicate of your key. A blank is a key with the appropriate transponder chip that has not had it's blade cut to match the key being duplicated. You will probably need to purchase the blank from an online retailer. In most instances, the blanks are relatively inexpensive.
The blank key blade will need to be cut to match your working keys by a locksmith, such as at http://www.alocksmithriverside.com. This can usually be done for a reasonable price as well.
The exact procedure will usually be found in your owner's manual. If you don't find it there, you can check the manufacturer's website for more information. Here is a general overview of a method that works on many domestic cars.
As mentioned above, you will probably need two working chip keys to make a duplicate. Place the first key into the ignition and turn it to the "on" position. Leave it there for several seconds. Repeat this process with the second working key within a few seconds of removing the first key. Then repeat the same process with the new key. At this point the new key should be programmed and capable of starting your car.
Programming your own duplicate chip key could save you a significant amount of money. If for some reason this is not possible, contact a locksmith for assistance.