How Do Locksmiths Create Auto Keys?
Traditionally, the key-cutting process at a locksmith has been a straightforward procedure involving the use of mechanical tools to cut a key from a blank. But the advent of modern vehicles, which are now equipped with transponder chips that must be programmed to match a voltage signal sent by the car manufacturer’s electronic control unit in order for the engine to start, has changed the way that locksmiths work.
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In today’s world, the ability to cut and program car keys is a highly technical task that requires specialist software, equipment, and knowledge. Despite this, locksmiths can still make a key for a vehicle, and can also duplicate a key if the original has been lost or stolen.
Some cars can be programmed by the driver, while others must be programmed by an automotive locksmith service. Regardless of the car model, these services usually involve an appointment, the supply and cutting of new car keys, and the testing of these keys to ensure they open all the doors and turn on the engine when required.
The process of creating a new car key can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the model and whether or not the original is damaged or destroyed. Typically, the process begins with a car owner providing a locksmith with their personally identifiable information (PII) and the vehicle’s identification number (VIN).
After obtaining these details, the locksmith will then be able to access the key code for your vehicle and begin the procedure of reprogramming the chip in the key to match this code.
Once the locksmith has reprogrammed the chip in your key, they will then be able to cut your new key with that same chip. They will then be able to insert it into the lock and operate the car’s ignition to switch it on and off again several times.
Most car models are sold with two sets of key fobs that contain both the mechanical master key and the programmable transponder chip. These key fobs are attached to the ignition and allow the driver to unlock and lock the door, trunk, and fuel flap. These key fobs are a must-have for every driver, as they offer a level of protection that no other key can replicate.
Some key fobs can be reprogrammed by the owner, while others must be reprogrammed by an automotive locksmith service or dealer/mechanic. This can be a difficult and expensive process, especially since most car brands only allow for a limited number of key fobs to be programmed.
Similarly, many lock manufacturers now include a factory key code on their products that can be used by a locksmith to determine the correct key blank for that particular lock. This is an invaluable tool for professional locksmiths because it means that they can avoid wasting money and time on unnecessary reprogramming.
There are several other ways in which a locksmith can create a key to your vehicle, ranging from the traditional method of impressing and cutting a key to more advanced techniques such as cloning and casting. Whatever the method, however, it is important to have a reliable and trustworthy locksmith on hand should you require their services.