I have a chip key, what does that mean? Well it could mean that your key is broken in the corner but when you hear it from a professional that's not what he meant! There are a few different chips in keys and all do the same, preventing a thief from driving away with your car or opening your locks. Some keys are more complex then others and can offer additional information. The most common question that I get from customers is, "What does having a chip in my key mean?". Well, let me explain.
Frequently the owner of a car will call us because they need to have a car key made finding that his/her key has a transponder chip. Perhaps the key turns but the ignition doesn't start. Why? A transponder key needs to be programmed in order to work with its vehicle. The transponder chip is a radio transmitter hidden in the key that 'talks' to the car's computer through a wireless system confirming that the original key is in the ignition. After the confirmation is done the computer lets the coil give the spark starting your car. There are many different transponder chips and each one needs to be programmed to match the specific car. The only way to do this is by having a locksmith program the key or taking the vehicle to the dealership. Either way both need the vehicle present.
One of the first chip keys was made by GM and found mostly on Cadillac vehicles. This key is called a VATS keys (vehicle anti theft system) and is a little different from the known transponder keys that are more common today. When GM initially came out with the VAT system they made 15 different variations. It's not that sophisticated to copy but still can be difficult to figure out which is the correct variation.
What other keys have chips? Most of the major lock manufacturers have models that are equipped with chipped keys: Schlage, KwikSet, ASSA, Mul-T-Lock, and others are using new technologies like chip keys or bio lock, and the demand is out there. Recently I spoke to a business owner who owns a warehouse with millions of dollars worth in inventory. He had the need for a complex system that will allow him to track every employee that came in and out of the building, the time the employee came in and out, and even how long the door was open! Having this information would help him know if someone was taking inventory with them or letting unauthorized individuals into his building. The owner also has the option to cancel a key without even having the key in hand, send an employee a message on an LCD display or even letting him know how many people are in the room at a given time. An office can also use a system like this for tracking worker hours and productivity.
Home owners can also benefit from this system. A home owner can change the code on the key without the need of changing their locks, saving time and money in cases like lost or stolen keys. Imagine never worrying about losing your keys and never having the need to re-key your lock. It is possible to restrict access to certain rooms in your home using this system.
Thank you for reading! For more info check out my website, http://www.completelocksmith.com, where you'll find the solution for all of your Locksmith needs! I look forward to answering any locksmith and security related inquiry you may have. Simply CLICK HERE to be redirected to my websites contact page.