Why are car keys so expensive? How do I replace transponder keys? These questions are asked at our shop several times during the week and something, we felt, was important to address in our blog. The answer, can take a bit of explaining and can sometimes get a little to “technical” for most people. But chances are, if you have a car that was made after the year 2000, you know just how expensive additional copies can be! But WHY are they so expensive? To be honest, the keys are not expensive at all. What IS expensive, is the microchips inside the head of those keys. Those little transponder chips, are what cost the consumer, and the locksmith, lots of time and money.,
Now you may be wondering, do I need the transponder chip? Can I just make a copy without one? Well, you could make a copy without the transponder, but because of a security feature in the engine of your car, called the immobilizer, the key won’t start the engine. It would open the doors and even turn in the ignition, but the engine would never start. Without the correct transponder chip, the immobilizer won’t shut off and the car will not start. Hopefully, I haven’t I made that easy enough to follow! Basically, just to recap: the transponder, talks to the immobilizer, the immobilizer shuts off, thus allowing you to start the engine.
It’s all just a big network of computerized security. Without that immobilizer, car thieves would still be able to hot wire cars, so be glad you have it! The days of simple brass keys are gone and everything is getting computerized, even your car key! But don’t pay a fortune at a dealer for additional copies. And don’t wait until you have lost your keys altogether, because that will get incredibly expensive… think somewhere around $300 -$500 depending on year, make and model. Stop at a local locksmith and have a duplicate made. Here at The Flying Locksmiths, we can make you a backup, with no remote buttons, just a simple transponder that will shut down the immobilizer and start the engine for about $85. You really won’t find a better price anywhere else, and you have a professional cutting it for you, who will make sure it works flawlessly.
So when you’re thinking about how to replace transponder keys, remember… it’s a small price to pay now, rather than the hefty price tag you could incur when the original copy is gone.