Car Key Types
Car keys not only open your car's doors and trunk, as well as start the ignition; but, they are an important part of your vehicle's security. New and constantly changing technology has given us multiple types of automobile keys. It is important to understand the type of key you have in case something goes wrong, or you lose your key.
Traditional Car Key – These keys are made of metal and have grooves cut to match your car's ignition. Some cars have a separate key to open the doors, glove box, or trunk. The key can easily be duplicated at a local hardware store key cutting machine.
Valet Key – The valet key is specially designed to use when your car is parked by a valet. The key is able to only start your car's ignition and is unable to open the glove box or trunk. Some valet keys even restrict the amount of power the engine puts out to prevent a valet worker from taking your car for a spin.
Transponder Keys – Sometimes called a chip key, the transponder key is an electronic key that has a computer microchip and is electronically coded. The chip is protected inside a plastic encasement. The code is matched with the vehicle to allow the key to start the engine or open the car doors. The transponder key is designed to prevent theft and are difficult to duplicate. It works with an activated radio signal that is sent from the car. Some cars are designed to shut down entirely if the wrong key is used in an attempt to start the engine.
Remotes – Most cars that are manufactured today come with a remote control. These remotes allow the owner of the vehicle to lock and unlock doors, open or close tailgates or trunks, and tun on or off the car alarm. The operate by using either a radio transmitter or infrared signal to send a coded message to the receiver that is inside the vehicle's design.
Keyless Entry Systems – As the name implies, in a keyless entry system, you do not need a physical key to enter your vehicle. You unlock the car with a remote or a keypad that is located on or around the door handle. You may have a key that starts the ignition or a push button.
Rolling Codes – The rolling codes key sends a new code each time the car key is used. It differs from the transponder key in that it does not send the same code every time. Instead, each time the key is used, a separate code is sent.
If your remote or transponder key fails to work, first check the battery if it is accessible. If you suspect there is a radio interference, try using the remote control closer to your car. Some remotes have a bypass system to allow you to use the metal key that is sometimes tucked away inside the plastic toggle remote. When all else fails, or if your key is lost, it's time to contact a local locksmith who can get you back on the road again in no time.