Automotive Keys

Automotive keys are used to open and start vehicles. The mechanical blade has remained a feature for many years as a first line of security for the vehicle, and, in modern cars, as a back up if the central locking remote fails.

Advances in technology have resulted in the use of Transponder Immobiliser Systems, which have increased considerably in complexity as time has gone by. Basically, this system involves the inclusion of a small transponder chip inside the ignition key.

The addition of transponders in vehicle keys means that whenever additional or replacement keys are required, they must be programmed into the vehicle using specialist diagnostic equipment.


Transponder is short for: transmitter + responder. In basic terms a transponder is a miniaturised electronic chip that has Non Volatile Memory i.e. memory that does not need constant energy for retention.


The process of key identification is similar in most Automotive Transponder Systems. Once a key is inserted into the ignition lock and turned to one of the 'on' or 'run' positions, the induction coil that is mounted around the ignition lock sends out an electromagnetic field of energy. The windings in the

transponder chip absorb that energy and power the electronic chip to emit a signal. The induction coil reads the signal. If the signal is recognised as being already in the computer's memory, the signal is accepted and other electronic components in the vehicle are set in motion to allow the starting of the vehicle or the continuation of the engine running.

Transponders can send either a fixed code or a rolling code. The rolling code means that each time the transponder sends a code it changes using a calculation which the vehicle's computer has in its memory. Some later systems use more information such as the vehicle identification number (VIN) to further protect the transponder.

Central locking remote controls come in all shapes and sizes with varying numbers of buttons which control, not just the central locking, but also the lights, windows, boot/tailgate opening, individual door opening, panic button and other alarm functions.

Keyless entry or proximity versions are now becoming more popular. This is where the buttons on the remote control do not need to be pressed to open the vehicle, but when the remote is within a set range of the vehicle the central locking will operate. The engine can be started by pressing a button as long as the remote control is within the vehicle.

Master Lock and Safe

are able to cut and programme car keys for many makes of vehicle at our Southport office. Simply call or email us with the make and model of your car and we will be able to advise you. Or, why not call in to our showroom at 23 Southbank Road, Southport, PR8 6QJ


Call us on 01704 545400

or email us at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.