Taking A Closer Look At The Different Types Of Modern Car Keys

Posted on: 3 August 2015

If you trade in your old car for a new model, do not be surprised when the dealer hands you a key that looks a lot different than what you are used to seeing. Car keys have dramatically evolved over the years, mostly thanks to innovations in security and technology. If you drive a modern car, it is a good idea to get to know what modern car keys are all about. Understanding the key that you have will help you if you ever lose your key and need a car key replacement. There are three main car keys that you could end up carrying in your pocket when you invest in a newer model vehicle.   

Transponder Car Keys 

Your new car key may look almost identical to the key that many other drivers with the same vehicle use, but there is something inside that makes them incredibly different. Transponder keys have a computer chip inside that is matched to a chip that is also in the ignition of your vehicle. Therefore, the car will not start unless the chip sends the right information to let your car know that the person holding the key is the right driver. If you have a transponder key and lose it, you will have to see either a locksmith or a car dealership where a new transponder key can be programmed to your vehicle. 

Smart Car Keys 

First available with the Mercedes-Benz in the mid-1990s, the smart key is now available with several other vehicle models. This key is incredibly unique because it often does not require a driver to actually use a key at all, only that they have it inside of the vehicle, even in their pocket. Cars with smart keys use a rolling code system to communicate and often have a push-button ignition that is only functional when the codes are matched, which takes only a split second to complete. 

Switchblade Car Keys

Most modern vehicles have a keyless entry remote, or FOB, but the key is often separate from the FOB. However, the switchblade car key is a FOB and key in one that allows a driver to fold the key into the Fob when it is not in use. Switchblade keys do also usually have a transponder chip inside that is matched to your vehicle. 

If you want to know how high-tech your vehicle is, take a close look at the key that you use to start it, as a technical key is a good sign that you have a modern and secure car. If you have questions about replacing your modern car key, talk to a local locksmith (such as one from Johnny Locksmith) for more information.