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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Transponder Chips

If you’ve been reading our previous blog post about your car’s anti-theft system – the immobiliser and how it’s related to the ECU – you may remember that information from the key is read by the ECU to allow the car to start. The other piece of this puzzle is the transponder chip; that’s the chip in your key that disarms your immobiliser at the end of this process to allow your car to start.

Here, we explore five things you may not know about transponder chips:

Transponder chips started as an insurance concern

The original of these chips, and the entire immobiliser system, came about in the 1990s, when insurance companies spoke with car makers to make it clear that without more done to prevent theft, cars would become too expensive to insure. The result: the current anti-theft system we see today.

Not all cars have transponder chips

If you have a very old car with just a flat metal key that opens the door, you probably don’t have a transponder chip. They came in with the use of the immobiliser key fob technology.

You can get a new transponder key cloned by Autotronics…

…as long as you have the original. Because of the complex information stored on the key, it must be done by a professional who can ensure that information is properly imprinted on the key, and that the chip is working and in place.

They’re good, but not perfect

Immobilisers can be beaten and thieves can clone the chips in the same way as a locksmith. Often, they will target the locksmith themselves, to steal the information on chips to clone and steal vehicles. Technology, as ever, can be used by the good and the bad in equal measure.

The future is keyless

The future of car security is already upon us, and it’s likely that at some point you’ll be remotely unlocking your car with an app, or fingerprint technology, some of which is already in operation from certain manufacturers.

Like a lot of technology, chips are prone to failure. If you’re having trouble with your immobiliser, then check out our other articles on the subject, or get in touch with us. We’re specialists in testing and fixing vehicle electronics faults, with more than 20 year’s experience in the industry.

We offer free collection for traders in the UK, and collection for a fee for international customers. If you’re in the trade, check out if you qualify for our 10% trade discount for garages and shops… and make sure that you’re not caught out by faulty transponder chips.