In recent decades, automotive key technology has evolved due to security and aesthetic reasons into what it is today. Before this time, car keys were simply a piece of metal designed to lock and unlock a car, turn on the ignition circuit as well as start the car. Nowadays, there are different types of car keys and car locks.
It is pertinent to know the type of car key you use in case you need to find a replacement. Here are six types of automotive keys:
- Transponder Automotive Keys
The transponder automotive keys have a microchip implanted in the key handle. This helps to prevent key fraud. Modern cars come with a car immobilizer, and each chip transmits a unique code to the car’s immobilizer device. The car can only start if the code corresponds to the code programmed into the car’s immobilizer. Duplicating a transponder key can be tricky, but with the right equipment and an experienced automotive locksmith, you can get a replacement in the shortest time possible.
- Basic Key
This machine cut key is used for older vehicles, and they are easy to duplicate. It also has little security features which are the reason why owners of this type of car install a security alarm to prevent theft of their car.
- Smart Key
The smart key is the latest in key technology, and it is extremely secure. It allows the driver to use the key remotely from a considerable distance. With the smart, it is possible to lock and unlock the car as the driver approaches. The key consist of sensors, a small battery, and microchips that make communication with a particular car possible. The major benefit of this key is the ease of activating the ignition with a single button push. However, if you lose your smart key, only dealerships can replace them.
- VAT Key
This type of automotive key is equipped with a vehicle anti-theft system. A resistor chip is usually attached to the blade of the key to provided additional security. Unlike the computer microchip found in the transponder key, it is often quite difficult to duplicate the resistor chip of the VAT key.
- The Switchblade Key
Like a switchblade knife, the switchblade key folds within itself and can be popped out for use with the click of a button found on its head. If there is a malfunction, you can replace the shank and the head separately.
- Valet Key
Some cars have a valet key that allows the car owner to give the key to a valet who would park and retrieve the car. This kind of key only provides access to the ignition and allows the valet to open and lock the car doors. But, it will be hard to open the trunk and gloves boxes of the car. Most times this car key is accompanied by a transponder or smart key.