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What are VATS Keys?

VATS KeysVATS keys were first introduced by GM for Chevrolet Corvette in 1986 to make it more secure against theft. You could then find this Vehicle Anti-Theft System (VATS) in other GM vehicles. What makes this key system different than others is a resistor chip, also called pellets, embedded within the blade. The resistor, though implanted within, has metal prongs that juts out from each side of the key.

How do VATS Keys work?

They are not electronic keys but use a simple yet effective mechanism. Each resistor has a certain value from 1-15. What happens is that every resistor comes with a different resistance value (from the time they were manufactured). This is the underlying principle that ensures you are using a right key with right resistance value, failing which you won’t be able to start your car. If you are using a wrong key, your car would be stuck in a non-start mode for some time.

The VATS module in your car reads and interprets the value. If the key has the right resistance, it will start the car. Sometimes, dirt or debris on the resistor or the pellet could mean the module can’t determine the value correctly.

How can you read the resistance on your key? You will need an ohm meter to do this. Place one lead of the meter on one side of the key touching the protruding metal part. Another lead goes on the other side of the key in the same way. This will give a reading on the ohm meter, reflecting the key’s resistance value.

VATS keys are different than transponder chip keys. Every transponder key is programmed to its’ car computer system. This key has a microchip embedded in the plastic head of the key, which in turn communicates with the car’s computer panel with the help of a unique code. Basically, when you press the button on your transponder key, the microchip within transmits a code which is picked by a receiver in the car. A right key sends the code required to disengage the engine immobilizer, a process that starts the car.

VATS keys replacement

General wear and tear issue is common with VATS keys. As you keep moving the resistor in and out of the ignition, the protruding metal parts of the resistor tend to take the maximum brunt. A time comes when a lot of damage is done to the resistor on the key blade and as a result the vehicle won’t be able to decode the accurate value.

Are you looking for VATS key replacement in Kyle? Call Kyle Locksmith Co. at (512) 634-8090. We will save a costly trip to the dealership. Our licensed and insured auto locksmiths are equipped with the right training and tools to offer you best car key replacement services in Kyle, Texas. Whether it is a plain metal key, transponder key or VATS key, we can help you with key repair and replacement at reasonable rates. Just give us a call and we will dispatch our experienced technician at your location for a fast resolution.