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Different Types of Car Keys

types of car keysOver the years, technology around cars has evolved. Everything is getting hi-tech. From high performance engines, better equipped computers and intuitive interiors not forgetting the car key, modern cars are designed to fulfil your every need.

Just as the cars, the car keys have also come along way. From simply opening the doors and starting the car, car keys today are capable of doing much more. Depending on the type of car key you have, you can start your car remotely, lock and unlock the doors without touching the keys and a perform a lot of other cool functions. Here is a quick overview of different types of car keys.

Mechanically cut car keys

This is the most basic and most common type of car key available. It is simple and straightforward and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other keys have.  It is mechanically cut with ridges and cuts that are inserted into the ignition. Because of its basic nature, the key is easily made with the right machines and skills. Most locksmiths will simply use a die punch to replicate this type of key.

Laser cut keys

Also known as sidewinder keys or internally cut keys, these keys are more advanced than your regular key. Unlike the machine cut keys, they can be inserted in the ignition from either side because of thicker shank with grooves on either side of the shank. Since the key has indentation on both sides, they are made up of heavy metal, hence weigh more. Some laser cut keys may have a built-in transponder chip key for added security against car theft. Laser cut keys are difficult as well as expensive to copy as they require special machines to cut the key.

Transponder car keys

This is where car keys start to get interesting. Transponder car keys have a micro-chip in the key handle which safe guards the keys and your car. These keys are programmed to the car’s computer system and the chip within the key fob transmits a unique code to the receiver. Using any other key means the car won’t unlock and start. They are very difficult to replicate and require high end equipment and an incredibly skilled car locksmith to duplicate. Some transponder keys can make it easier for you to open and lock the car without physically inserting the key into the locks. It is also worth noting that they are battery powered and will only function if the battery is functional.

Smart car keys

These types of car keys are a more recent development and are common with most high end cars. The key can be used for various functions from a reasonable distance. Some of their functions include opening and locking the doors and even remotely starting the engine. They are the most advanced type of car key available.

VAT keys

Vehicle Anti-Theft System or VAT car keys have an anti-theft system in the form of a resistor chip added on the blade of the key. The resistor projects outward from each side and have its own unique resistance vale. You have to use a key that matches this value, thus adding an additional layer of security making it hard for any other key to start the car.

Valet Car Keys

For car owners that use the valet services frequently, infringement of privacy is usually a big concern. With a valet car key, you ensure the valet has access to the basics of the car and nothing more. They can open and close the door and run the engine. However, the key doesn’t give them access to the glove box or the trunk. In most cases, the valet car key is issued with the smart or transponder car keys.

While technologies like the engine and transmission are quite impressive, car keys have also come along way. The innovative technology used ensures safety of the car and prevents against theft. With improved technology also comes with the downside that with each advancement, the car key is harder to replicate in the event the keys are lost or misplaced.

Looking for an expert, licensed auto locksmith in Kyle for car keys replacement or duplicate your key? Call Kyle Locksmith Co. at (512) 634-8090. WE can help with all kind of keys. Our technicians have extensive experience in making and reproducing car keys – whether it is transponder, VAT, regular metal or valet keys.