Remote key

What Is A Transponder Key And How It Is Different From A Remote Control Key?

The traditional flat and serrated metal key that is normally used to open many different types of locks is rapidly losing both its popularity as well as its innate usefulness. This is partly due to the radical changes in automobile locking systems.

After all, few things in life are as traumatic and as disruptive as having your car stolen by thieves and other unscrupulous elements. This is why we should be very thankful for the efforts that auto manufacturers go through to try and make our cars as difficult to steal as possible.

Apart from security, many vehicle-makers are also concerned with our day to day convenience. Ultimately, they always want to make sure that entering and exiting our automobile is a seamlessly easy exercise.

This is the part where remote transponder keys and remote car keys come into the picture. Unless you like to trundle around in the outback in a vintage 70s era CJ 7, the odds are your vehicle has a remote or transponder key.

Many people tend to become confused because of the similarities between the two different kinds of keys. They think that both of them are the same with just different nomenclature. However, this is not the case at all. You must take the time to learn everything about them so that you will be able to make an informed decision.

What Is The Major Difference Between A Transponder Key And A Remote Control Key?

As any car locksmith Sydney will tell you, many cars today have standard remote keys that have all but replaced the traditional flat metal car key. However, the latest automobiles are now equipped with state of the art key-less transponder locks. These keys effectively eliminate the need for a physical car key altogether.

Here the most basic difference between a transponder and a remote key is that the former will unlock your car without using any sort of physical key or locking mechanism. Apart from that, transponder equipped vehicles won’t start unless the key is present in close proximity.

The remote key, on the other hand, has the ability to unlock the vehicle’s doors via its electronic mechanism. However, should the remote control unit fail to function properly, it is possible to use the traditional flat key as well.

There are a few types of remote control keys that have their remote unit installed on the handle or head of the key. This makes it a separate piece and the metallic part of the key does not interfere in its functionality.

However, many other car keys have the remote unit built directly onto the actual key itself.  In case the unit’s battery is completely dead, or the intricate circuitry is broken, the unit might start malfunctioning.  In either scenario, the remote locking system can easily and safely be bypassed, and the vehicle can be opened and operated with the help of the traditional metal key. The key will revert to its default mode and it would be possible to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without causing the car’s alarm system to go off.

The main or ‘key’ difference here is that the remote transponder key comes with a cutting edge technology equipped control chip inside the unit. This electronic chip is an absolutely vital part of the vehicle’s core security system. One that provides an extra level of anti-theft protection. If the transponder unit is not in close proximity to the automobile, not only will it be almost impossible to open the car, but equally difficult to start the engine as well.

Moreover, the alarm system cannot be disarmed without the transponder. only a highly trained and experienced car key transponder programmer would be of any help. And this is only possible if they have the requisite skills in operating the vehicle’s transponder technology.

High-end automobiles stand to benefit the most from such sophisticated transponder systems since they are the favourite targets for thieves. This technology drastically reduces the probability of the vehicle being stolen.

Most transponder keys appear to be the same as any other normal keys, at least at first sight. The high level of security is what makes the transponder key so uniquely special. The fat black head on the blade has the specialized technology that interacts with the vehicle every single time you operate it.

How Does A Transponder Work?

Basically, the transponder unit inside the key responds to a unique signal that emanates from your ignition lock. The car key transponder programmer will ensure that the transponder communicates to the vehicle that everything is fine, and the ignition allows the engine to start up. Without this signal, not only would the car remained locked, it won’t start at all. This holds true even if you make an exact replica of the key blade. Yes, the key will slide into the lock. In a pinch, it might even open it, but the car will still be completely disabled.

In the long run, transponder units make it exceptionally hard to steal your car. Rest assured that without the original transponder key, your vehicle is not going anywhere. This level of security is not present in a simple remote control key.

Off Shelf Security Systems

It is, of course, possible to purchase an off the shelf security system that will disable your car in case of unauthorized access. However, such commercially available systems have signals that can easily be replicated, and the car can be fooled into thinking that the remote unit used to open it is the same as the original keyless entry security system. This is extremely difficult in the case of a factory-fitted transponder key since every key has its own distinct signal and no two transponders are ever the same.

However, here it is pertinent to note that there are times that the transponder has to be repaired, maintained, or even reprogrammed. In this case, only a duly authorised car locksmith Sydney can do the job at hand. This is because highly specialised equipment will be required to safely and correctly disarm the security system. This is the only way to reconfigure the transponder key so that it will respond to your vehicle’s unique signal.


Technology is rapidly evolving, and today’s new age automobiles are now shifting to transponders for the safety and security of your precious vehicle.

Author Bio:

Imad is the owner of Sydney Car Locksmith, the most efficient and fast emergency car locksmith firm in Sydney. They have solution for all your car key related problems ranging from lost car keys to broken car key replacement. They are 24 hour emergency locksmith services providers in Sydney.