Why do you need to program car keys?

Keys that need to be programmed, called transponder keys, are engineered to work with your vehicle's immobilizer system as an anit-theft feature. Unless they are coupled (programmed) to your car's immobilizer system, your car will simply not start. In addition, other components also need programming, like remotes and fobs.

Do all car keys need programming?

No. Some cars simply use regular mechanical keys for the ignition and doors. Even some late-model cars still use mechanical keys in conjunction with remotes. In this case, only the remote needs programming.

What is a laser cut key?

Unlike a regular cut key like the one that opens your front door, laser cut keys, also called sidewinder keys, utulize a specialized cutting machine that creates a key that is harder to duplicate and only works with a particular vehicle. Since the cutting machine is very sophisticated and costly, and because the level of security is higher, these cuts are more expensive than mechanical cuts.

Why should I buy my key or fob from you when I can get it from Amazon or Ebay?

Although keys and fobs can be purchased online for a lower cost, the old adage of "you get what you pay for" applies here. From experience, about 50% of all keys bought online that are brought in from customers to be programmed by us do not work and are incompatible. Of the ones that do program successfully, most of them will fail prematurely. so by the time you purchase a faulty key (that cannot be returned after it is cut) and we charge you for a failed programming session, you will have spent far more.

What costs are involved with automotive keys?

Every car maker has different ways of interacting with its keys and fobs. Typically, costs include:

  • Price of the key, fob or remote itself
  • Cutting of the key blade (mechanical or laser)
  • Programming of the transponder or fob (can be a few minutes to 30 minutes or more)

Does the dealer charge more because their keys and programming are better quality?

Obviously the dealer will have the exact OEM key that was designed for your vehicle. But our  keys are the also an exact match to your vehicle and are OEM licensed, and our programming is also guaranteed to work flawlessly with your vehicle. The only difference is the price. We will save you money, usually 50% or more.

How long will it take to program my key or remote?

When you make an appointment, we will usually have you in and out within 3o minutes. If you prefer, you may also drop your vehicle off and return once it is finished.

What different kinds of automotive keys are there?

Because of the vast variety of auto makers and manufacturers, every car is different. yet there are four main groups as shown below:

Standalone Remote

  • Sometimes used with mechanical (non-chipped) keys
  • Used for door/trunk/panic
  • Programming difficulty: sometimes on board
  • Requires: cost of remote, programming - Cost: $

Transponder Key

  • Usually used with additional remote
  • Has built-in chip that defeats immobilizer
  • Programming difficulty: Easy to Medium
  • Requires: cost of key, cutting, programming
  • Cost: $ to $$

Remote Head Key

  • Combination remote and transponder
  • Has built-in chip that deactivates immobilizer
  • Programming difficulty: Medium
  • Requires: cost of key, cutting, programming
  • Cost: $$

Proximity/Smart Key

  • Combination remote and transponder w/ hidden key
  • Used with push-button start without key
  • Programming difficulty: Medium to Hard
  • Requires: cost of key, cutting, programming
  • Cost: $$$