Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a ChipKey?A. ChipKeys or anti-theft auto keys contain a computer “transponder” chip in the head of the key programmed to the vehicle’s security system. Duplicate keys for your vehicle require programming this matching code in order to operate the vehicle. Auto manufacturers began phasing these keys into production vehicles starting in 1995. The vehicle’s anti-theft computer and the programmed chipkey help to curb auto theft and reduce insurance premiums.
Q. How do ChipKeys work?A. The computer chip in the key holds a code like a password. The computer in the vehicle reads the password in the chipkey, and if the password is correct the vehicle will start. Otherwise, the vehicle will be inoperable. This extra layer of security is a proven deterrent to theft and contributes to lower insurance premiums on vehicles with this technology.
Q. Why does the ChipKey cost more than a plastic-head auto key?A. The key is no longer a key. It is a high-tech device that communicates electronically with the vehicle’s engine computer with a unique security code. The majority of newer vehicles use smart keys that contain special-coded computer chips. The new anti-theft automotive computer technology is a very expensive component which was designed to protect against vehicle theft. The ChipKey must be programmed to work with a particular vehicle. Programming these keys requires specialized diagnostic equipment operated by a trained technician.
Q. Will a non-ChipKey operate a vehicle?A. No. A non-chipkey can be cut to open the door or trunk, but if the vehicle has a chipkey protected security system only a chipkey that is programmed with the matching code will operate the vehicle.
Q. Will I be able to make chipkeys for all makes and models?A. The QuickStart program can make chipkeys for 75 million vehicles on the road today. You will not be able to make chipkeys for high end vehicle makes such as BMW, Porsche, Audi and other select vehicles. Hy-Ko does offer another program, C3 Premier, which can allow you to program more chipkeys with P-Tool duplication technology. But the QuickStart program is more than sufficient for most stores.
Q. Do I need 2 keys to make a duplicate chipkey?
A. No, the I-Tool only needs one working chipkey to be able to make a duplicate.
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