Improving Your Home Security

Transponder Keys And How To Fix Them

by Clifton Montgomery

If you have a car that is newer than the mid 90s, you will probably be familiar with the new style of car keys, the ones that have electronics built in. These are called transponder car keys. These are normally meant to keep your car safe and not be stolen. However, if the electronics short out, it can spell disaster for you and your car. Keep reading to find out more!

How it works

Transponder keys are now a fairly standard type of key for most vehicles. They have an electronic transponder within the key that interacts with the circuitry within the car. This interaction tells the car that the key that is inside the key slot is in fact the correct key for the car. This helps to prevent your car from being stolen by having a similar key cut and used. If a similar key is inserted into the car, the car will not turn on because it will not have received the signal from the key confirming that it is the right one.

What happens when it shorts out

When the electronics within the key or the car start to become faulty however, you can run into problems. If the electronics in either part short out, or start to become faulty, the car will start to have problems akin to ignition failure. Your car may not start, may turn over but then stall, or may stop running while it is on. If your car doesn't want to start, and you turn the key again and it doesn't even turn over, you might want to consider this as your problem.

What to do if it happens to you

If your car turns over once, and then doesn't turn over again, this may be a case where your transponder key is having a circuit failure. If this happens, let your car sit for about an hour. In many cars, if a wrong or faulty transponder key is used, the circuitry in the car disables the ignition for about an hour to try and prevent the car from being started and stolen. Unfortunately, this means that if your key doesn't send out the correct message, your car locks down for an hour.

If your car continues to do this, consider taking your car and the key into a mechanic or your car dealer. Both will know how to analyze the systems to figure out what exactly the problem is, and give you a simple way to fix it. Visit a website like to learn more.