How Do Transponder Keys Work?

Posted on July 16, 2010 by Jaece Hogue

If you have a late-model, high-end car it is likely that it requires the use of transponder keys to start them. This high security key is basically an ignition key with a computer chip and copper wiring enclosed within its head. The chip uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to communicate with the car’s onboard computer. When you turn the key in the car’s ignition, the computer chip in the key responds to signals sent by the vehicle’s computer. T will car will only start if the transponder’s code is a valid one.

The security aspect of a transponder key is based on providing real-time, wireless identification using radio waves. Transponder keys function at a frequency of approximately 125 KHz, and their range is limited to roughly 7 inches. They do not require batteries.

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