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Texas Premier Locksmith, a Local Locksmith Company

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Can a Transponder Key Go Bad?

May 16, 2022


black Smart Key or remote control for motorcycle key

Perhaps “going bad” isn’t the correct terminology in this particular scenario, but transponder keys can most definitely fail for various reasons. A transponder key is the type used in almost all modern vehicles. The key is a transmitter and responder that communicates with a small computer inside your car. It is uniquely serialized; it only works with your vehicle and no other vehicle, even those of the same type. As is the case with almost all electronics, the transponder can indeed fail. If you need immediate help because of a transponder key failure, please call 512-893-5811.

Ghost Locks

Transponder keys are built much more ruggedly than they used to be, and they can take a lot of abuse before having real issues. Try not to think of them as fragile as your cell phone, tablet, or even a computer mouse. Modern transponder keys are built to take a beating, but at some point, they can have a little too much rough play or element exposure. Keys that are frequently exposed to moisture or dust can start to malfunction over time. Locking and unlocking without the owner’s permission are the most frequent issues reported regarding transponder keys.

Unwanted Attention

Not as frequent of a problem as ghost locking, but your transponder fob can start setting off your car’s alarm system. We’ve all been in a panic scenario when our car alarm started going off unexpectedly – usually, it’s because of something we did. In these scenarios, the transponder key is faulty, and the alarm starts going off for seemingly no reason. It is never fun to bring that unwanted attention to yourself, and it’s incredibly embarrassing if it happens in the wee hours!

Can’t Start the Vehicle

If your key is in your vehicle and the vehicle won’t start, your transponder might be completely dead. That’s the best-case scenario, as all we have to do is change the batteries in most scenarios. Some vehicles require a dealership reprogram after a battery change, but most are getting away from that model. Worst case scenario is that your transponder key is a total loss for one reason or another, in which case you will need a dealer replacement which will set you back a few hundred dollars in most cases.

There are other reasons your transponder key may seem to be malfunctioning, but they tend to be rare and even more problematic. If the car’s computer system is having issues, that’s a little different. The key itself may be perfectly fine, and a specialist will need to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle for you. Regardless of the reason, if you find yourself having problems with the transponder key or your car are locked, and you can’t enter, you can always get help from Texas Premier Locksmith, and we can remove at least part of your headache by letting your into your vehicle safely, efficiently, and without risk of vehicle damage.