Of new passenger vehicles in North America, over 95 percent come equipped with an immobilizer system. Of these, roughly 80 percent of the fobs and keys can be duplicated. For the remaining automobiles, the engine immobilizer system needs to be programmed by a highly trained locksmith. In order to do this, transponder key programming software is required.
Most vehicles manufactured after 1995 are transponder equipped. Initially, the code was fixed, but with an advance in technology and increase in crime, specifically auto thefts, experts recognized the need to change the code system. Today, transponder keys use an encrypted rolling code, which makes it nearly impossible for a criminal to determine the correct code needed to start the engine.
A rolling code transponder’s value is changed every time the ignition key cycles, which also means the vehicle’s computer anticipates a new value. The encrypted transponders used today have a unique function known as “Challenge and Response.” This function helps calculate the value sent to the onboard computer system in the vehicle.
The values associated with an encrypted transponder are algorithm-based. These are used by the onboard computer and transponder to generate a proper response. If the response matches the calculation determined by the vehicle’s computer system, then the engine fires.
Although transponders have dramatically changed the way automobiles work, transponder key programming software is mandated to make it all happen. For years, there were a number of tools from which locksmiths could choose in order to perform programming, each having similar operation capability. As part of each tool was a viewing screen and keyboard designed to send and receive information.
However, as transponder technology has continued to advance, there are now a number of new and more innovative transponder key programming software programs available. For instance, there is one that is PC based. Using a laptop computer, the system’s two connecting wires have the ability to complete all programming requirements from a Windows XP operating system. This particular system only works for Infiniti, Nissan, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles at this time, but it will soon expand.
Because of recent developments pertaining to transponder key programming software, locksmiths have the ability to complete programming and more quickly and efficiently. This type of software is also making it possible for locksmiths to offer consumers lower prices for this particular type of service.
Because the programs are so new, not every locksmith uses them, but with transponder keys accounting for the majority of keys used, it will be no time before this becomes standard practice. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with the older method of programming a transponder key, but if you want quicker, better, and more cost-efficient service, it would be worthwhile to find a locksmith who uses the newer transponder key programming software.
As more and more locksmiths begin to use this programming and as it becomes in greater demand by consumers, experts anticipate it will not be long before more sophisticated types of software emerges.