Options for Chip Key Replacements

Chip Key Replacement in Jacksonville

If you drop your car key in the gutter, you just go to the local hardware store and ask the clerk to make another copy, right? Well, if you need to replace computer chip auto keys, the process can be a little more detailed than that.

Computer chip car keys are a security innovation used on some cars made since the mid-1990’s. When you insert your key into the ignition, the car’s computer sends out a radio frequency signal; if the key fails to respond with the proper radio frequency ID tag, the engine won’t start. Thus, it is much harder to hot wire or steal the car. As helpful as they are for car security, though, you may not find transponder chips as convenient when you need to replace computer chip auto keys. The sections below list some of the options for replacing lost or stolen transponder chip car keys.

Car Dealership

Although the car dealership can usually replace computer chip auto keys, the prices can be astronomical. Dealerships often charge up to 200 dollars just to replace the transponder key. Some may charge an additional labor fee to program the key and an additional 50 to 70 dollars to replace and program the key fob. Thus, ideally, you’ll probably want to look toward one of the other options below in order to save money.

In some situations, though, going to the dealership may be your only option. For instance, if you don’t have any remaining copies of your transponder key, the dealership may be the only source that can program a new blank. (Certain automotive locksmiths may be able to do the programming, though, if you are at least able to purchase the proper blank.) In some cases, even the dealership won’t be able to make a new transponder key if you’ve lost all the existing copies. Instead, they may have to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to recognize a new radio frequency ID.


Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may be able to purchase blank transponder chip keys on the internet. If so, you may be able to program the key yourself. However, in order to do this you will usually need to have two properly programmed transponder chip keys already in your possession. Once you’ve ordered the proper transponder blank online – or purchased it from the dealership – you’ll need to go to a locksmith to have the key cut. Then, consult your owner’s manual for programming instructions applicable to your make and model of car. Often you’ll need to put one programmed key into the ignition and turn the key to “Run” without switching on the engine. Then you’ll need to do the same thing with the other programmed key. When you finally repeat the process with the unprogrammed key, your vehicle will program it for you. However, this doesn’t work on all cars, so you should consult your owner’s manual or dealership first before trying to program a computer chip key yourself.


Not all locksmiths are capable of transponder key programming, but if you call a few places you should be able to find a qualified automotive Locksmith in Jacksonville with the equipment and knowledge to help you. Seeking out the services of a professional locksmith will cost less than going to the car dealership for help and it will entail less aggravation than solving the problem on your own.

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