Beginning in the late 90’s transponder chips began to be integrated into car keys. This was done to provide additional security to the vehicle. With this chip installed in the plastic cover on the bow of the key, a message could now be sent to tell the car that this key was more legitimate. This was meant to prevent things like hot wiring and slide hammer attacks. With a transponder key, simply copying the bitting on the key blade will not give you the ability to start the vehicle. When the car has the properly shaped key inserted, it sends out an electric charge. This powers the transponder chip, which allows it to send a message to the transceiver of the car.
When the transponder is not programmed or non-existent, the transceiver of the car will not get the correct message. This message is a digital key. The car will not start without both keys. Most often, transponder key programming will go hand in hand with cutting a new car key, but this is not always the case. Keys can be cut at a different location and then brought to the locksmith for transponder programming. This will require that the key that has already been cut does have a transponder chip in the assembly. If it does not, a new key that has a transponder will need to be cut. With the programing service customers can also elect to have the existing transponder keys removed from their car’s computer, so that no keys will work except for the new ones.