6 Types of Automotive Keys

There are many situations where you need a locksmith to replace your car keys. The key could break in the ignition, the transponder car key may fail to respond or maybe the keys were stolen or simply lost. Knowing different types of car keys and what keys you have is beneficial when calling a locksmith, anticipating the cost or replacing the lost or broken keys. Here is a list of different types of car keys.

Traditional Key

The traditional car keys are most likely to be found in older models. They don’t have any encoding and a locksmith can make a replica using the die punch or other methods. The traditional key can be cut from a standard key blank using metal cutting machine.

Master Key

Early car models were equipped with a master key intended to be used for replacement and making copies once the original key is broken or lost. Master keys cost much to replace and sometimes losing a master key can lead to the replacement of the whole engine management system which was expensive too. Most cars nowadays are not equipped with master keys, however, be sure to read the car manual if you buy a used car.

Transponder Key

The transponder key is more secure than the traditional car keys. They have a microchip in the key handle that, when inserted into the manual, a sensor responds and activates the transponder. They have been in use since 1995. They can be expensive to replace through a dealership, but less expensive when using a locksmith.


Switchblade Key

A switchblade key is much like a switchblade knife. It folds itself much like the switchblade knife. Typically, the switchblade key has a button that will pop out the key when you want to use it. The switchblade keys are expensive to replace, but locksmiths offer cheaper replacement price.

Valet Key

The valet keys can only be used in cars specifically for valets. The key allows the owner to unlock and start the car, but it cannot open the glove box, trunk or perform other functions.

Smart Key

A smart key enables the car to turn on with the press of a button, but only if it’s only within the car range. It does not have to be inserted in the ignition to function.
It’s always good to keep an extra key at home or on hand and have a locksmith contact just in case you lose your key or lockout.

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