Transponder Keys in Cleveland

Lock Alchemy is a premier provider of transponder keys in the Greater Cleveland area and especially in the East Side Suburbs such as University Heights, Beachwood, and South Euclid.

There seems to be a lot of confusion around transponder keys and chip keys. Transponder or “chipped” keys have an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip inside the head of the key or embedded inside the remote. In order to start the vehicle a correctly cut key must be inserted into the ignition. Additionally, the transponder chip must match the vehicle. There is no standard chip that is used in car keys. Different manufactures use different types of chips in different car makes and models. The transponder chip must be programmed to the vehicle which can be done with either an onboard programming procedure or a using a car programmer connected to the car’s OBD.

These chips were added in order to provide additional security and reduce car theft. A person can not simply force the ignition over with a screw driver or even drill it and force it over. When the correct key is inserted in the vehicle, the car verifies that the RFID chip matches the car. The component that checks if the transponder is a correct is called the immobilizer. If the car does not recognize a properly programmed chip it will not allow the vehicle to be moved.

There are several types of immobilizers and they each work in different ways. If a correctly programmed transponder chip is not present, some vehicles will not crank at all and others allow the engine to crank but no fuel will be injected into the engine resulting in the car not stopping. Some other immobilizer systems allow the car to start for a couple seconds but then will shortly cut off the engine. Regardless of how they work, the immobilizer system will not allow the car to be moved without a properly programmed chip.

A lot of people are under the impression that they do not have a transponder key. This is often wishful thinking, as most cars made in the last 20 years do indeed have immobilizer systems with transponders. If the vehicle was made in the last 10 years it’s almost certain that it has a transponder key. There are a few exceptions however, like fleet vehicles and some Asian made cars.

How long does it take to make a transponder key?

It varies depending on a number of factors. Some vehicles are more difficult by design, some are easier. Here are some other factors that can make the process take longer.

1) The car battery is dead

2) The car has or did have an aftermarket starter

3) The car was stolen

4) The driver’s side door key and the ignition don’t match

5) The lock is particularly difficult to pick


Losing your car keys is not fun. Some customers are very patient with the whole process and some customers seem to not understand the process. You don’t really want it to be too easy to break into your vehicle and make a car key right? The process does take time and we try our best to explain why it sometimes take longer than expected. Believe us when we say that we want it to go as fast and as easy as possible ourselves. We charge a flat rate for our services, not by the hour, so we have an incentive to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Lock Alchemy carries a large assortment of transponder keys for your automobile needs, often less than dealerships and almost always more convenient.