Automotive Key Blank FAQ’s
Q. What is the difference between a Transponder, Electronic and VATS key?
A.A Transponder key transmits and responds by means of a transponder chip. The chip
transmits, receives and responds to a coded signal data using radio frequency
transmissions. When the key is inserted and turned in the ignition it sends a unique code
signal to the on-board computer or ECM (Electronic Control Module). If the computer
recognizes the signal it will allow the vehicle to start.
A VATS key has a resistor embedded within the key-blade. Each resistor has one of fifteen
possible values. Sometimes the resistors are referred to as a "pellet" or "chip". These keys
require only a reader to determine the resistor value. They do not require a cloning or
VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System) keys are exclusive to GM makes & models. You may hear
this referred to as Ford PATS™ (Passive Anti-Theft System), Securilock® (Ford PATS
System), or GM’s PASS Key® III or PASS Key® III+ system.
Q. What is the benefit of the electronic
A. Electronic keys are quickly and easily
cloned using an RW cloning tool. By using an
electronic key, you can eliminate "on-board
programming" (requires physically
programming to the vehicle) or the need to
have two original keys to add an additional
(or 3rd ) key.
Q. What is the life expectancy of the
batteries contained in this key?
A. The lithium batteries used in the EK have a
very long life expectancy and the battery is
replaceable in the event that it should need to
be replaced. These keys use a 3V lithium
CR2025 battery, which are readily available.
Q. Will I need to reprogram the key if the
battery dies or when I change the battery?
A. No, the circuit board will remember the
Q. Why are the letters A through P on the blades?
A. The letters are designed to make selecting the correct blade
easier. Since there are several blades with similar designations,
letters are less complex and easier to read.
Q. What is an electronic key?
A. It is a key that contains a battery powered
electronic circuit board that may be
programmed to replace some transponder
Q. How do electronic keys work?
A. After being properly programmed, the
circuit board mimics a transponder by
transmitting a unique signal to the vehicle’s
on board computer. This occurs when the
key is inserted in the vehicles ignition and
turned to the start position.
Q. Why do electronic keys cost more
than regular transponder keys?
A. The electronic components in the key
make it more costly than a transponder key.
But, the higher cost is offset by the benefit of
being able to clone keys for more vehicles
than possible without this type of key and the
reduced cost of mis-cuts due to the modular