The Transformation of Car Keys through the Years

Taking a Look at The Evolution of Car Keys

You may not think much about your car key. It’s just a tiny thing that you think about only when you use it – or when you lose it. You’ll really be thinking about how important your car keys are when you lose them or they stop working and you have to call a Chandler emergency car locksmith to get back on the road.

Your car keys are very important, and they are much more complex than you may realize. Taking a look at the evolution of the car key can help you see how they have become more complicated and more powerful. Here’s how car keys have transformed through the years:

Car keys on white background

Mechanical Key

The first car keys were simply metal keys. These had a long blade that was etched with grooves and a uniquely shaped edge. These keys did not have any special features or technology. You just put them in the ignition, turned it, and started the car.

The simple design made these keys easy to duplicate. You didn’t have to see an auto locksmith to get a spare key made; you could go into any hardware store and have a copy made. Because the keys were so easy to duplicate, cars were also much easier to steal.

Transponder Key

In the 1980s, we started to see technology being added to keys. The transponder key was introduced by Chevy, and it included a small chip in the key that would communicate with the car’s ignition. The chip was an anti-theft mechanism; without the chip, the car wouldn’t start.

Not only did the chipped key make it harder to steal the car, but it also made it harder to start your car if you lost the key. Having a good mobile auto locksmith on speed dial became a necessity.

Remote Door Openers

Keyless entry remotes became popular later in the 1980s. These were used exclusively to open and close car doors remotely, which was not only a convenience but a luxury feature. Fortunately, the remotes were not required to start the vehicle, so they had no impact on operations. The car key could also still open the doors, so a call to Chandler car lockout services would not have been necessary if the remote was lost.

Laser Cut Keys

Laser cut keys were much like the basic metal keys. However, they were precisely cut by a laser, which was designed to make them much harder to replicate. With these keys, you had to go to a car locksmith or a dealership to have a duplicate of the key created.

Key Remote Combo

In the early 90s, the key remote combo was introduced. Instead of having a key and a separate remote for keyless entry, you got both in one. The remote features were included at the head of the key, and the laser cut blade stuck out like normal. Not only did these keys require professionals to replicate, but they also had to be properly programmed to ensure the use of the remote features.

Fob or Proximity Key

The fob or proximity key is what is so popular on today’s vehicles, and it represents the most advanced key technology we have yet. These don’t look like keys at all. They look like small remotes that have buttons on them for locking and unlocking the doors, setting the alarm, and even remotely unlocking the rear door.

Fob keys have to be close to the ignition to turn on the vehicle, which you do simply by pushing a button. These keys have advanced programming inside. If you lose them, you have to call an emergency car locksmith in Chandler that can provide a new fob and program it specifically to your vehicle’s codes. Otherwise, you have to request a new key from the dealer, which can be an expensive and timely process.

Whatever the technology that is introduced to make your car safer or to give you more features, a good car locksmith will be ready with the skills and technology to replace lost car keys, replace worn out car locks, and more. In Mesa, USA Key Service is always ready to help. We’re able to duplicate and program any key for any vehicle. We’re an emergency car locksmith that offers car lockout services, as well as replacing lost or worn out keys, worn out door locks, and worn out ignitions. Put our number in your phone and call us if you find yourself without a working key in Mesa. Or call us now to make a replacement key to have ready in case of an emergency.

US Key Service
4065 E University Dr #500
Mesa, AZ 85205

Phone: 480-983-6149