Nearly all cars manufactured since the 1990's come with a transponder key. A transponder key is the little black apparatus on the key ring (sometimes located on the key itself) that controls the locks, and may even pop the trunk, open the doors, or start the engine when pressed. This handy-dandy little tool is great for convenience, but can be annoying and expensive if it stops working.
If you find yourself with an unresponsive transponder, there is a simple fix that you can try before you rush to the dealership or call a locksmith and spend money having someone else fix it (unfortunately, most locksmiths lack the equipment to fix transponders anyway). In the event that the transponder simply needs a new battery, that is a low-cost fix that can be done at home without the assistance of a professional.
Follow these five easy steps to see if your transponder just needs a battery replacement.
1. You will need to visit an auto shop store to purchase a new battery. With the make and model of your car, they should be able to find the replacement battery.
2. Carefully open the transponder up using a strong, thin tool like a butter knife and sliding it in between the plastic casing on the side. Most transponders have a small, thin line where the two halves meet. Be cautious as you open the unit; do not force it open as it will spill out the electrical contents inside.
3. Locate the battery (it will look like the newly purchased battery). Take the old battery out and replace it with the new one. Carefully close the unit back up matching the two halves back together and clicking them shut.
4. Test the transponder. If it responds, you have found the simple solution to your non-working transponder. If it does not respond, proceed to step five.
5. Put the key into the ignition and rapidly turn the car on and off over the course of 10-20 seconds. You don't need to fully start the car, just turn it to the first "on" position and then back off. This sends the signal from the car to the transponder to sync the two together.
If you complete steps 1-5 and it doesn't solve the issue, the problem with your transponder is likely not a dead battery. You will need to contact the service department at your car dealership for further assistance. If you need a complete replacement, visit professionals, such as The Lock Shop, to help you with your needs.