Lock Talk: Automotive Key Making

Automotive Key Making

Automotive key making has become a very involved process. Transponder technology has greatly improved the security of our automobiles; however, it has also greatly increased the cost of automotive keys. In this article, we will cover methods of acquiring the cuts, high security vs. standard security keys, transponder programming, and some specialized cars.

Lishi Decoder

Lock Talk: Automotive Key Making - Lishi

Methods Used

  • Decode        
  • VIN to Code
  • Disassembly
  • Code on Lock

Standard Security

There is only a couple differences between high security and standard security keys. Standard security keys can be cut in many different ways. These keys look like a double sided house key. Consequently, almost anyone with a cutter has the ability to cut these keys.

Standard Security

Standard Security Automotive Key

High Security External Track

Automotive Key Making - High Security Externam Track

High Security Keys

Next, high security keys whether internal or external track require a mill style cutter. This limits the ability to code cut or duplicate these keys to those who purchase a specialized cutter. Finally, high security and standard security keys interact with the wafers in a different way. There is not much difference between the two keys, but it can be more difficult to find someone who can cut them!  

Some Programmable Makes

  • Honda
  • Ford
  • GM
  • Chrysler

Transponder Programmer

Lock Talk: Automotive Key Making - Programmer

Specialized Cars

There are also some specialized cars that require even more indepth knowledge and equipment to program. Lexus and Toyota in the early 2000s is an example of these. These cars require a reflash of the ecu in order to program keys. Essentially, the automotive makes did not put a method in to add a key. Instead, you must wipe the memory to put it into learning mode. At this point, you can add keys to the memory.

Automotive Key Making

Automotive key making has become a very involved process. This article has covered some methods used to acquire cuts, high security vs. standard security keys, transponder programming, and some more in depth specialized autos. All of these factors can increase difficult and the expense that revolves around automotive key making.