How to Start My Car Without a Chip Key?

When it comes to car security, a key fob is one of the most important pieces of equipment. Therefore, even if you duplicate your key at a locksmith, you won’t be able to start your car with the new key.

Even though your car key FOB might not have remote lock features, there’s still a tiny chip inside the transponder key. The transponder inside the key is an anti-theft measure by auto manufacturers.

But what if you could start your car without chip key? It’s possible with a workaround, but you have to have the original key, and in this article, we’re going to show you how.

What is a Transponder Key?

A transponder key is a car key that emits a signal that a transponder can receive to start the car. The transponder is usually located in the car’s ignition, recognizing the key when you insert it into the ignition. The key has a small chip in it that emits the signal.

Transponder keys are used to prevent theft. If someone tries to start the car with a non-transponder key, the vehicle will not start.

Without the chip, even a perfect copy of the key won’t work to unlock the car.

The chip inside the key emits a radio frequency. This frequency is used to unlock the car and prevent thieves from being able to replicate the key.

The frequency sent from the key is verified by the car’s radio frequency identification (RFID).

As you insert your key into the ignition, the car will verify that the frequency sent from the key matches the pre-programmed RFID number.

Transponder keys are also used to unlock cars automatically. Some vehicles have a transponder in the door that will unlock the car when the key is near it; this is the keyless function you’ve probably heard about in modern cars.

The only way for a thief to steal your car is to steal the original key with the correct RFID number. Otherwise, the thief can not start your car.

How to Start My Car Without Chip Key?

There is no way to start your car without a chip key. The chip key sends a radio frequency identification number to the car when the key is close to the RFID reader verifying the key, usually located inside the ignition lock. If you lose the original chip key, you must get a new one programmed by your local dealership.

Although, there is a workaround if you still got the original key and want to duplicate that key at your local locksmith.

If you have a car with a transponder key and lose your key or it breaks, don’t worry! An authorized dealership can read the required frequency from your vehicle and create a replacement key for you.

However, using this workaround if you only have one transponder chip available will allow you to start your car with copies of your car key.

Here’s how to how to start your car without chip key:

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Pry Open the Original Key

    Every car key has a plastic cover that covers the transponder chip.

    You can open the plastic cover using pliers or a flat screwdriver and apply some leverage as the seal, or glue, usually hold the two cover pieces together tightly.

  2. Locate the Transponder Chip

    Transponder Chip Inside A Car Key

    Locate the transponder chip inside the car key’s plastic cover. The transponder chip is a small black rectangle or square piece of plastic, or even a see-through tube.

    The transponder chip can be recognized due to the shape and identification numbers printed on the chip itself.

  3. Remove the Transponder Chip from the Key

    Extract the transponder chip from the car key’s cover. If needed use a tweezer to remove the chip.

  4. Put the Transponder Chip on a Piece of Tape

    Take a piece of tape, place the transponder chip on the tape, and proceed to the next step.

  5. Tape the Transponder Chip Close to the Ignition Lock

    By putting the transponder chip on a piece of tape, you can tape the chip close to the cars ignition lock allowing the car to recognize that a key is close.

  6. Try to Start the Car With a Copied Key

    As the car now recognizes the transponder chip is close, you could use any copy of the original key to start the car.

  7. Move the Taped Transponder Chip if the Car Does Not Start

    If the car does not start, the transponder chip is not close enough to the receiver.

    Move the transponder chip around until you find a spot that is close enough for the receiver to catch that signal from the transponder chip.

  8. Secure the Transponder Chip when You Find the Sweet Spot

    As you find that sweet spot you, could secure the transponder chip by either adding a bit more tape or superglue the transponder chip to that exact location on the ignition lock.

  9. Enjoy Your Car with Copied Key’s

    As the transponder chip is now close to the receiver, you can use a copied car key to start the car any time you want, as long as the transponder chip remains in that exact location.

Drawbacks of Taping the Chip Close to the Ignition Lock

There is of course a few major drawbacks of using the method above, as you’re losing a layer of security.

Taping a chip close to the ignition lock decreases the cars security, making it easier to steal.

Although most professional car thieves will succeed in stealing a car even though the many security features cars have.

Taping the transponder close to the ignition lock also makes it even easier for less experienced thieves.

How to Start a Car Without a Key Fob

If your key fob stops working, you don’t need to worry.

You can still start your car without it. All you need is the key.

Modern technology allows us to start the car with the key still in our pocket as the transponder chip technology improved over the last decade.

But if your fob runs out of battery, don’t worry, you can still open your car and start the engine with the key that most people don’t know about.

Here’s how to start a car with a key fob that’s out of battery.

  1. Locate the cover of the car key. A small cover on the fob covers a hidden key, find it, and removes the cover.
  2. Pull out the key. Use a fingernail to extract the key from the fob.
  3. Put the key in backward. The L-shaped key can be inserted back in to the key fob backward, to form a standard car key.
  4. Use the car key to unlock the doors and start the engine.

Some manufacturers even let the driver start the cars engine with a phone application. Each manufacturer require you to sign up for their specific application.

Here’s the app you’ll need to start a car with your phone, depending on the manufacturer:

AudiMMI Connect
Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, JeepUconnect
BMWConnected Drive
Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMCOnStar RemoteLink
Ford, LincolnSync Connect
InfinityInfinity InTouch
LexusLexus Enform
NissanNissan Connect

How to Program a Key Fob

Different makes and models might have different methods to program a key fob. Usually, it’s effortless to program a key fob, and the process is usually done in three steps.

Here’s how you program a key fob:

  1. Turn on the ignition.
  2. Press the lock button on the key fob. Listen for a locking sound.
  3. Turn the ignition off.
  4. Done. You can now use the new key fob.

Although you can’t program a new transponder key yourself on some car brands if you don’t have dealership tools. Only authorized dealerships can do this.

To copy the chip code into another key, you need special tools that only an authorized dealer or particular locksmiths can access.

This is because the car only receives signals, not transmits them, making it difficult to obtain the frequency and identify the frequency the car responds to.

If you want to program a transponder key without the original, you will need to find an authorized dealer or locksmith who can access the necessary tools and database. They will be able to copy the chip code into another key for you. However, this process is not easy and may be pretty expensive. So before you go through all that trouble, make sure it’s really worth it!

There are many options when it comes to creating a new car key. You can go through the dealership, but this is often the most expensive and time-consuming option. A better choice is to use a third-party locksmith. These professionals have the equipment and knowledge to create a new key for your car quickly and cheaply.

If you have lost all your key copies, the cheapest way to get a new transponder key is to hire someone. Depending on who you hire, it will cost between $200 and $600.

A locksmith can get the job done for less money than if you go to a dealer.

Call a few locksmiths in your area and find out who has the best price. Set the terms so you only have to pay if they succeed in programming a new key.

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Robin Söder

Robin has always been passionate about cars ever since young age. Over the years, Robin has worked on thousands of cars and gained invaluable experience in the process. He is considered an expert in his field and is often consulted by other mechanics for advice.

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