Car ignition key programming is what auto car locksmith, does.  Ignition Car Keys are reliable. They just quietly do their job year after year. Few things are more important. Until recently, very little time was spent thinking about them. Because they have become much more expensive, we now spend a lot of time thinking about them. The insurance companies are to blame.  Beginning in the 90’s, in an effort to reduce auto thefts, the insurance companies forced automobile makers to put transponders in ignition keys. Although transponders are thought of as new, the technology has been around since the 40’s. When a spare is made, it has to be cut and added to the vehicle’s system. The process by which a transponder ignition key is added to the car's memory is known as programming.  Accurate cutting or duplicating is no longer all that is needed. If the replacement is not added to the system, the car will not recognize it. If the spare is not recognized, the car will not start. There are three ways a key maker can program or add an ignition car key to the system, on board programming, cloning and programming with a diagnostic tool.  

On board ignition key programming 

In case of many Ford, Lincoln and Mercury from 1999-2010 two existing working igntion keys are needed like the one pictured here for a 2001 Ford F150. No other equipment is required. Although on board ignition key programming can be used on a few newer vehicles, it is mainly used on cars manufactured before 2011. The on board transponder car key programming procedure of a 2001 F150 is: 1.) Insert the first existing working ignition key into the cylinder. 2.) Turn it to the RUN position and back to OFF. 3.) Remove the first existing working ignition key and, within five seconds, insert the second existing working ignition key and turn it to RUN and back OFF.  4.) Insert the non working ignition key before ten seconds have elapsed and turn it to RUN. Leave it on for one second and turn back OFF. 5.) The security light will light up for three seconds to indicate that new ignition key  has been successfully programmed. As in the above example with on board programming at least two working keys are needed for many cars. Without the required number of working keys, on board programming cannot be used. The procedure has to be preformed in order and in a timely manner. Every car has a max number of keys that can be stored in the system memory. This is the total number of keys the car will recognize. In the case of the 2001 F150 the maximum number is 8. If the max is already stored, the on board procedure cannot be used. 

Ignition key programming by cloning

The second way to add a chip or transponder key to system memory is cloning. Cloning is not adding really because the system does not recognize the clone as new. Why is this important? In the example of the 2001 F150 if 8 keys, the maximum number for this vehicle, are stored in the system memory,  on board ignition key programming can not be used to add a key to the car's memory. Another ignition car key can be cloned however. The clone doesn’t have to look like the original. It does have to have the same electronic signature. Basic cloning requires electronic equipment such as the Ilco RW4 plus and a key that is capable of being cloned or written to. With the RW4 plus, the electronic signature of the original is read and then written to the clone. Because the vehicle’s system does not recognize the clone as different, it cannot be used as one of the two keys in the on board programming of the 2001 F150.

Ignition Key Programming using a diagnostic tool

The third method used to add keys to the system memory is programming. Automobile keys have gotten more and more complicated over the years. Just a 4-digit PIN code 5523 was needed to program a key for a 2000 Nissan Altima. A 20-digit PIN code that changes every time the car is started is required to program a key for a 2013 Altima. Auto car locksmith,, can program a key for a car, truck, van, or suv. Programming requires the use of a diagnostic tool like the Smart Pro pictured here connected to the vehicle’s OBD-II port. can: 1.) Program a key fob, master or valet keys for virtually any vehicle on the road, even if all keys are lost.  2.) Remove keys that are lost or stolen from the system. 3.) Reset vehicle immobilizer. 4.) Display the number to keys stored in the system memory.

Does your ignition car key needs to be programmed  Respect the key!