The 3 Basic Types of Auto Locks

Program Your Car Keys

Car lock technology has evolved rapidly since the 1990s. Depending on the year of your car, your lock might need a classic key, a transponder, or a keyless entry remote. Familiarize yourself with the different key types since any competent locksmith or car lockout service you call will ask you about your specific lock type.

1. Classic keys

These are the most familiar and traditional type of car keys. Classical keys are often straight pieces of metal of varying thickness. They have either grooves in their mid-section and/or varying depth notches on their outer edges. Modern car locks use a matching system so its very difficult to get into your vehicle if the intruder doesn’t have the right key. Car thieves can use a wide variety of tools to mimic the form factor of classic keys to unlock your car’s doors. While classic keys don’t provide as much security as newer car lock technologies, they are the easiest to replace. The locksmith helping you only need to have the right ‘blank’ stock key for them to grind it into a unit that will work with your car’s lock. Depending on the specific design of your classic key lock, a locksmith might take longer fine-tuning the contour or thickness of the grooves or edges of the stock key so it works perfectly with your lock.

2. Transponder-type keys

If your car was built around the late 1990s period, your vehicle might have a transponder lock system. These units have a pre-programmed code that they send out to your car’s lock system. Since your vehicular lock system is specifically paired with the code in the transponder key, any thieves or intruders can’t just copy your key’s hardware to break in. Unlike classic keys where the ‘entry code’ of your lock takes the form of physical edges and grooves, transponder-type locks use a pre-programmed code that is ‘paired’ with your lock. If the transponder unit has a different code, your car’s lock won’t open. While you get a very high level of security with these types of keys since they can’t be easily ‘mimicked’ by thieves using template keys or other hardware-based systems, they are a hassle to work with since the locksmith has to get the code from your lock. It is crucial that you call truly professional and experienced locksmiths to help you if you have a remote keyless access or transponder-based care access system. These pros will know which code cloning hardware to use to give you a replacement key.

3. Keyless remote entry systems

Also known dubbed ‘key fobs’, keyless entry remote units are often paired with transponder-type car keys. In recent years though, most newer cars come with locks that operate on a purely keyless remote basis. These car lock systems don’t require transponder units.
The types of security keys constantly send signals back and forth to the lock security system of your car. Thanks to this constant communication process, you always have access to your car. Without access to this system, car thieves have no way to get into to your vehicle.
While this shift in access technology have made cars harder to break into, purely remote keyless systems are notoriously harder to replace. Key fob replacement takes a lot more labor and time and are, understandably, more expensive than getting classic car key or transponder type units replaced.
Third, peek into your car and check if you simply dropped it inside the car. Don’t feel too bad, people lock themselves out of their vehicle all the time. Calling the right locksmith professional quickly takes care of this problem. Most of the time, these types of keys are classic car keys and a good locksmith can quickly open your door to retrieve them.

Finally, before you call a provider of car key replacement in Birmingham Alabama, make sure you get as much information about your car as possible. Be clear on its specific year, make, and model. The more details you have the easier it would be for a locksmith to get you out of your sticky situation. Please go through the steps above if you have lost car keys and call Around The Clock Locks today. You will quickly discover why were are the auto locksmith Birmingham car owners have trusted over the years to fix their lockout problems like clockwork!


We stand by our work. You can rest assured that we won’t take any shortcuts when replacing your lock. Our workmanship meets the highest quality standards. In fact, when you look at our replacement keys or keyless re-entry work, there’s nothing cheap or clunky about the results you get.