Four major multi-vehicle transponder programming devices are available to the North American market: the ASP MPV, the ASP T-Code, the Ilco SDD and the STRATTEC Code-Seeker. Each of these tools provides locksmiths with the ability to program transponder-equipped vehicles.
To provide information for our readership, we invited each of the companies to describe and discuss the functionality of their multi-vehicle transponder programming devices. It is for you, the reader, to determine which programmer is best suited to your needs. The tools will be introduced in alphabetical order by manufacturer.
AUTO SECURITY PRODUCTS' T-CODE AND MVP
Auto Security Products' T-Code and MVP programming tools can quickly make a profitable addition for every progressive locksmith. A T-Code or MVP will allow you to solve the automotive key making jobs you are now turning down.
Here is a breakdown of the vehicles that can be serviced with a T-Code or MVP tool. The standard T-Code-CP2 programs keys to:
- All transponder-equipped Ford, Chrysler (including remotes), Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Cadillac Catera (PIN read available as an option).
- All Audi/VW models that precede the introduction of C.A.N. (Controller Area Network) equipped vehicles.
- Toyota/Lexus-with remote head key programming (16 bit immobilizer equipped will require the use of a re-flashing device)
Also included in the standard kit are the ultimate cable (with cigarette lighter adapter power up) and a free upgrade for Audi and VW pin code extraction (available in Beta version only).
ASP also offers an extensive and versatile pack of options for locksmiths. Options include: Mazda C.A.N., Subaru, Mazda immobilizer conversion (for 626, Miata and MPV), Catera P.I.N. read, Kia (including P.I.N. read), Hyundai, Pontiac GTO (including P.I.N. read) and Ford Enhancement Pack (including cable and remote and keypad programming adapter). A combined T-Code / MVP manual by ASP provides an important base of data for servicing transponder-equipped vehicles.
Exclusive software is available for Central and South American locksmiths servicing transponder-equipped Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Hyundai vehicles plus a three-pin cable used on some "south of the border" Hondas.
For locksmiths who are either just developing their automotive lock business or who are trying to justify the cost of a machine, an MVP may be the tool of choice. The MVP is a less expensive and more flexible way to enter the transponder-equipped automotive locksmith market. The MVP can program the same vehicles as a T-Code. You can say yes to the dealerships, rental car business, repossession industry, auction yards, AAA, roadside assistance, forensic locksmithing and of course the individual private vehicle owners.
Did you know that you can keep your key programming prices competitive with the dealerships? In all cases, the dealerships require private vehicle owners to have their vehicles towed to the dealership for new key originations. You could save your customer both time and money while providing them with a more efficient service. Most car dealerships are able to program only the models they sell. With the MVP, you can service a wide range of vehicles.
The MVP system is a token-based way to program keys. If you program a Ford vehicle and go through its required 10-minute wait time, your MVP will use one digital token, even if you cycle in three keys. Each token is a way to measure how many programming uses you have left on your MVP. For example, with our GM software release (available during the last quarter of this year), you simply plug the MVP into your computer and download the new software at your convenience. Downloaded software allows you to program keys and remotes to those vehicles at no additional cost (with the rare exception of possible hardware requirements).
Everyone always asks when new software will be available. At the time of printing we will have GM key programming packages that complete the programming procedure within 12 minutes with no pin codes required plus C.A.N. upgrades as well. We also have Dodge Sprinter, Isuzu, Chrysler Response code conversion, Mitsubishi C.A.N. (see the 2006 Eclipse if you have any doubts) and the new "Tech Package" which will allow T-Code/MVP customers to program keyless ignitions with integrated remotes (sometimes referred to as "Proximity Fobs"). The Tech Package will allow the automotive locksmith to service such vehicles as 2005 Corvette, Lexus LS/GS, Acura RL, Infiniti FX, G35 and Nissan Murano. Watch for upcoming articles regarding our new GM and Tech Package.
Technical support is provided for owners of the ASP MVP or ASP T-Code machines. For more information contact your local locksmith distributor or: Auto Security Products at 425-556-1900.
-- Brad Kenning - Sales & Marketing Manager @ Auto Security Products
For the past 10 years, auto manufacturers have been using computer technology to enhance the traditional mechanical locks on their vehicles. For the past six years. most cars have been built with this technology. Just as locksmiths acquired the tools and skills needed to make keys to traditional mechanical auto locks, they now need to learn new skills and acquire new tools for this newest generation of automotive security.
The service department of any Ford dealership uses an NGS to program new keys. A Chrysler dealer has a DRBIII or a StarSCAN unit to accomplish the same thing. Honda and Acura dealers use the PGM, while Mitsubishi dealers have the MUTT II. Nissan and Infiniti dealers keep their Consult II handy for the same purposes. Every auto manufacturer provides a diagnostic device to their dealer network that is designed to service only their make of vehicles.
While a Ford dealer has no reason to invest in a Consult II and a Dodge dealer wouldn't spend the money to have an NGS sitting around, most automotive locksmiths don't specialize in just one brand of vehicle. The investment required to obtain all of these specialized diagnostic devices amounts to many tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the bulk of keeping seven or eight different devices in the service van, all of them with updated software and their various attachments and programming methods. It would be like having one key machine that only cuts Schlage keys, another for Kwikset, a third for Corbin-Russwin, etc.
Enter the SDD from Ilco. It is a universal diagnostic tool that contains programs for the security systems in a wide variety of vehicle makes and models, allowing the locksmith to program keys for vehicles made by Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and more. New capabilities are added as needed since the SDD is a program-based tool. As vehicle manufacturers introduce new vehicles with new transponder systems, those capabilities are added to the SDD.
The SDD talks directly to the security program in the vehicle's computer. In most vehicles it can read the number of keys currently in the vehicle's computer, erase or add new keys. Since it is in communications with the vehicle's security computer, there is no need for existing keys as needed with many of the on-board programming procedures.
The vehicle manufacturers have chosen two methods of protection against car thieves. Either there is a time delay while programming new keys into a vehicle, such as with Fords, or you need to know a PIN (Personal Identification Number), which is required by Chrysler vehicles, Mitsubishi, VW and others. If there is a time delay, the SDD will automatically begin a countdown. If a PIN code is required, the SDD will ask the operator to enter it at the appropriate time. For some systems, such as for Acura and Honda, the SDD automatically bypasses the PIN code, so one does not need to be entered.
Auto manufacturers are moving toward standardizing the computer port that diagnostic devices are plugged into to access the vehicle's computer systems. By the model year 2008 they should all be using the same OBDII port. This means locksmiths will need only one cable for all types of cars. Unfortunately they did not start out that way. The SDD comes with several adaptors and different cables to allow you to plug into the variety of computer sockets different manufacturers are using now or have used in the past.
Additional programs in the SDD allow programming of many GM, Chrysler and Toyota/Lexus remote control fobs into the vehicle's computers, convert seven-pin Volkswagen PIN codes into four-digit ones, and identify the location of vehicle data ports both with text descriptions and graphic displays.
Technical support is provided for owners of the Ilco SDD machine. For more information contact, Kaba-Ilco Corporation, telephone: 252-446-3321. Website: Kaba-Ilco.com. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Mike Kirkpatrick, Kaba Ilco director of technical services
With the CODE-SEEKER™ diagnostic tool from STRATTEC, you can add, erase and program transponder keys, determine how many keys are programmed to the vehicle, program Remote Key Entry (RKE) fobs and even obtain immobilizer codes for certain models.
Pre-loaded vehicle programs include:
- Audi A6 '00-'04, A8 '01-'02, A4 '02-'04;
- Cadillac Catera '97-'01;
- Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth '98-'04;
- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep CAN systems '05 (Selected models);
- Ford PATS '96-'05;
- Ford CAN systems '04-'05 (Selected models);
- Honda/Acura 123 Systems;
- Honda Accord, TL & TSX CAN systems '03-'04;
- Mitsubishi '00-'05;
- Nissan & Infiniti '97-'05;
- Toyota & Lexus '01-'05;
- VW Beetle, Golf, Jetta & Passat '00-'05.
In addition, the following CODE-SEEKER updates are now available: Cadillac Catera PIN, Subaru USA, Mazda 3 & 6 CAN, Kia and Hyundai USA plus Kia and Hyundai PIN code converter. Visit the website www.strattec.com for a complete list of vehicle coverage.
Get started now in the transponder business. With a fully upgradable and expandable database, CODE-SEEKER easily accommodates new vehicle systems as they become available. Subscribe to annual CODE-SEEKER updates and Strattec will give you a $1 credit for every STRATTEC transponder key you purchase through an authorized STRATTEC distributor. As a result, you can effectively receive your updates free of charge.
CODE-SEEKER connects quickly. An Instant Port Identifier guide in the CODE-SEEKER manual lets you quickly identify and connect to the OBDII or similar port in any vehicle. All you need is packed in one tough case. CODE-SEEKER comes complete with all of the necessary cables, connectors and adapters.
STRATTEC offers locksmiths unmatched expertise, outstanding support and the backing of an industry leader in automotive lock technology. We offer accurate, reliable customer service and support 24/7 via our toll-free tech line. Contact CODE-SEEKER sales for more information at: 877-251-8798.
-- Fred Kosloske, STRATTEC