They could only do GM, the old Hondas and the Mazda 626. All others required on-board programming. With the RW3, they could do the older versions of the Texas Instruments transponders, the H72PT’s, which was very popular. Then came the RW4 which could do the Jewel key.
Why is it called the Jewel key?
That’s the H84PT, the next generation of challenge codes. That’s the one with the single challenge code, the next generation, and that required two keys to make another one. That’s when the read machines became most useful; they could do about 185 different models. Shortly thereafter we were able to crack the Phillips. Other companies now have that technology but ours is a self contained unit, just plug it in and it’s ready to go. The competition all uses a central computer so they have to access that information through the Internet. It could get pretty crowded since they’re all using the same source. In my opinion ours is a better technology.
What about the folks with an RW2 or RW3; what should they do?
They can trade it in for an RW4 Plus, ten free key heads, an EKC1 assortment and an EKP2 assortment. Currently we have a great trade-in deal. If you have an RW4, it can be updated with a Plus Box that hooks right into the RW4. (This interview was conducted in October so current promotions could be different than what was discussed here)
Recently I was visiting with a successful long-time locksmith who still isn’t making high security keys for his customers. He sends them to the dealer because he thinks technology is changing so quickly that he’ll be sitting with equipment that’s become obsolete. Is this a legitimate concern?
With what we have now you can do almost every vehicle, as much as 95 percent of today’s vehicles. I think that’s a pretty good return on his investment. If we do manage to crack the other 5 percent, then we’ll be able to upload it into the existing machine.
What changes are in store for the next few years?
Ford has come out with what they call an 80 bit key and they’ll have a laser cut key and so will GM. To cut these keys you’ll need and 057HS. It’s a great machine at a very competitive price. It features 11,000 revolutions per minute.
Lots of people still have The Club machine. Can they use it to make the high security keys we’re talking about?
Yes they can. The only thing they may need would be two sets of adapters for the older Mercedes and BMW keys and VW 2 track keys. Once you cut one side, there’s too much taken off to be held properly to cut the other side because of how much of the blank is removed. If they have no laser key cutting machine, then I recommend the new 057. For the money, it’s the best value.
What important changes do you see in the future when it comes to automotive locksmithing?
I’m afraid we’ll be eliminating keys altogether but continue to use transponders. Fortunately every one of those has key override so inside each one of those is an actual key. We’ll be able to read the remotes with the diagnostic machines we have now so I’m not concerned that the locksmiths will be bypassed completely.
For more information on Kaba Ilco Corp. keys and key machines, contact your local locksmith distributor or visit www.kaba-ilco.com.