The transponder based anti-theft (engine immobilizer) system was introduced into the North American market for the 1996 model year. Today in 2012, two manufacturers supply the majority of transponder technology for the North American market: Texas Instruments and Phillips. Texas Instruments fixed...
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The transponder based anti-theft (engine immobilizer) system was introduced into the North American market for the 1996 model year. Today in 2012, two manufacturers supply the majority of transponder technology for the North American market: Texas Instruments and Phillips. Texas Instruments fixed and encrypted transponders are used by Ford products, Toyota, Chrysler products and other vehicle manufacturers. The Philips Crypto second-generation encrypted transponder was introduced to North America with the 2003 Honda Accord and has expanded to General Motors products, Chrysler products, Nissan and Infiniti, and other vehicle manufacturers. In addition to Philips and Texas Instruments, North American vehicle manufacturers have used Megamos, Motorola, Temic and others.
With the transponder choices, vehicle manufacturers can change technology as often as they want. There is no requirement for a particular vehicle to have only one transponder make and model for more than a model year.
To illustrate the evolution of transponder technology, we have created a timeline of three vehicle models, a Chrysler, General Motors and Ford. Each vehicle was chosen for the range of transponders implemented over the years. They are good examples of why locksmith who service vehicles must have an understanding of transponder technology.
Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced for the 1992 model year and is still in production. The Grand Cherokee started with a non-transponder key, then used the Texas Instruments Encrypted transponder, Philips Crypto 2nd Generation transponder, began using a remote head key, onto the FOBIK and the FOBIK with passive start/push button start models. The Ford Escape was introduced for the 2001 model year with the Motorola transponder, onto the Texas Instruments Encrypted 40 Bit transponder, to the IKT, then the IKT 80 Bit, then the high security key blade and finally the PEPS (Passive Entry Passive Start) key fob. The Cadillac CTS began with the PK3+ transponder, went to the circle + and finally the Prox Fob/push button start models.
To follow each manufacturer vehicle, we are using only factory logo key blank numbers in all but two applications where they are no longer available from STRATTEC. The two exceptions are the 2001-2004 Ford Escape key that uses the transponder chip (SFI) and the 75 groove Ford key blade. The key blank is no longer available through distribution with the Ford logo. The second exception is the 1992 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This Grand Cherokee uses a non-transponder 84 groove key blank that is not available with the logo from STRATTEC. However, the key blank is available from HATA. The remaining key blanks are the vehicle manufacturer logo key blanks. See Chart 1, Three Timelines, page 58.
There are a number of remote head key choices for the Ford Escape and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The number and functions of the buttons determines the remote head, FOBIK and IKT key blank part number. In order to simplify the chart, I decided to include just one part number per the operational years. The key blank part numbers I chose for the different models and years were arbitrary. When ordering a remote head, IKT or FOBIK key, make sure the part number matches the model, year and functionalities of the vehicle.
At this time, there are no remote head, IKT remote head or FOBIK remote head key blanks/fobs available with clonable transponder chips.
To simplify matters, I will group transponders, circuit board keys and electronic keys as providing very similar functionality. They all “transmit and respond.” For the purpose of this article, there are two types of transponders: those with a value that cannot be modified and those whose value can be modified.
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury have introduced their 80 bit transponder technology for a number of their 2011 model vehicles. The 80 bit technology expands the operational capabilities while increasing the...
Transponder programming for late model vehicles is not always easy. Programming information has usually not been made available on some of the newer models. This problem is not specific to...