Does This Vehicle Have A Transponder?

Sooner or later you will run into a vehicle that either has a transponder system that you didn’t expect or doesn’t have one when you thought it would. The best way of keeping those surprises to a minimum is to pay attention to the details, use...


How can you tell if a vehicle is equipped with a working transponder system? The easiest way is to try to start it with a non-transponder key and see what happens. Unfortunately, what will often happen is that the transponder system will see this as a theft attempt, throw a theft code into the...


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The early system used by Honda and Acura is similar to the Toyota system in that no programming is possible without a special key. In this case though, the special key is a red key that was packed in the glove box along with the owner’s manual. If this key is missing, or if the owner has tried to start the car with the key, the immobilizer module will have to be replaced or re-flashed. In most cases, replacing the immobilizer module is the most cost effective option, because of the relatively low cost of the module. Only the following vehicles were equipped with this system:

  • Acura NSX 1997 – 2005
  • Acura RL 1996 – 2004
  • Honda Prelude 1997 – 2002

The bottom line is that sooner or later you will run into a vehicle that either has a transponder system that you didn’t expect or doesn’t have one when you thought it would. The best way of keeping those surprises to a minimum is to pay very close attention to the details, use the resources at your disposal, and to learn as much about these systems as you can.

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