Auto Locksmith Blog
Every Vauxhall car when purchased from new comes with a car pass. A car pass is a small card the size and shape of a credit card. One side of the card shows the car pass and the other side shows the key number, the security code and the radio code. This information is needed to make and programme new keys. If the car pass has been lost, in many cases our equipment can retrieve this information from the vehicle electrical unit (ECU). However this is not always possible. In this case the owner of the vehicle must apply to a Vauxhall main dealer to get the security information. As we are a bonafide auto locksmith company we were able to get the code on your behalf, however recently they have tightened security and now only the Vauxhall owner can obtain the code from them. They will provide the code within an hour or two though.
Renault Key Card
A key card is a rectangular flat plastic card – the size of a credit card. The key card stores information in the form of a transponder chip. The door mechanism reads the card and unlocks the door and will start the engine.
If you buy a key card from Renault main dealers it can take between 7-10 days on order.
A common problem with Renault Key Cards
A message will appear on the dashboard stating the card has not been detected. This means that the transponder chip has been detached by a fraction and cannot be seen by the human eye but it will no longer work and will need replacing
We always have key cards in stock and can be programmed onto your vehicle within the hour. We have the software to generate key codes for any Renault so there is no need to wait to get this code from the main dealer we provide this service free of charge. Renault main dealers charge approximately £25.00 and take up to 48 hours to produce the code.
There are some recommendations on the internet suggesting when the key does not work to place a knife or screwdriver down the side of the card whilst in the slot. This forces the chip to touch the circuit board. This does sometimes allow the car to start but is not recommended as obviously inserting metal tools into electrical equipment could be highly dangerous.
A bitting code is the actual cut of a key number
To find the actual key cuts to a vehicle our auto locksmiths use a laptop based programme called instacode.
The car locksmith will find the first 6 cuts from a vehicles door lock first and then use instacode to find the key code for the ignition.
For example if the key has 8 cuts there is probably going to be 6 in the door lock. We make a key for the door lock and with the code we have retrieved from the door lock for example 123123 we put this number into instacode and the software will calculate the key number required for the ignition key for example 12312314.
When a key number is obtained for a Ford main dealers for example F1234. This number is put into instacode which calculates the key 10 cuts ie 1234123444. This allows our locksmiths to cut the actual key.
Modern car keys
Car keys became more complicated in the mid-1990s with the compulsory introduction of passive electronic immobilisers, required to operate (arm/disarm) automatically i.e. without any additional action by the driver.
Now, some models feature ‘proximity’ or ‘smart’ keys, that work in the same passive way as a transponder immobiliser, but the transponder is ‘read’ when you are near or inside the vehicle.
Most car manufacturers achieved this by adding a coded electronic chip (transponder) to the key that could be interrogated automatically by a reader built into the ignition lock when the key was inserted. Others such as Rover opted for an immobiliser built into the central locking remote control system.
When the car key is turned in the ignition, the engine control unit (ECU) on the car sends an electronic message to the key, and it will allow the car to start only provided it receives the correct message back. So, even for a simple car key without any buttons, the key must be cut correctly to turn the locks, and also programmed correctly to disarm the immobiliser. Car keys with chips can be programmed using special equipment.