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August 03, 2020

How Auto Smart Keys Work?

Keys have been around for centuries but, in the digital era, they have upgraded into something innovative, convenient, and a little difficult to comprehend. The smart key does not connect you to the internet or play music. Instead, it allows you to interact with your vehicle remotely. What happens when it breaks, though? Is it safe? Can it be “hacked”? You would be forgiven for not having a complete understanding of how auto smart keys work. Lock Around the Clock is your local locksmith with 24-hour emergency services and we are always happy to help. This article will quickly summarize smart keys, their pros, and their cons. If you are having issues with your smart key, then feel free to call Lock Around the Clock to hire a qualified locksmith.

What Is A Smart Key?

The smart key is a fairly new invention, first developed by Siemens in 1995 and introduced by Mercedes-Benz. Now, almost every car manufacturer designs their vehicle to use a smart key. A smart key is a remote entry system that communicates with your vehicle from a distance. You are able to lock, unlock, and even start your vehicle remotely. This can be especially convenient when temperatures are extreme; allow your car to heat up during the winter or start the air conditioner in the heat of the summer.

How Does the Smart Key Communicate?

Just as a traditional key has teeth that match the grooves in the ignition, a smart key has a code that corresponds with that in the CPU of the vehicle. Using radio waves, the smart key and CPU communicate. The beauty of a smart key, however, is that it broadcasts a different encrypted “key” every time you use it. Obviously, using the same frequency signal would make it easier for tech savvy hackers to compromise your vehicle.

Drawbacks of Smart Keys

Smart keys are useful and convenient, but they are not without drawbacks. As an electronic device, it requires electricity to work. So, the battery will have to be changed periodically. It is also susceptible to damage and malfunction from the elements including water and impact. Therefore, you must be much more careful with a smart key than you are with a traditional key. They may also require reprogramming if the key and the CPU’s transponder misalign. Luckily, professional locksmiths like those at Lock Around the Clock can handle these issues quickly. Finally, there is the threat of hackers “stealing” your smart key’s signal. Granted, thieves can “hack” your traditional key as well.

Pros of Smart Keys

Remotely controlling your vehicle is a benefit in itself. As mentioned earlier, you are able to start the vehicle remotely when temperatures are extreme. Usually, you do not have to hold the key to enjoy the features. Most smart keys allow you to pull door handles or push-start your vehicle so long as the key is in your pocket or bag.
If you have any questions or concerns about your smart key, feel free to call Lock Around the Clock to speak with a friendly professional or hire a certified locksmith today. We are always ready to take your call.