Nowadays, electronic car keys have become the norm, a massive shift from just a few decades ago when anyone with a little know-how could turn over the ignition on a car with some crossed wires and a screwdriver. These days, even with a precision cut key, most vehicles won’t start without the presence of the proper computer chip.
As a matter of fact, some cars no longer require you to insert the key at all. An electronic fob’s mere presence is enough to use a push-button ignition on many current vehicle models.
This is all great news for car owners, since it means your car, truck, or SUV is much more difficult to steal than in generations past. On the other hand, electronic keys introduce new components that can be expensive, even without paying a dealer to program them. If you can do the job yourself, you can save both time and money by not having to visit the dealership.
It goes without saying that different manufacturers have different processes. In light of this, If our guide doesn’t work for you, we advise you to consult your manual or call your local dealership for more information on how to program a car key chip for your particular vehicle.
This is a general guide on processes that should be effective on most American cars. Some manufacturers, like Mercedes, use proprietary technology that ensures that a dealership is the only entity that can create new keys, so keep this in mind when determining whether you can take on this task with your vehicle type.