Long gone are the days when car keys were simple devices operating basic mechanical locks, or even earlier, the days when cars had no locks at all! In the modern hi-tech world, car keys have become ever more complex devices, no longer fundamentally mechanical, but now complex electronic items that connect, usually by radio-frequency transmission, to a vehicle’s electronic systems, thereby providing not only greatly enhanced security, but also the ability to control multiple systems. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers, Ford have often been at the forefront of developments like these.Visit the replacement car keys website for more information
To users, in many ways these are positive advances. Theft resistance has been massively improved, which in turn (though not all will believe this) has allowed insurance companies to set aside fewer funds for theft claims and keep insurance premium increases in check as a result. The convenience factor is also large. No more fiddling around with recalcitrant locks in the pouring rain. These days, one click of a button is usually all that is needed to unlock or lock all the doors and boot. Additional functionality means that other devices can be coupled, resulting in features such as windows and sunroofs that close automatically when you lock your car, or even soft tops that can open and close at the touch of a key.
But of course, with all advances come problems. In the time of purely mechanical locks, losing or breaking your car keys was a major problem and could be costly if locks needed to be replaced. However, it was not an overly complex matter. With fully electronic keys, the situation becomes far more complex and potentially disastrous. Modern remote key and lock systems rely on the electronic ‘conversation’ between the key (or remote unit) and the vehicle and for reasons of security this can often be a highly complex setup. In many cases the remote key sends a wireless code that is recognized by the vehicle, however, developments now mean that this may no longer be a simple single code, but a variable one according to an inbuilt algorithm, meaning that the code changes each time it is used.
Of course, this is all for the good, but it did mean that replacement Ford keys and remotes could not simply be bought ‘off the shelf’, as in the vast majority of cases, they simply would not work. For a while, this meant that losing a set of car keys was an extremely costly business, as not only did the keys and remotes have to be sourced (in itself, not a cheap matter), but all the remotes and the vehicle had to be completely re-programmed. This was often not something that could be done on-site, as it required substantial equipment, thereby involving the immobile and locked vehicle needing to be transported to a suitable garage.