Choosing the Right Locks for Your Home
Choosing the Right Locks for Your Home
January 30, 2023

Types of Car Keys. How Do They Differ?

It is common for auto owners to get locked out of their cars due to broken, lost, stolen, or damaged keys. In addition, keys can get jammed in ignitions and be impossible to remove.

In these situations, use the services of a professional automotive locksmith if you need a replacement car key or to retrieve the one in the ignition. It is very common for locksmiths to deal with all types of car key problems.

Today, modern vehicles come with keys with embedded chips and transponders that are incredibly challenging to duplicate. However, a qualified locksmith can handle the task at hand with ease.

The purpose of this article is to take a look at the various car keys available on the market today.

Car Key Types – The Most Common

  • Mechanical Car key
  • Key fob
  • Remote car key
  • Transponder car key
  • Smart Car Key
  • Valet car key


There are pros and cons to each of them. Let’s examine each type of car key and their features.

Mechanical Car Key

Car keys of this type are the most common. One side contains ridges and cuts that are mechanically cut. It can only be inserted from one side into the ignition with this element. Machines designed for cutting metal can be used to make this type of key.
The majority of these keys are used in older cars. Unlike electronic keys, mechanical keys don’t need reprogramming, battery changes, or any other maintenance. A new mechanical key won’t cost you much either. However, it offers less security than modern keys.

Key fob

Your car can be started and opened from a remote location with a key fob.  When you use a key fob, you have a special receiver in your car and a transmitter in your key. A coded signal is sent from the key every time the button is pressed, which closes or opens the door. Due to its technical sophistication, it requires care. Avoid moisture, extreme temperatures, and direct sunlight. In addition, these keys require batteries, so they need to be changed periodically.

Remote Key

In addition to unlocking and locking your car with a remote key, you can actually open the door using the actual remote key. In other words, a remote key also includes an actual key. Apart from that one difference, keyfobs and remote keys are similar. Your remote key should also be protected from moisture and heat.

Transponder Car Key

In this type of car key, a microchip is embedded in the key handle. Key fraud can be prevented by this microchip. It also serves as a security feature for the ignition. Duplicating such a key without specialized equipment is extremely challenging. A locksmith with expertise in transponder key systems can, however, duplicate such keys quickly.

Transponder keys look like regular mechanical keys, but they are highly sophisticated devices. A coded signal is sent every time the key is inserted, and the car will start. Additionally, there is a version of this key that is even more innovative. When you use a rolling key, a new signal is sent every time, thereby increasing security.

Smart Car Key

Car keys like this are a relatively recent development and are not widely used. As the key can be operated digitally from a safe distance, it is called a smart key. It allows doors to be opened and closed remotely. In some cases, these keys can also be used to remotely start the car.

Valet Car Key

These keys are specifically designed for valets, as their name suggests. While keeping the main key on hand, the owner can give the key to a valet to park and retrieve the car. It is modified to only operate the ignition and door locks. When this key is used, the trunk and glove box cannot easily be opened. Car keys such as these are typically issued along with transponders or smart keys.

Basically, it’s a spare key that you can use to park your car.

You can trust Artemis Locksmith for all your car key needs

There is no need to worry if you lose or break your car key. A viable option is to contact Artemis Locksmith.

The process of getting to your car dealer can be quite tedious. In addition to having to wait for a long time, you will be required to pay a lot of money for a new key. Rather than paying those costs, hire a locksmith. When you lose or break your car key, you should turn to an experienced and skilled automotive locksmith in Los Angeles.

If the key was damaged, or if it was stolen, you will need a fast and efficient automotive locksmith service.

The Artemis Locksmith team is available 24/7, for all your home and mobile car locksmith needs, including mechanical auto keys, key fobs, remote key fobs, transponder keys, smart keys, and even valet keys. For more information about how to get a replacement key or having a car key reprogrammed, call 310-699-3733.