How to Reprogram a Car Chip

    ANCEL X7 car scanner effectly reprogram car chip

    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 vehicles.

    In some new models, you don’t even need the car key fob alone.

    Digital keys are the next big thing, allowing you to unlock the doors and start the engine via an app on your phone or watch.

    The great news for car owners is that electronic key fobs make your vehicle much harder to steal than in the past.

    However, they also introduce new components that can be pricey, especially if you need a dealer to program them.

    If you can handle the job yourself, you can save both time and money by skipping the dealership.

    ANCEL offers a variety of high-quality OBD2 scanner.

    process of programing car chip

    How Does A Chip Key Work For Cars

    A chip key, also known as a transponder key, is an essential component in modern car security systems.

    This key contains a small microchip embedded within the plastic head of the key. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the vehicle's Engine Control Unit sends a signal to the chip.

    If the microchip responds with the correct code, the ECU allows the engine to start.

    This process ensures that only the correctly programmed key can start the vehicle, thus preventing unauthorized access and reducing the risk of theft.

    The chip communicates with the vehicle's immobilizer system, which is an anti-theft feature that prevents the car from being hot-wired or started without the correct key.

    This technology adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly harder for thieves to bypass the vehicle's ignition system.

    Related Reading: How to program the car key?

    Can You Program A Chip Key Without The Original

    It is possible to program a chip key without having the original key, but the process can be more complex and may require additional tools.

    You need to acquire a new transponder key that matches your vehicle's specifications. Ensure the key is blank and unprogrammed.

    Using an OBD2 key programmer is essential for this task. Tools like the ANCEL X7 or ANCEL V6 Pro are highly recommended for key programming.

    The ANCEL X7 is a versatile tool but does not support the anti-theft locks of Ford, Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, and Lamborghini vehicles. For these brands, consider using the ANCEL V6 Pro.

    Connect the key programmer to your vehicle by plugging it into your car's OBD2 port, typically located under the dashboard.

    Each key programmer comes with specific instructions.

    Generally, you'll need to navigate through the menu options to find the key programming function.

    Follow the prompts to program the new key, a process that involves communicating with the vehicle's ECU to register the new key's chip.

    After programming, test the new key by inserting it into the ignition and attempting to start the vehicle. If the engine starts, the programming was successful.

    Car Scanner | ANCEL
    ANCEL X7 Full System Automotive Scanner Immobilizer Key Programming

    How To Tell If A Car Key Has A Chip

    Determining whether your car key has a chip involves several methods.

    These keys typically have a plastic head that is larger than standard keys, housing the chip, and often display visible seams or a slight bulge where the chip is located.

    If you have a key with a large plastic head, it is likely to contain a chip, while traditional metal keys without a plastic head are less likely to have a transponder chip.

    Another method is to test the key with the vehicle. Insert the key into the ignition and attempt to start the car.

    If the vehicle starts and runs without any issues, the key likely has a chip. If the vehicle does not start or if the security light on the dashboard flashes, the key might not be programmed correctly or might lack a chip.

    Consulting your vehicle's owner's manual can also provide clarity, as it often indicates whether the keys are transponder keys.

    Alternatively, contacting your vehicle's dealership with your car's make, model, and year can confirm this information.

    Using a key programmer like the ANCEL X7 or ANCEL V6 Pro is another effective way to check for a chip in the key.

    These tools can scan the key and provide information about its programming status.

    If your vehicle is equipped with an immobilizer system, it is highly likely that your key has a transponder chip, as the immobilizer system prevents the car from being started without the correct key. 

    The manufacturing year of your car can also be a clue.

    Cars manufactured after the mid-1990s often come with transponder keys as standard. If your car was produced after this period, it is more likely to have a chip key.

    If your key occasionally fails to start the car or if you need to wiggle the key to get it to work, these can be signs that the chip inside is damaged or not working correctly.


    Reprogramming a car chip key is a vital skill that can save you time and money, especially if you lose your original key.

    ANCEL car diagnostic tools not only assist with key programming but also provide extensive diagnostic functions to help you maintain your vehicle's health.

    Visit ANCEL's website to explore their full range of products and find the perfect diagnostic tool for your needs.

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