Do you own a vehicle that was manufactured in the early 90s and prior? You may not be the only one with a key that works for your vehicle. Many older car models used keys that are now mostly out-dated. This means that another person may have a key that can unlock your doors and even start your engine. Scary, right?
Though relatively uncommon, you and another person who owns the same type of vehicle could be using interchangeable keys. Read on to find out.
Older car keys were manufactured in a combination series
You may be wondering how it's possible for another person's keys to unlock your car. Well, you can blame that on manufacturers and associated government laws. In the past, car keys were manufactured in a combination series. This means that one in every set number of keys were exactly the same key. Most vehicles had one in every 1000 to 5000 keys being the same.
In English, this means that there were only either 1000 or 5000 different combinations of keys in the market for a specific vehicle. If it happens that someone had the same type of vehicle as you, they had a 1 in 1000 (or 5000) chance of gaining entry into your vehicle.
How an auto locksmith can help
In light of this news, don't be too quick to sell your vintage beauty. There are several steps you can take to keep your vehicle more secure.
1. Have an auto locksmith install a transponder chip
Transponder chips act as a unique verifier code for your car keys. Many older keys didn't have an integrated transponder chip. The transponder works by sending a unique code to your engine when the correct key is inserted, thus preventing a foreign key from being used to unlock your engine. Without a transponder in place, different keys can be used to power up your vehicle.
You can arrange for a locksmith to install an aftermarket transponder in your engine so that other keys can't be used to access your vehicle.
2. Change your vehicle locks to an aftermarket type
To prevent unwanted persons from entering your vehicle to begin with, consider installing aftermarket car locks. These locks have many modern features (such as smart features), including keys that are made with much higher combination series.
3. Install a vehicle alarm
An alarm can also protect your vehicle from unwanted access. You have the freedom of setting unique triggers that initiate a loud or silent alarm to scare intruders away.
4. Don't leave valuables inside your vehicle
Finally, as a precaution, avoid leaving your valuables inside your vehicle. Thieves can still smash through windows or even attempt to hack your locks.
For more information, contact local locksmith services.