How to Program Car Keys

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Electronic keys were first introduced in the 1990s as an extra means of convenience and security for vehicles. Also known as chip keys and transponder keys, these must be programmed to an individual vehicle before they can be used to start the car's ignition. Only the transponder key will activate your car, and the key can only be programmed from the car itself. You can program a key in about 30 minutes.

How to Program Car Keys
(Stephen Walter/Demand Media)
Step 1

Enter your vehicle with the key you want to program and insert the key into the ignition.

Stephen Walter/Demand Media
Step 2

Turn the key to the "On" position and leave it there for 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Stephen Walter/Demand Media
Step 3

Turn the key to the "Off" position within 45 seconds of finishing step 2, and then turn it back to the "On" position for another 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Stephen Walter/Demand Media
Step 4

Turn the key "Off" again within 45 seconds, and then "On" again for another 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Stephen Walter/Demand Media
Step 5

Turn the key "Off" and then back "On." The programming should be completed and the key ready to use.

Stephen Walter/Demand Media

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