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Getting asked for car keys? Your questions answered….


Cutting the key…

  • I just cut Yale and mortice keys – what other key cutting machinery do I need?

There are 3 different types of vehicle key – Standard (cut like a Yale), Tibbe (Ford) and Laser (milled). If you already have a cylinder machine ideally with 4 jaws then all you will need is a Tibbe machine and a laser machine. Some laser machines can cut Tibbe keys using an adaptor to further reduce costs.

Copying on a manual key cutting machine

  • What about an electronic key cutting machine that does all types of car key?

Not essential for copying from a customer’s original key. The main advantage of an electronic machine is the ability to cut a key from key number or lock where the original key has been lost. That said, certain electronic machines (such as the Silca Futura) are able to cut domestic/household keys to copy or code number – this include cabinet and locker keys, Dimple cut (Magnum etc) and Tubular keys.

Copying or cutting to key number on an electronic key cutting machine

  • How do I know which key blank to use?

Car keys are actually much easier to find than a cylinder key! That is because everything is referenced by the make, model and year of the vehicle. As long as you have an up to date supplier’s catalogue (or our exclusive NW Keys Transponder Manual) then all the vehicles that you are able to cut and clone keys for, will be listed. Add a key board system where all the keys are displayed by make of vehicle and you’ll never have a problem!

  • How do I know which key blank to use?

Car keys are actually much easier to find than a cylinder key! That is because everything is referenced by the make, model and year of the vehicle. As long as you have an up to date supplier’s catalogue (or our exclusive NW Keys Transponder Manual) then all the vehicles that you are able to cut and clone keys for, will be listed. Add a key board system where all the keys are displayed by make of vehicle and you’ll never have a problem!

Cloning the chip…

  • How do I know if I can clone the customer’s key?

The transponder cloning device will identify the chip type, verify if it can be cloned or not and finally tell you what chip or key head to use.

  • There are so many cloning devices on the market – how do I know which one to buy?

Although there are a few exceptions (such as early VAG on the Keyline 884/Mini and Mazda 8C on some of the ‘Supercloners’) - All cloning devices are capable of cloning the same ‘common’ types of chips. These include fixed code (generally vehicles from the 1990’s), Texas and Texas Crypto (Ford, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault, Toyota etc) and Philips Crypto (Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Honda, Kia, Land Rover, Nissan, Suzuki, Vauxhall etc).

The main difference is what they clone onto:- Keyline use electronic key heads and a range of horseshoe blades to slot on. Silca use GTI glass chips and Jma use TPX glass chips both of which drop into an empty case or even (for Ford) an original central locking remote!

Keyline Electronic Head

Silca GTI Glass Chip

JMA TPX5 Glass Chip

  • How do I clone a Key?

Most will clone by dropping original key into the cloner’s receiver slot, reading the key and then writing to the chip/key head when prompted. The exception to this is the Philips Crypto 46 chipped keys: - they require communication with the vehicle which is nothing more than turning the key in the ignition (generally three times). With that in mind it is advisable to have a situation where the customer can park their vehicle in the vicinity of your shop. The process is very quick and easy!

  • What if the customer’s car won’t start with the original key after I have cloned it?

This rarely happens but some vehicles can go into a panic on Philips Crypto cloning if they don’t see the original key. This could be where an electronic key head is turned in the ignition (without following the correct procedure) or an unsuccessfully cloned key is tried! The solution for this is to disconnect the battery to ‘reboot’ the vehicles computer systems. Technically you cannot ‘kill’ a car by cloning a key as you are not plugging into the vehicle ECU or making any changes to the vehicle security – all you are doing is cloning the Transponder data from the original key (much like you copy the cuts on your key cutting machine)!

  • What is the alarm won’t switch off with the new key?

The best way to avoid this is by asking the customer to try their own key without pressing the buttons on the remote before you attempt any cutting or cloning (manually unlocking the door and starting the engine). If the customers own key is able to do this without using the remote control part then your new chipped key will work fine!

  • The customer wants a remote control key – what can I do?

You will need diagnostic key programming equipment if you want to offer a comprehensive remote key programming service. There are limited options using your cloning device (if you are reluctant to plug into the vehicle). The most common is the Ford 3 button remote (using a horseshoe blade) – a glass chip can be cloned and swapped for the original chip in the remote, the buttons are then programmed manually into the vehicle. Keyline make their own aftermarket remote to do the same application using the electronic key heads.

For a friendly, professional and un-biased chat (with no hard sell) regarding setting up to clone and cut vehicle keys please contact Nicky at NW Keys Ltd – 0151 944 1187 or nicky@nwkeys.co.uk


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