Nottingham Car Keys
Nottingham Car Keys

Car Key Cloning

Posted on: October 1st, 2021 by Martin Pink

Car Key Cloning has become far more popular over the years , due to it being a cheap spare key , however its not always the best option and has its pitfalls.

The reason so many fall foul of the long term issues a clone key can cause them , is down to customers not understanding what a clone key actually is .

car key cloning


A clone key is a copy of an existing key , first a reading of your existing keys data , then the keys data written to a special clonning chip , the clonning chip now has the same data as the original key and can now start your car.

Your cars immobiliser system has no idea at all that the new key exists , as it has the same data as your original key , thus each time the new clone key turns on the ignition , the car thinks its the original key , as has the same data.

you as the customer are happy , the key works and was far cheaper than a proper key.

We are not saying that a clone is a bad thing , its a perfectly usable spare key and it is cheap , however there are pitfalls you need to be aware of that most suppliers of clone keys will not tell you about , they just want to sell you a key , as a company we will happily supply you with a cheap clone key , however with one difference , we will make you aware of the potential pitfalls of your choice and advise a properly programmed key as a better option.

So i hear you ask , as the key works and was far cheaper than a proper key , why would you say there are pitfalls with car key cloning ?


The best way i can catagorise a clone key is , A clone is a temporary key , a cheap emergency key for now only , they are cheap but they do have some potential issues .

  • your clone key can only work whilst its host key ( in this case your original key) is programmed to the system as the system thinks the clone key is your original as has same data.
  • A clone key can never be programmed back to your cars system via the obd port

Why is this an issue ? let me explain ;

take the scenario that your original key is a remote key and has been lost , you now want to get a new proper remote key programmed and you are using your clone key for time being until you get a new remote and its working fine.

When a new intergrated remote key is programmed to the vehicle , all previous keys are deleted from the system for security purposes, so as your clone key only has a clonning chip in it , this chip type will not program back to the car , as its host key has now been deleted the clone key will no longer start your car , thus why i state its a temporary key.

Another common scenario is when a new car is purchased on finance , you will normally recieve 2 new keys with the vehicle , but unknown to you some finance companies keep a clone key as a repo key in case payments are missed. now lots of people when they buy a new car call out a locksmith to recode the system to be rid of any 3rd keys , but this wont stop the clone repo key from working because its host key has been programmed back into the car .

a properly programmed key with a reprogrammable chip is not much dearer than a clone key , and can be recoded as many times as it needs to be , so is a permenent key , the slightly cheaper clone key is a temporary key that can only continue working whilst its host key remains programmed to the system , so the slight saving is more often than not a false economy.

a clone key needs replacing when new keys are coded to the vehicle if its host key is no longer available , a properly coded key does not as can be recoded infinite times , so one is a permenent key but the other a temporary key only.

a clone key is not so much of a bargain if 6 months later you lose the host key or it fails , as the clone key ends up in the bin , so car key cloning is not always the best option nor does it always work out to be the cheapest solution long term.

our advice is to always opt for a properly programmed key .

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