Throughout the years, the automobile has evolved drastically—but so have the mechanisms used to start and unlock them. Using a car key is a necessary part of driving your car, but we often don't really stop to think about them and how they're engineered. Nowadays, keys are smart keys which makes it more difficult to steal a car. 

Learn about the evolution of the car key and how we can help replace most types and makes of car keys in Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Brandon, and other Tampa Bay areas.


First Car Keys Were Invented in the Early 20th Century

Believe it or not, the first cars actually didn't have keys. They were turned on through a complex set of maneuvers and only certain people really understood the process. In 1910, the first car key was used, but it was only used to lock the ignition. Starting a car still required a driver to crank up the engine. It wasn't until the late 1940s that Chrysler debuted a key that used an ignition tumbler to start a car. 

To open a car door early on, car locks were designed as cylinder locks, similar to the same locks used on home doors. These locks were all mechanical with no electronic aspects, such as pin tumblers and wafer tumblers. It was easy for manufacturers to create keys with these kinds of locks, but it was also easy for car thieves to pick the lock and break into the car.


Creating Different Key Systems to Combat Car Thieves

Keyless smart keys from various car manufacturers.

In the mid-to-late 1990s, automobile manufacturers began using central locking systems, which negated the need to walk around the car and lock every single door. Also during this time, cars began using transponder keys, which contain a chip in the key fob that talks to the automobile's computer so the ignition will start. This strategy helped to combat car thievery, as the thieves needed the keys to take the car.

As technology continued to progress, transponder keys then became remote keys, which have buttons on them such as lock, unlock, open trunk, and a car alarm. This allowed vehicle owners to unlock their car from a distance and also turn on the alarm in the event something happened and they needed to alert bystanders. 

The newest type of key, a smart key, doesn't even have to go into a car's ignition to turn it on. Many cars today now simply require the key to be nearby and can start with the simple push of a button. A smart key can also unlock a car without having to use door locks. 

At Cheap Lock & Key, we have the tools and expertise needed to replace these different car key systems, including smart keys.


If you're in need of key replacement services, the pros at Cheap Lock & Key are just a phone call away!

At Cheap Lock & Key, we have years of experience working as auto locksmiths. Our team is experienced and knowledgeable, and can quickly come to your location to help you replace your car key if you've lost it or are locked out of your car. To get in touch with our professional mobile locksmiths for our key replacement services, give us a call today at (813) 545-5462 if you're in Tampa Bay areas such as Tampa, Wesley Chapel, and Brandon.