Non transponder car keys and your VIN. This will save you money!

Did you know that if your car uses a Standard key, (Meaning it does not use a computer chip (transponder) key or programming) then 1 Able Locksmith can save you a lot of money if you have lost your key here in Citrus County, FL. We get several calls a week from people who own vehicles that do not use the transponder system. Although we would love to have their business, we send them to the dealership. It is our policy to save our customers money and we will not charge them to make a key that they could get much cheaper elsewhere. Let me explain.

When a vehicle is manufactured, it is given a number. This number is known as a Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. The VIN is located on the drivers side dash and can be viewed from the outside of the vehicle through the front drivers windshield of the vehicle. It is also on your title and registration. The information that is contained within the VIN can be very valuable to the owner of the vehicle if they have lost their car keys because it contains the Key Code for their vehicle along with other important information concerning the vehicle. A dealership can type the VIN in their computer and give the owner ( free of charge)  this information, as it belongs to them as the owner of the vehicle. The dealership will ask for the registration and drivers license to determine ownership. Once ownership is established, the owner should request what is known as a Key Code. We suggest you write this code in your owners manual or keep it somewhere with the vehicles other important papers as this information can save the owner a lot of time and money should they lose the key to their vehicle. But wait, it gets better!

If a vehicle owner looses the key to their vehicle, the dealership can also cut a key on the spot for much cheaper than a local locksmith can as there is no service fee or time spent to determine the code or cuts of the key manually. What would otherwise cost the owner $125.00 and up from a local locksmith, the dealership will usually charge between $5.00- $12.00.

It’s one more way our customers save time and money!

We thought you’d like to know……

Stay safe Citrus County!


Find the year your vehicle was made by using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle manufactured is given a number that is specific to that vehicle. This number is called a Vehicle Identification Number or VIN and is found on your vehicle title, registration and also a small metal tag which can be viewed through the drivers side windshield on the dash. This number allows service technicians to find important information regarding your vehicle. The chart below shows how to determine the year the vehicle was manufactured.

The tenth letter or number in your VIN gives the year as follows:

1996=T      2007= 7

1997=V      2008=8

1998=W      2009=9

1999= X      2010= A

2000= Y      2011=B

2001= 1      2012= C

2002= 2      2013= D

2003= 3      2014= E

2004= 4      2015= F

2005= 5      2016= G

2006= 6      2017= H

We thought you’d like to know……

Stay safe Citrus County!


Lost car keys? What to know before they go!

Car key codes

Get your key codes from the dealership free!

We get a lot of calls from people who have lost their car keys and need to have a new key made. Some of our customers save money by using our service but many times we direct them to the local dealerships. Here’s why. If your vehicle uses a standard key, meaning there is no computer chip in it, then your vehicles VIN, when entered into the dealerships computer, will tell the dealer the cuts of the key. This information is free to the vehicle owner and the dealership can cut a key from the VIN much cheaper. You will need your vehicle registration and your ID to prove you own the vehicle when you go to the dealership, but this is a good way to save a lot of money. This works for older model cars that don’t use a transponder key and don’t require programming. If you are unsure what type of key your vehicle uses, you can check your vehicle’s year, make and model on our blog. Just click the page that pertains to your vehicle.

If your vehicle uses a transponder or high security key it will probably be cheaper to go with an automotive locksmith, as anyone making the key will need to be at the vehicle to program this type of key. This means an extra towing bill to get it to a dealership, but a good automotive locksmith can come to your vehicle and that saves you money. The dealership can still help save you money by providing the “Pin Code” and the “Key Code” from the VIN. We encourage you to obtain these codes and write them in your vehicles owners manual. This information is free from the dealership to the owner of the vehicle, but costs a locksmith a lot of money to obtain. Knowing your Codes will save you both time and money in the event you need to call a locksmith to make and program a new key.

We thought you’d like to know……
Stay safe Citrus County!

Is my Car involved in a recall?

So your car is acting up and your mechanic has just told you that the problem is a common one for that vehicle’s year and model. Now there is a quick simple way to check to see if your vehicle is involved in a recall.

The website is called and is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. The new website lets you search for recalls just by typing in your vehicle identification number or VIN. This number is found on your title or vehicle registration or is visible through the windshield of your vehicle on the drivers side dash.

We thought you’d like to know…..

Stay safe Citrus County!

Citrus County Sheriffs Office Takes a Bite out of Car Theft


Citrus County Sheriffs Office Takes a bite out of Car Thefts!

Citrus County Sheriffs Office Takes a bite out of Car Thefts!

divider for post pagesDid you know that the Citrus County Sheriffs Office has designed a program to help residents stop auto theft here in Citrus County? They call this program C.A.T (Combat Auto Theft). We here at 1 Able Locksmith go to great lengths to insure that the person who calls us out to make a car key is the rightful owner of the vehicle before we replace a lost or stolen key, so we applaud the sheriffs office for their efforts to keep your vehicle safe.

This anti-theft program was designed to recover stolen vehicles in
timely manner. For people who leave their vehicles parked outside at night, for those who travel frequently, or vehicles left in parking lots during late evening hours, this program is beneficial for you. If the vehicle is stolen or taken without your knowledge, the bright yellow decal allows law enforcement throughout the state of Florida, and some other states, to stop your vehicle if seen out between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. This allows the law enforcement officer to determine if the driver is authorized to have the vehicle.

The Sheriffs Office website has a form you can fill out to request a sticker that you place in the lower left corner of the rear window of your vehicle. This sticker tells Sheriffs Deputies that your vehicle is not normally driven between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00 am.

It is important to note here that if a law enforcement officer observes a person operating or occupying a vehicle with this sticker during these hours, they will reasonably suspect that such person is in possession of said vehicle without proper authorization. This knowledge permits the officer to stop the vehicle and conduct an investigation. In these instances, police action will include the necessary precautions generally taken to protect officers when approaching a potentially stolen vehicle. If you work the night shift or normally drive between the hours of 1:00-5:00 am, this program may not work well for you.

To register for this program you can download the form and take it to the Sheriffs Office along with your vehicle registration. You will then be given the decal for your vehicle. For more information or to download the form click on this link.

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 We thought You’d like to know….

Stay safe Citrus County!

Transponder Keys for Citrus county Florida



1 Able Locksmiths Transponder Key Programmer

Transponder Key Programming Equipment

A Transponder Key is a radio transmitted receiver used by car makers as an anti theft device for automobiles. The Car or Truck has an antenna ring, usually around the ignition area. The key blank contains a chip which when inserted into the ignition, allows the antenna ring to read the code embedded in the chip. The antenna ring puts out a signal when the key is inserted into the ignition lock, it looks for the companion key, and allows the vehicle to start. Only a key programmed to that particular vehicle will start the engine of that vehicle, thus making it less prone to theft. The transponder key is programmed into the car computer at the factory. If the vehicle’s computer does not receive the correct key identification response when the key is turned to the on position, the car will not start. If a key is lost or damaged for this type of vehicle, a new key can be produced by a locksmith who has the transponder programming equipment. In Citrus county Florida, 1 Able Locksmith has the training and equipment needed to produce transponder keys.

When buying a vehicle that uses a transponder key, it’s a good idea to have another programmed key made. Sometimes keys are lost or damaged, so having a second programmed transponder key is important. It is important to make sure the second key is programmed to your vehicle in order for it to be a working key.

The vehicle owner having a problem with his/her ignition or key should always contact a locksmith with automotive locksmith experience to resolve any problems. Once the antenna ring is damaged the price for repair can be very costly compared to the price of having a locksmith fix the original problem. I personally have seen many transponder key issues made worse by the vehicle owner trying to resolve the problem themselves and damaging the antenna ring around the ignition.

Many people call us when they have lost the keys to their vehicle. One of the first things we ask is if their vehicle takes a transponder key. Quite often people are unaware of which key their vehicle uses. One of the easiest ways to tell if your vehicle uses a transponder key is by the key itself. A transponder key has a large plastic black or grey head. This is the area on the top of the key that holds the chip. A non transponder key will not usually have this hard plastic head, instead it will be a flat silver or brass regular key. The Pictures below demonstrate the look of each key. Notice the difference on the tops of the keys?

Non Transponder key

Non Transponder Key Blanks


Transponder Key

Transponder Style Key Blank







We can also determine whether your vehicle is a transponder style system with our specialized software program. Sometimes a vehicle maker will use transponder or non transponder on the same model made in the same year. If you have one of those vehicles that could be either system we suggest calling the dealership with your vehicle registration number or VIN. The dealer can look up your exact vehicle information using the VIN.

If you live in Inverness, Hernando, Crystal River, Dunnellon, Lecanto, Beverly Hills, Floral City, Homosassa, Inglis or Yankeetown here in Citrus county Florida, we can save you money on all your transponder key programming needs.

We thought you’d like to know…

Stay safe Citrus county!

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