Key cutting and copying for French cars.

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Rockley Lock & Safe
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Key cutting and copying for French cars.

Post by Rockley Lock & Safe »

For pre 1995 cars there is no transponder at all, the key is copied as normal.
For post 1995 (UK spec) cars, transponders were introduced in an effort to combat theft, these used a 'fixed' code transponder.

These keys are prepared in two stages.
Firstly the key itself is cut, this is called the 'blade' and the key will now open the door(s) and turn the ignition but will not start the car as the immobiliser is looking for the transponder chip.
Secondly the transponder is copied, known as 'cloning', because these are simple transponders the car cannot tell the difference between the original transponder and the 'cloned' transponder, they are identical and an unlimited number of keys can be made for that vehicle.

As you can see, this has offered little extra security, in a continuing effort to improve security 'crypto' transponders were introduced, these are not a simple fixed code but a rolling code system or challenge and response. this makes the keys difficult to 'clone'
Over time locksmiths worked out how to clone these also, they used more complicated equipment and high tech keys but now a good specialist can 'clone' keys for at least 80% of French cars.

The confusion arises because the majority of high street key cutters are not specialists, they cut keys alongside another business, their advice is based upon their own knowledge which may not be up to date. When the local cobbler says "it can't be copied" they usually mean it cannot be copied by them rather than it cannot be 'copied' at all.


Most Citroen up to 2001 use an ID33 transponder chip, these are easily cloned by anyone advertising "Chipped" or "Transponder" key cutting.
Citroen from 2001 onwards use mostly ID46 chips (C1 uses ID60),until recently these could not be cloned, they can now be cloned by specialist key cutter or auto locksmiths, usually requiring access to the vehicle.
The Citroen Xantia and Jumper 1999+ use ID60 chips which cannot be 'cloned' yet.

Renault used similar chips at similar times, with the exception of the card system all Renaults can have 'cloned' keys

Peugeot used mostly ID11, ID13, ID33 up until 2001/2002 these can be copied easily, post 2002 some can be 'cloned'

Transpoders have 2 states, 'Virgin' never been used, 'Used' have been written to,

When you have a key cloned, they take a 'virgin' chip and copy your key data onto it, it is now a 'used' chip.

Modern keys use 'precoded' transponders, the key comes with a 'virgin' 'precoded' chip, some data is written to it at the factory, this basically identifies it to the cloning machine, when this is 'cloned' the data from the original key is written to the rest of the chip, it is now 'used'.

Sometimes the keys cannot be cloned, Citroen Xantia, Peugeot 607, Megane Cards etc.

These use 'precoded' keys that have to be programmed in using diagnostic equipment, other 'cloneable' keys can be done in the same way, but these keys have to be 'coded' as they cannot be 'cloned'
This has benefits in that keys cannot be copied whilst out of your possession and lost keys can be deactivated rendering them useless.

These keys use 'precoded' transponders, the transponder has the type of key 'precoded' at the factory, when these are 'coded' into the car, the car writes to the rest of the chip, it is now a unique key and also it is now 'used' it will never be able to be 'coded' to another car.

MikeT
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Post by MikeT »

Sorry but I've got a little lost in some of what you've advised so I have some questions for you, if you'd be so kind.

As I suspect, my 98 Xantia uses a passive RFID device - is this what you say is ID33? What I'd like confirmed is that I could take a/any key (with transponder) from someone elses Xantia (which has the same ID system) and programme it to my own car (using the dealer Lexia diagnostic machine) despite it being a "used" key as the transponder is already programmed/burned with it's own unique code?

I can see how cloning a pre-programmed key can work but what happens if a customer looses their one and only key? What would you do for them?

I would be grateful if you could explain the technicalities of the later ID43 and ID60 or link me to any whitepapers detailing how they work as this is what I'd really like to know. Are these the challenge & response, rolling code and crypto types you refer to?

Thanks for clearing up what is a "virgin" and what is a "used" transponder and how key cutting professionals regard them, I think this is what's given rise to the confusion on this site about using "used" keys and your answers to my above question should clear that up once and for all. 8-)

Your last paragraph has caused me confusion as I assume you're talking about a system other than mine (which I assume is ID33)? Can you please clarify which system it is that uses the car's ECU to write to the transponder? Again, whitepapers of said systems would be most helpful or links to any such explanations would be of great help though I'm sure google could conjure up a few gems here and there.

Rockley Lock & Safe
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Post by Rockley Lock & Safe »

MikeT wrote:Sorry but I've got a little lost in some of what you've advised so I have some questions for you, if you'd be so kind.

As I suspect, my 98 Xantia uses a passive RFID device - is this what you say is ID33?
It is ID 33 correct, and can be cloned easily onto a new key.
MikeT wrote:What I'd like confirmed is that I could take a/any key (with transponder) from someone elses Xantia (which has the same ID system) and programme it to my own car (using the dealer Lexia diagnostic machine) despite it being a "used" key as the transponder is already programmed/burned with it's own unique code?
I cannot understand why anyone would want to use used keys, a cloned transponder key is only around £15.

I genuinely haven't a clue if you can programme old keys with Lexia, give it a go and let us know the results.
MikeT wrote:I can see how cloning a pre-programmed key can work but what happens if a customer looses their one and only key? What would you do for them?
I would read the ECU and programme transponders to the ECU.

MikeT wrote: I would be grateful if you could explain the technicalities of the later ID43 and ID60 or link me to any whitepapers detailing how they work as this is what I'd really like to know. Are these the challenge & response, rolling code and crypto types you refer to?

Thanks for clearing up what is a "virgin" and what is a "used" transponder and how key cutting professionals regard them, I think this is what's given rise to the confusion on this site about using "used" keys and your answers to my above question should clear that up once and for all. 8-)

Your last paragraph has caused me confusion as I assume you're talking about a system other than mine (which I assume is ID33)? Can you please clarify which system it is that uses the car's ECU to write to the transponder? Again, whitepapers of said systems would be most helpful or links to any such explanations would be of great help though I'm sure google could conjure up a few gems here and there.
To clarify, I have never programmed a key to a car that was not either brand new, or a key originally to that car, i.e. when 1 key is lost you delete all of the keys from memory and re-add the existing keys and 1 new one.

With regards to the inner workings of later transponders, no white papers exist as far as I am aware and those of us who know how they work pay our mortgages with the information ( and spend over £40,000 on training and kit)

To be honest mate, most people are still struggling with how fixed code keys work, concentrate on learning the inner workings of a fixed code system first, there is plenty of info out there, then build on the knowledge with rolling codes, then pre coded transponders, then challenge response, then proximity based keys, then infra red keys, then remote start/stop as used on newer BMW and high end US cars.

At that point you will have no mates left and you will dream about ECUs, it really is a boring and infuriating subject.


I set out to give a basic guide to how to get replacement keys for your cars, this is based on my professional experience, I don't code in old keys and so I cannot explain how to do this.

I am not skillful enough a teacher to explain in basic terms how the rolling codes work, bearing in mind the code rolls across 3 keys, to those with no experience or prior knowledge.
It is like explaining how to recondition an engine to a man off the street who has only ever seen a spark plug.

If I was that good mate I would be running a training school in Spain ;) (There is a famous Auto Locksmith who trained almost everyone and runs a training school in Spain, bit of an in joke if you are a Locksmith, not funny to you guys I would imagine.)

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Speaking with my forum admin hat on Mr Rockley, I'm most appreciative of your most interesting and enlightening posts on this subject :D I think all of us with RFID transponders are a bit nervous about them and your posts have offered some reassurance that all is not lost even if the keys are!
Rockley Lock & Safe wrote:At that point you will have no mates left and you will dream about ECUs, it really is a boring and infuriating subject.
I know from the time I needed to learn exactly and in great depth how PKI encryption works. It gives me a clear insight into where you are with rolling codes!

Thanks again for taking the trouble to post in our forum and answer some tricky old questions in the process!

Rockley Lock & Safe
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Post by Rockley Lock & Safe »

My pleasure mate. I am happy to help out.

Warren.

MikeT
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Post by MikeT »

Hi Warren,
CitroJim wrote:Thanks again for taking the trouble to post in our forum and answer some tricky old questions in the process!
What he said ^^^

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Rockley Lock & Safe wrote:I genuinely haven't a clue if you can programme old keys with Lexia, give it a go and let us know the results.
Old keys can be programmed to S2 Xantia's using a Lexia, I've done it a few times on several Xantia's.

Paul-H
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Joined: 27 Jan 2011, 19:37

Post by Paul-H »

Hi

Just checking

I have a one working IR Remote key for a 1998 Renault Megane and one Dud IR Remote Key (The Remote is Dud) can the key be cloned to a new key with working Remote or does the cloning only copy the transponder part of the key and not the remote part.

Thanks

Paul

spandelly
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Re: Key cutting and copying for French cars.

Post by spandelly »

Just to add something to this If you have the renault immobiliser fault that is an intermittent immobiliser problem. You can get the code read and the chip cloned but it will not work unless you remove the old chip from the circuit board.

Northern_Mike

Re: Key cutting and copying for French cars.

Post by Northern_Mike »

How does my spare key for the Berlingo (2004 model) work then?

The remote control key has a transponder in it. It unlocks/locks the doors remotely, and also starts the car.

The spare key just looks like a standard, thin, old fashioned car key, which unlocks and starts the car, just like this..

http://tinyurl.com/cjhtqcr" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (ebay link of same key I have as a spare)

I guess it also has a transponder in it, though I'm damned if I can find where it fits in..

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spider
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Re: Key cutting and copying for French cars.

Post by spider »

Rattiva_Mike wrote:How does my spare key for the Berlingo (2004 model) work then?

The remote control key has a transponder in it. It unlocks/locks the doors remotely, and also starts the car.

The spare key just looks like a standard, thin, old fashioned car key, which unlocks and starts the car, just like this..

http://tinyurl.com/cjhtqcr" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (ebay link of same key I have as a spare)

I guess it also has a transponder in it, though I'm damned if I can find where it fits in..
The transponder chip is moulded inside the plastic on a 'fixed' head key. Peugeot are similar you can buy a manual 'head' although sealed bit of plastic it does contain a chip. You just simply cut / fit as needed a blade to it.