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Need to know if My Car Has a Transponder or Not

I have a question regarding the transponder chip in my keys. I am trying to figure out if I have one or not but I have not been able to come to a clear answer yet. Here is why

I recently purchased a used 2000 VW Passat. It only had 2 keys with it when I got it (one flip and one standard). I had locked my keys in the car and wanted a extra key. From some research I had done I found out that 2000 was the year that they started to put the chips in the US cars so my car may or may not have one.

Talking to some people I found out that if my car did have one when I started it a light on the dash of a car with a key would light for a couple seconds (which I confirmed in my owners manual). The light dose not light but it could be the bulb as my ?cruise control? light does not light when I activate the cruise as well. The cruise works just fine there is just no dash light lit up so I cant use the light to guarantee that the car has a transponder.

I went to 2 different key shops that are able to make the ?laser cut? keys for VWs . (as the only WV dealer is 75 miles to the south of me, and i would rather not go there … they don?t care much for poor college kids … lol… they deal mostly in high end cars BMW, Mercedes, etc… ) They fist checked the key in the ?transponder checker? and both times it indicated that there was no transponder present in the key. Unfortunately neither place was able to make the key because they did not have the right blank for the car.

I ended up going to the dealer and they barely gave me the time of day. I had them just make a key that would open the doors (with no transponder in it) the dealer told me that there was a transponder in my car (remember this is the year that some did and some didn?t). I went outside to make sure the key worked in my locks and decided to try starting the car with it as I was still a bit skeptical since everything else was telling me I didn?t have a chip. I started the car and it continued to run… I went back in to tell him that the key did open the door. I then asked him how long the car should run if my car does have the chip in the key (and you start it with one that doesn?t) He said ?you tried it in the ignition?? I said yes and that it ran until I shut off the car 1 min later. He said it should of shut off within 3 seconds. It didn?t. He said that I shouldn?t use that key because they car may eventually think I?m stealing it and quit working at all.

I would like to have a remote starter installed (as I live in northern North Dakota and it gets Very Cold) but to do so I need to figure out if the car had the stupid chip in the key … as well as I would like to get an extra key for the car (but don?t want to pay an arm and a leg for a new key)

Does anybody have a way to definite way for me to determine if I have the chip ? Do you think if I call numerous VW dealers they will be able to defiantly be able to tell me? I have a feeling that they used the blanks for a key that they planed to have the chip in but my car was just pre-chip? Ideas?? Suggestions???

Thanks in advance from A Cold North Dakotan

You didn’t have your original key in your pants pocket when you did your test, did you? They typically need to be very close to the ignition lock cylinder to work but I wouldn’t rule out one in your pocket. So make sure the OEM key is far enough away from your ignition and repeat your test. It will either work or not. This stuff about it “eventually thinking you stole the car” is nonsense.

If your car had a chip it would not start at all. Whoever told you it would start then shut down is incorrect. Your owner’s Manual should confirm this.
Your Owner’s Manual says if you had a chip the light would light…it does not.

You do not have a chip.

Happy motoring.

All you should have to do to find out is contact the manufacturer with your VIN handy. You can do it via the internet or through a dealer.

Passat Sedan: antitheft system instituted 2001 and up
Passsat Wagen: began using antitheft in 2003

Cars have had the Megamost Chip in the head of key far earlier. I do not have confirmation, but believe this was used by car to identify which driver, and thus the radio, seat position and other presets would be set up for that driver’s key wheninserted in ignition.

Chip detectors will all recognize a chip, whether the car has a system in place or not.

As far as I know, only VW/Audi/Porshe have had chips before actual systems.

Contrary to other postings, SOME cars will allow a nontransponder key to work for a set number of times, FOLLOWING the use of a valid transponder key.

This feature has caused issues when programming keys, and testing them to be sure they are programmed in!

So, as far as all my resouces indicate, you do NOT have an antitheft system.

One less idiot light to have repaired!

Jeff Rosen
City Lock
Boulder Colorado