Know your VW Transporter keys


The “Surf key”. This is simplest form of key and it allows you to enter the vehicle and turn on the ignition. It will not start the engine. Since there are no electronic parts it has gained the nickname of the “Surf” key as you can take it in the sea with no risk of water damage to any component.

The “Transponder Shell”. This might look identical to the plastic “surf key” but hidden inside the plastic part is the transponder chip which talks to the immobiliser unit of the vehicle. There is a coil of wire which acts as an antenna close to the ignition barrel and this antenna must be able to communicate with the chip before the engine is allowed to start, although it may still turn over.

The “Transponder” key

The “Remote key” contains a transponder chip but also a small circuit board which sends a signal to operate the central locking.

The “Remote” key

As you can see, there are a few different components to the “Remote” key. The rear of the key has a circuit board and under this (not shown) sits a battery. You can buy new reproduction remotes but they will usually require that you transfer this circuit board over into it. We are usually able to get new circuit boards.

The front half of the key contains the transponder chip, the flip mechanism and the key blade. This blade can be replaced by pressing out the tiny roll pin.

Your vehicle may have come with one or several of each type of key but if you need a spare of any type then we can make it.

Which Immobiliser does my Transporter have?

The type of immobiliser used in the VW Transporter determines how keys are made. Each immobiliser type uses a different microprocessor to store its information and so each is treated differently. Broadly speaking, the model years and immobilisers are as follows, but there is a slight crossover.

T4 up to 1999 – Immobiliser type 1

T4 between 1998 and 2000 – Immobiliser type 2

T4 between 1999 and 2004 – Immobiliser type 3

T5 between 2004 and 2009 – Immobiliser type 4

2010 to present – this is currently dealer only territory

Making keys

Would you like a key made? Our partner VDubkeys produce the cut key blank, usually from a good image supplied by the vehicle owner and we take care of the rest in-house.

Lost keys?

Even if you have lost your keys we can make the transponder to start the vehicle. Taking a good close-up image which is in focus and has no shadowing is a great insurance policy. Keep the image file in a secure place, however.