Friday, February 13, 2015

VATS System Decoding

VATS system key locksmith Portland
For the average locksmith technician, originating a new key for a vehicle should be a fairly simple task. Most of the time, it will depend on several reasons such as duplicating a key from the original or making one from scratch, anti-theft security systems and more. Before transponder type keys were new in the market, domestic company such as GM came up with their own version of incorporating an anti-theft security feature within their ignition keys which called VATS system. The VATS system was actually a chip built in the key blade which function similarly to a transponder key. Originating a key for a GM vehicle equipped with a VATS system required a locksmith technician to have a VATS decoder in order to make a key for the vehicle.

I remember many years ago when the VATS system was fairly new I got a call from a customer who wanted us to make a spare key for his 1990 Corvette. At that time most of us were using VATS system decoders which made the job a lot easier making a key for VATS system equipped vehicles. Figuring it should not take long since I had in stock VATS system key blanks and the decoder, I accepted the job, took the customer's information and was heading his way.

Once I got to the customer's address, I tool all the necessary information from him on the vehicle and the keys, so I could start doing the work. As I got my VATS system decoder out, I noticed that it wouldn't want turn on. I figured it was just a power issue, but even after trying to resolve it, I wasn't able to turn it on. Since I didn't know another way to decode VATS system values back then, I called another Portland locksmith technician friend of mine for advice.

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After getting my friend on the phone, he mentioned there was another way to decode these VATS system keys which involved using an  OHM meter. Luckily I had one with me. He mentioned that the way to check the VATS system values with the OHM meter was putting each probe on a different side of the VATS system chip on the key. However, that was not the end of it. Because the values given by the OHM meter did not actually reflected the VATS system values, my friend actually gave me a conversion chart to work with which would have given me the correct VATS system number based on the value I would get from the OHM meter. Once I completed the process on the customer's key, I able to quickly find the correct VATS system number, cut the new key and tested it successfully.

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