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Old 04-13-2013, 06:04 PM
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What kind of key do I have?

New guy here with a new to me Jeep, '99 grand cherokee. Starting with the basics, I bought the car with only one key. How do I know if I have a transponder key or a regular key. The manual says if I use a regular key in a transponder equipped car, it will immobilize the engine so I don't want to try it without knowing.
Thanks for any info.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:37 PM
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Re: What kind of key do I have?

Welcome to the garage.
When you use a normal key in a jeep which needs a transponder key, the engine will start and shut off after 3 seconds. As far as i know you could start the engine again thereafter with the transponder key.
But you can check the pressence of the SKIS system (Sentry Key Immobilizer System) by just looking at the instrument panel if you see the SKIS lamp lighting up when you switch the ignition in on. It should come on for 3 seconds and then go off. (see item 12 on attached picture). On jeeps without the SKIS system, the SKIS light is electronically disabled.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SKIS indicator.pdf (116.0 KB, 15 views)
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:46 PM
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Re: What kind of key do I have?

Thanks much for the info...I have the transponder system, now to get another key or two! It's only money.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:29 AM
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Re: What kind of key do I have?

Your '99 should use just a regular key. You can tell the difference by the shape and color of the key. The regular key is black and kind of trapezoid shaped and the transponder key is grey and oval shaped. Our old '99 Laredo just had the regular key. The skim light is still in the cluster no matter which system you have.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:41 AM
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Re: What kind of key do I have?

If you have only one key, you will have to take the jeep to the stealer or a locksmit who has the proper programming tool, to program the jeeps SKIM (Sentry Key Immobilizer Module) to the key. Once a key has been programmed to a vehicle, it can never be programmed to any other vehicle anymore.
Once you have two programmed keys, you can program yourself more keys up until 8 i believe.
If you also have to buy an extra remote, it also has to be programmed.
Have a look at e-bay for the key(s) and remote, they are a lot cheaper then the stealer.
And regarding the SKIS light in the instrument cluster, the light itself is always there, it only should be disabled when no SKIS is installed.
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