Transponder Key Overboard: What To Do When You Drop Your Keys In The Loo!

Back pockets are a safe place to put your car keys right? Until you forget they are there and they end up dropping into the toilet! In the good old days this wouldn't matter because a car key was just a piece of metal that could be wiped dry and put straight back into the pocket. But today's car keys are called transponder keys, and they have little computer chips in them that just don't like floating in water. So what do you do when you drop your keys in the loo?

Do Try The Rice Bag Trick

Transponder keys have a black casing around the top of the key. This casing keeps small amounts of water out such as rain drops, but it does not make your key waterproof. One thing you can try if your key is soaking wet is the rice bag technique.

  1. Dry off the key using a towel or other soft cloth.
  2. Half fill a plastic bag with uncooked rice grains.Choose a plastic bag that can be sealed shut.
  3. Place the key into the bag and close it.
  4. Place the bag in a warm place and wait 24 hours.

The rice grains will absorb the water condensation as it evaporates out of the key. After 24 hours most of the moisture will have been absorbed and you can try the key in your car.

Don't Try The Hair Dryer Trick

You may be thinking that the best way to dry out your key is to apply heat to it. Whether your mind has turned to your hair dryer or your microwave, both these dry out ideas are bad ones.

As previously stated, transponder keys have small computer chips in them, and these little chips contain minute electronic circuitry that make the key work. Applying high doses of heat from a hair dryer is going to fry the circuitry, and then there is no chance of it ever working again. Alternatively, putting metal in a microwave is one way of starting a house fire, so this is definitely not a good idea either.

If your transponder key refuses to work after the rice bag trick, or you don't have 24 hours to wait for it to dry out, your next stop is your locksmith to get a replacement key made. Only a locksmith or an automotive dealer can provide a coded replacement key for your car. While you are there, get a second one made, or get them to attempt a professional drying of the original. Having a spare car key is not going to go to waste if you want to continue carrying your car keys in your back pocket.