These days car keys are complicated pieces of tech which use infrared signals and codes to unlock and activate a car, gone are days when you put a piece of metal in the ignition and twist it, like a front door key. But what hasn’t changed is our ability to lose or misplace keys. Once these pieces of tech are lost it is expensive to replace them.
If you lose your key fob you might be worried it has been stolen therefore your car is vulnerable to thieves, so you want a new set of keys so the lost key no longer works.
That’s where the Otofix IM1 comes in. The IM1 can programme new car key fobs to a specific vehicle in a few simple steps. This means it is the ideal tool for professional workshops who want to offer this service to customers for a more reasonable price than they would be charged by the car manufacturer, or even for keen home mechanics who want the peace of mind that they can always get themselves out of a tight spot.
The first thing you’ll see when you unbox the Otofix IM1 is a 7-inch tablet device which is powered by Android – this is what you’ll use to perform the various functions. It’s been made with the rigours of workshop life in mind, so it’s tough and durable, and it’s small enough to be carried around easily if you want to do a job away from the workshop.
The tablet’s companion is an OBD-II dongle that plugs into a car’s OBD port, which is how you access a car’s computer, or ‘brain’. The dongle itself has a LED light on it to make it easier to find the OBD port, which is very handy. Even more handy is the fact the dongle communicates with the tablet via Bluetooth, so there are no messy wires to get in the way.
Finally, there’s the XP1 device which has pre-programmed information that allows you to programme keys from more than 80 car manufacturers, should wish to bypass using the dongle. The Otofix IM1 works on 95% of cars made after 2000.
It couldn’t be simpler. Plugging the dongle into the car’s OBD port, the tablet reads that car’s vital information and displays it on the screen. It will display any error codes that might be the reason for a key fob not working and allows you to clear them so you can get on with creating a new key.
The tablet will then ask you to place your key within range of the car’s ignition sensor to obtain the necessary information. Then all you need to do is the same with the new key and hey presto, a fresh key is born. Some keys require the XP1 companion to read the transponder chip but pairing it and dropping your key into the slot is almost as easy as doing it via the car itself.
The device can programme a fresh new key fob, which you will have to buy, or it can re-programme an existing key fob. There is a series of instructional videos on YouTube here. Alternatively, you can find guides on how to use all of Otofix’s products here.
The Otofix IM1 is ultimately made by a company called Autel. Even if you don’t know the name the chances are your car has at some point benefited from Autel’s technology. Autel specialises in the kind of automotive tech that keeps cars on the road, enabling engineers and mechanics to diagnose problems with a vehicle and get it fixed in the most efficient way.
Autel’s products are sold in over 70 countries, including Great Britain, China, America and Australia. Its diagnostic tools are class-leading and found in more than 500,000 independent vehicle repair shops across the globe. Put simply, when there’s something wrong with your car, Autel has the tool that can identify the problem and get it back on the road ASAP.
But it’s much more than that. Over 60 per cent of Autel’s employees work in the research and development (R&D) arm of the company, working on everything from battery and charging technology for electric cars to autonomous driving solutions. Autel has R&D centres in Silicon Valley, Munich and Shenzen.
Since it was founded in 2004 Autel has received 1040 domestic and foreign patents and has won almost 100 awards and honours, including the VISION Best New Product in the United States award and no less than 13 Red Dot Awards, known as Oscars in the world of product design.
The place to get the best price on the Otofix IM1 is Otofix’s official website for Europe and UK.
*This content is sponsored by Autel