Tuesday, November 11, 2014

VATS Decoder Tip

Like any other experience locksmith technician in the industry, I too got a call occasionally to originate a key for GM vehicles that are equipped with the infamous VATS system. However, what do you do when you don't have a VATS system decoder on you or just don't want to spend the money to get one? I came across a good way that can save money for the average locksmith technician for decoding the VATS chip on GM models equipped with the system. The good news is that this improvised decoder will decode regular VATS keys as well as the double sided ones.

What needs to be done is purchasing an OHM meter at any hardware store or Radio Shack. Once you got it, remove the clear plastic face cover that protects the gauge. Move the needle to the "0" position with the adjustment screw. Put the VATS key in between the probes and mark a line where the needle stops. At the top of that line, you should mark the numerical value which should be anywhere between 1 and 15 for that key blank. You should do this process with all 15 keys and you now have a VATS decoder. You can now replace the cover back on the meter and you can start decoding VATS keys. I came across this trick way back in the late 80', early 90's when the VATS system equipped models were fairly on the Corvettes and Camaros. Since then, I've used it many times and never had any issues.

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