Autel MP808K or IM508? Which car key programmers is better?

Since about 1996, car keys have used a transponder to keep your vehicle secure. These small computer chips inside the car key fob communicate with the car’s immobilization system (or IMMO system) and prevent it from being operated if it isn’t present.

The introduction of transponders significantly reduced instances of auto theft. Still, it can also put you in an annoying situation if you lose the key or it stops working as it should. A car key programmer allows you to reprogram keys, program new keys, and adjust the IMMO system to get back on the road.

If your car’s key fob is lost or broken, getting a replacement can be a hassle—and, depending on what kind of car you drive, it can cost a pretty penny. With an auto key programmer, you can make your new keys yourself, saving you both time and money.

Some automotive scan tools have key programming features built-in. These models are often designed for professionals, though, and carry a professional-level price tag. A stand-alone key programmer is a more affordable option for drivers or locksmiths who don’t need a scan tool’s functions.

Just like scan tools, you’ll find different levels of car key/key fob programmers that have varying capabilities. Let’s look at the different auto key programming tools and what features they offer to decide which one is best for you.

Autel MP808K: Best obd2 scanner with key programming

 

Autel MP808K key programmer

The Autel MP808Koffers professional diagnosis and features at a relatively affordable price. In addition to its key programming functions, the MP808K allows bi-directional testing of components, full OBDII diagnosis, and 23 services and reset functions.

The vehicle compatibility of the Autel MP808K is impressive, as well. You can use this key programmer with cars and trucks from more than 80 manufacturers. While some features aren’t available for all vehicles, that’s still quite impressive for the price.

Now the Autel MP808 K’s key programming capabilities aren’t as robust as with other key programmers. It doesn’t allow programming of the VIN, IMMO system, or ECU, for example. As a key programmer, it’s basic but functional, both resetting and creating keys quickly.

PROS:

  • Programs new keys, even if they’re all lost

  • Bi-directional component testing

  • 23 service functions and all-system diagnosis

  • Wide vehicle compatibility

  • Data management system makes it easy to review data

  • One-click push updates through Wi-Fi

While the Autel MP808K doesn’t offer as much control over the key and IMMO systems, it is an affordable key programmer for those who need wide vehicle compatibility.

Autel IM508: Best key programming machine for all cars

 

Autel IM508 key programmer

The Autel MaxilM IM508comes with their XP200 Key Programmer included, and they’re designed to work together as a unit. This feature gives you access to the advanced key and IMMO functions at less than half the price of the IM608 above.

Like the other best key programmers, the Autel IM508 can do more than make keys. It performs a range of useful service functions, including resetting the oil and battery lights. With the Autel MaxilM IM508, you get factory-level diagnostics of all systems on more than 80 manufacturers.

The only significant lack in the Autel IM508’s key programming features is that it can’t program the ECU.

What the Autel MaxilM IM508 does well is striking a balance between performance and value. It lets you make keys, reset the IMMO data, pats programming capability, and perform a host of other helpful maintenance tasks. You’ll get the same high build quality Autel offers on their pricier models, with an interface that’s easy to use and read.

​PROS:

  • Allows writing of new keys, even if they’re all lost

  • Write and refresh IMMO and ECU

  • Wide vehicle compatibility

  • Resets BMS, TPMS, Oil light, and more

  • Full OE-level diagnosis of all electronic systems

The Autel MaxilM IM508 provides professional key programming functions at a more affordable cost than the IM608. It is an excellent choice for professionals on a budget or advanced home mechanics.

What is the best car key programmer for me?

As you can see, the price of key programmers varies greatly. There are two main factors: the number of vehicles supported and the range of programming functions.

If you prefer to have an OBD2 scanner with key programming ability, Autel MP808K is just for you. It offers much more than your expectation.

However, for locksmiths and mechanics, a higher-end product like the Autel IM508 may be worth it in the long run. Best of luck picking the right key maker for your needs!


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