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I have a 2019 Ford Transit 350. It's a van conversion and I do a lot of kayaking, etc., so I'd like to have a key that can survive being underwater.

Is it possible to cut a door and ignition key for the Transit that doesn't have the fob? Or is there a chip inside the fob that you have to have in order for the Transit to start?

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Most modern remote keys are, while moderately resilient to a bit of water potentially at risk of dying a death if given a through dunking. The transponder (the bit that actually let's you start the car) is typically more likely to survive. Still, killing the remote part is still going to be an expensive problem.

If you've got a flip-style key (as opposed to the keyless push-button start Intelligent Access Key) you could get a non-remote key cut and use that - the transponder in a non-remote key is going to be rather difficult to kill by getting it wet.

As @mikes' answer mentions Ford do offer a keypad entry system which you could use to not have to carry the key with you. It basically sticks to the car so can be easily retrofitted and you can then store your key in the van (obviously out of sight - otherwise some enterprising criminal might just decide to smash the window in and drive off!)

I've got the nagging feeling though that this might be something of an X-Y problem - would it not be better to invest in a decent quality dry bag for $10-20 and instead keep the key in that when you're kayaking?

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Ford offers a keyless entry system for the Transit. It is a exterior numbered keypad that allows you to unlock the doors without a key or a fob. I don't know what Ford charges for dealer installation after it is built. I know for my GM truck it was about $125. I imagine Fords cost would be similar. This would allow you to lock the keys in the vehicle and open it via the keypad.

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You could buy and cut a new key for your van, without bothering to register it's transponder. It would be able to open the door, but it wouldn't start the engine.

Then, when going kayaking, you'd hide your main key somewhere inside the van and lock the door using the new key. The door lock is purely mechanical so there's no need to keep the new key's transponder alive. It's now basically indestructible.

The disadvantage would be if someone broke into your vehicle and found the main key, they would be able to start the van and drive off. So hide the key well if you opt for this solution.

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