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nerdcore 12-29-2012 12:23 AM

Replacing car key & alarm remote with chip key?
Any automotive alarm specialists on mcb? Have a question, which i might have an overall idea about...

So i've got a typical car alarm key fob, dangles separate from the car key. But i'd like to replace the key and fob with a key that has the remote attached TO the key. Went to Ace to ask about it, since they make chip key duplicates, and said they can ONLY make duplicates, and suggested i visit the dealership for help.

At first i couldn't understand why, i thought it was a simple matter of programming a chip key with the right code. But now i'm under the impression that the chip key has a specific transponder that coincides with the alarm. I'd rather not visit a dealership, since it's always an unpleasant (and most assuredly, expensive) experience.

Can anyone shed light on this?

moonweasel 12-29-2012 02:33 AM

Is the fob actually an alarm, if so is it factory/aftermarket, or is it just remote lock unlock? What kind of car is it?

Listessa 12-29-2012 03:50 AM

I don't really think you will be able to do that.

Did YOUR car come with a chipped and buttoned key at one time? Is the alarm an aftermarket one? If the alarm is after market, I don't believe it can be done. If the car did come with one, you might be able to hunt down a blank one via eBay or something like that and then have the dealership program it.

Pretty much you are SOL if you need a key programmed (not cloned) and stuck with dealing with a dealership. You need to be able to interface with the car's computer and have the correct brand software to program chipped keys. To top that off, some brands of cars require an actual certified to the brand person to access a special code in order to program EACH KEY.
PITA, yes. Been there, done that with chipped keys. It was a serious circus.

Up here most of us just live with having a fob and a key separately. Yes, it is cumbersome, but otherwise you have to start the car yourself when it's -40 instead of just hitting a button while inside a nice warm building.

If the fob really irritates you, some of the autostarts (and I'd imagine alarms) now are compatible with smartphones. You could look into having your alarm deal upgraded to one of those and then rely on your phone and the key.

stimpy 12-29-2012 10:44 AM

first of all, what kind of car?

if your car didn't come with a one-piece key/fob, it's doubtful you could find a "blank" that would accommodate both the type of key (for the car) and the alarm "guts" for your particular set-up.

if your car did come with a one-piece key/fob - where is it?

and yes, many keys are uniquely tied to the vehicle these days, which means the dealership is you're only choice; it's not uncommon for keys to be coded/programmed via an internet connection to the manufacturer's corporate office/plant/whatever.

here's a somewhat related tidbit - they now have "key replacement" programs that one can purchase with a new car, much like a service contract or pre-paid maintenance plan, where if you lose your key you can file a claim for replacement. seems kinda silly until you start pricing out new keys...

nerdcore 12-30-2012 01:21 AM

Guess i left out a lot of details :P .

2007 Toyota Yaris.

Stock alarm, remote originally came as a separate part from the key. Remote locks/unlocks doors, alarm activates when doors lock. Also has a panic button, which sets the alarm off remotely.

I didn't lose anything, still have all sets of keys & remotes provided by the dealer, but my wife's remote refuses to work anymore, after multiple battery swaps done by myself, and by employees of a local Batteries Plus store. Now mine is starting to give me problems, by occasionally not working, and i don't look forward to the day it stops working altogether and i'm stranded somewhere in the 30-40 F weather we're currently experiencing.

Upgrade to allow smartphone remote access is cool, but i'd rather keep it unconnected like that. Sounds like it'd be easier to disarm for ne'er-do-wells that way.

The separate remote is indeed irritating. I hate carrying a large set of keys, and the only bulky part of my keychain is the remote.

Looks like the consensus is a dealership visit. I cringe in anticipation of the cost, i was hoping for a cheaper solution. In hindsight, maybe i shouldn't have gifted myself a bunch of pball stuff recently...

... nah, i still would've bought all the new pb stuff :drool:

moonweasel 12-30-2012 01:34 AM

Actually, you may be lucky. There is a key that is all in one for the Yaris, but it may be market dependent, and may depend on the broaching of the key. We do them for the Yaris. I'll have to have check and make sure they aren't shell only and have internals. Being a Toyota you may not have to be dealer only to get one programmed into your car.

I'm an (apprentice) locksmith and we do a lot of automotive stuff and we can and do programme a lot of keys into cars including the remote functions, not just clone them. Have a word with a few local locksmiths and see if they can do something. Just becase one can't doesn't mean another can't

I woundn't be too worried about the fob failing, access to the car manually with an authorised key, the immobilser/alarm shouldn't cause a problem.

nerdcore 12-30-2012 01:37 AM

moonweasel - that's promising news. Too bad you don't live around here! I'll look into it, i had already found a few local locksmiths while trying to google info. Thanks!

moonweasel 12-30-2012 01:47 AM

Well, I used to live few thousand miles closer (Memphis), but at the time did not know this myself. As for the separate fob. It still may pay just to get a price from a dealer to find out replacement cost, if you are really lucky it may not actually be that expensive for the fob alone.

Also that style key can be a little fragile.

Forgot to add, on the non working one take it apart and clean under the rubber piece, maybe spray some sort on alcohol/contact cleaner to clear out the crap that builds up in under the button in there, often stops those things from working. Since it's already busted, no harm in trying.

nerdcore 12-30-2012 02:17 AM

Under the rubber piece, gotcha. I tried cleaning the battery contacts that way, didn't think to clean the actual button contacts.

My mom recently replaced her own key remotes (also toyota, stock alarm & remotes, but different/older model). Dealer charged her $80 per fob, iirc, but she does have a much older car.

I do understand the plastic key ring side of the chip keys can break, but haven't heard it being a common occurence, and at least the remote itself still operates, regardless.

Deathwish_DW 12-30-2012 02:19 AM


Ebay for the blanks/replacements. Then go into the dealer for cut/programming. save a TON of money.

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