acensor
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:38 pm

Couple of years ago I lost one of my two original keys for my 2012.
Long story short.... It cost a great deal of money and time to have the dealer replace and program a replacement key. Probably close to $400. I did go to local locksmiths who claimed they could do it for less first, but they were unable to. The locksmith option MAY have changed by now, but still would be over $200.

But after having a replacement key made I found the missing key.
Catch was it was no longer programmed for my car as in the process of selling/programming the newest key the key transponder codes were reset.
So I had a useless third key.

Here's the key point of this post:
An honest and helpful locksmith informed me that if (that the big if) one currently has TWO good transponder keys that on some cars (including our MiEVs it turned out) it's easy to program a third key yourself.
I did it, and it worked first try. Took about one minute. See details of method, below.
Point being, it's cheap and easy to get a third key if you don't wait until you misplace one of your two originals.

Keys with the required transponder for our MiEV's now appear to be available from third party sources far cheaper than the dealer.
https://www.ebay.com/b/Key-Blanks-for-M ... n_21484646

Some very cheap, apparently, at under $20..... particularly if you're happy to have a transponder key that will open and start the car and do everything.... except it does not have the remote door opener buttons. (BTW... These are sometimes called valet keys... and I believe they, unlike the full function door-opener keys, are waterproof and could be hidden outside on the car or taken swimming.)

Essentially, the programming procedure for this third key goes like this:

"Insert one of your two working keys and turn the ignition to the 'on' position for at least three seconds (the car does not need to be started), then repeat the process with the second key.

Now insert the new third key and again turn it to the "on" position for another few seconds. This should program the extra key."

Of course you'd have to first take the new key to a locksmith or hardware store to get the blank shank cut first.... otherwise you'd be unable to turn it to the on position at that step of the programming procedure.
Alex
{this message posted with 100% post consumer recycled electrons}
SE 2012 white with blue trim, powered by PV (~65%)
2015 Subaru Forester CVT
Two Trek street/trail bicycles optimized for mild around town use

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2946
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:57 pm

Thanks for the instructions!

I did this with my 2017 Volt - Bought a 3rd key on eBay for less than $60 and programmed it to the car. You do have to have 2 keys to do it yourself, so I got it done the first couple weeks, before I had a chance to lose one :lol:

Many dealerships have a 1/2 hour minimum labor charge, so doing something that only takes a couple minutes still costs you $65 or more

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon

acensor
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:53 pm

Unfortunately, this easy key owner DIY programming of a third key (when you have two good keys) does not work on all cars. AFAIK won't work on my 2015 Forester. Glad it worked on your Volt.
Alex
{this message posted with 100% post consumer recycled electrons}
SE 2012 white with blue trim, powered by PV (~65%)
2015 Subaru Forester CVT
Two Trek street/trail bicycles optimized for mild around town use

kevin1956murray
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:29 pm

Re: Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:25 am

I just tried programming a 3rd key, but the transponder programming procedure (using the two good keys ) described in the owners manual has not worked. The 'immobilizer indicator' does blink after 10 seconds of the 2nd good key, but then the blank key does not program.

Has this procedure worked for anyone on an i-MiEV? If so, is there any advice on a detail I must be missing?

kevin1956murray
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:29 pm

Re: Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:21 pm

And now, the rest of the story on getting a third key, just in case it is needed in an emergency:

This morning I called the (good) locksmith shop to ask how they might be able to help. I pointed out that the cut was good, but the programming procedure had not worked, so I did not know if I had a bad transponder or a bogus (or insufficient) procedure. The guy pointed out that they have a machine that can read and compare transponders (the signal from them, and hence which transponder it is). I also called the dealer, to be told that they would need to do the programming, and the charge would be $69.99, even with me providing the cut key. So I went to the locksmith with all keys, and the $9 eBay key read as transponder type PH-CR3 49-1E, and one of my good keys is type PH-CR2 46. They do carry a remote key that is compatible, but that would be $290. So I told them that now I am really not looking forward to going to the dealer. I think maybe my face even turned red. I casually pointed out that I was really hoping to get just a transponder key, since I could take it tubing, not worrying about it getting wet. It seems like that turned on light bulbs above the heads of both techs. One guy started figuring they maybe could clone a good transponder. The shorter guy looked up a key, and verified with the other guy, and it turns out that hanging on the wall they had a transponder key that they could cut for $21. Since the knew the proper transponder, I figured the odds of successful programming was good, so I bought that. Then outside in the MiEV I did the 3 key procedure, and it worked. I went back in the shop to give them the thumbs up, and that I appreciated their expertise.

So the procedure to program a new key's transponder that is in the owner's manual is good. And if I were to do this again, I would have the transponder measured and compared before bothering to have the key cut.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2946
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Why and how to get and program a third key :idea:

Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:36 am

kevin1956murray wrote:So the procedure to program a new key's transponder that is in the owner's manual is good. And if I were to do this again, I would have the transponder measured and compared before bothering to have the key cut.


A helpful post - Thanks!

So , , , , what you're saying is . . . . the original 3rd key you bought wasn't compatible with the transponder in the car but the car did program the key you bought from the locksmith?? The moral of the story is . . . . make sure whatever key you buy *is* verified to be compatible with the make, model and year of the car you own . . . . and, a good way to do that is to have a locksmith read the code from an original key

I'm currently going through this with my Mercedes Sprinter based motor home and no Mercedes dealership will even have a maintenance tech get off his stool for less than $400 . . . . even if it turns out he can't do a thing to help you

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon

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