The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152632   Message #3570739
Posted By: JohnInKansas
28-Oct-13 - 09:29 AM
Thread Name: BS: Tale of a Used Car
Subject: RE: BS: Tale of a Used Car
The Chevy van I was using to haul the camper had two keys that I had to buy from a dealer and let them cut it for me: $6.00 each.

My current Silverado has one of the "coded" keys that has to be entered into the program. It was $16.00 for the dealer to cut it. They wanted $20 to "code" it, but I did it myself for $0.00.

They've raised the price on the keys, so the three keys we got for the HHR were about $24.00 each, plus $20.00 to "code" each of the three.

The big hit was the two Remote Keyless Entry Fobs, which were about $80.00+ each to buy, plus about $60.00 to have the dealer "enter the codes" for each.

I let the dealer "code" the three keys, because I hadn't had time to find instructions to confirm how to do it. I've since confirmed that could have been a "no cost DIY" process. The RKE fobs, according to everything I could find, cannot be entered into the vehicle's computer without specialized equipment that is too expensive for individual users to consider having. All the places I could find that claimed to be able to sell you one of the necessary scanners displayed "Available only to Registered Dealer Shops," but I believe "licensed locksmiths" can probably also buy one. It's probably illegal for you or me to have one.

For the keys, if you use a key that's already in the vehicle computer and let the computer "read" it, you can pull that one out, insert a new one within ~10 seconds and start the engine before the computer has time to look at the new one. The computer will assume that since the new key is in the switch and the engine is running it must be a "good key" so it adds the new code. The first key has to be "turned on" but some vehicles say to start the engine with it, while others say don't start. Other minor variations apply to specific models.

For the RKE fobs, all of the fobs you want to use must be reprogrammed at the same time. If you want to add a fob, you have to pay to have all the existing fobs re-entered. If you've lost one you won't have it to re-enter, and it will be "deleted" so that it won't work for anyone who might find (or might have stolen) it. This means that if you lose one you really should reprogram any others you have so that the missing one won't work.

It's all for your own protection ... they say.