If you’ve recently purchased a new car or are ready to replace your current vehicle, you may be interested in learning how to program your new car key so that it matches the programming of your car. This can save you the hassle of taking it to a dealership or other auto repair center, and it will only take you about 20 minutes or less to complete. While this method doesn’t guarantee perfect results, it does provide you with an alternative method of getting your vehicle key programmed. Here’s how to program a new car key to match your vehicle at home.
Assess what keys you need programmed
If you have a new car key, you need to program the two types of keys for that specific model. Older cars require more work and usually more than one kind of programming. You may need an original or duplicate of the old key if it is still in working condition, or you may be able to get by with just a copy.
Consult your owner’s manual or take it to a dealership if you are unsure which type is required. It might also be worth having all three programmed so that you can switch between them as needed; some people find this useful when driving different models of vehicles. For example, a person could use one to drive their daily commuter car but use another for going on road trips.
If you need only one key programmed, there are two methods:
1) Go through the company where you purchased your new car key – they will most likely provide free remote programming service.
2) Take it to a locksmith who will reprogram it manually (for an estimated $25). The upside of this option is that you don’t have to wait on hold or pay shipping costs – they’ll do everything right then and there while they’re there with you.
Compare price estimates with other locksmiths
The best way to find out if you are getting the best deal is to get quotes from at least three different locksmiths. If you call all of them and get the same answer, then it’s pretty likely that they are giving you an accurate price. If there is more than one store nearby, make sure they are quoting the same price as well.
Make sure they include their total price including labor, diagnostic fee, and other charges in their quote. Don’t forget that some keys come with warranties so read up on those before deciding who will do the job for you. You’ll also want to check reviews of any company you’re considering hiring because that should give you a good idea about how satisfied people have been with the work done by them.
On the day of installation, ask to see your old key first just to make sure that they aren’t installing a used or copied version instead of programming your original blank chip. If everything checks out, then sign off on the invoice with your warranty information and leave feeling relieved knowing that you got what you paid for!
Find the right guy
If you have lost your keys, the safest way to make sure no one is driving with them and potentially using them for malicious purposes is to replace the current chip in the old remote with a blank new one. It’s also wise to get it programmed as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of our free programming service. All you need is an original factory keyless entry remote, some scissors or wire strippers, and an access code from your original dealer’s invoice.
Start by removing the outer casing from the remote to expose the battery contacts. Locate the blue and red wires that are wrapped around a yellow wire under the battery cover. Carefully cut these wires near their base (just below where they are wrapped around each other) then use either pliers or wire strippers to separate them about three inches from their point of contact with each other (still on opposite sides).
Make sure you know where all your old keys are
The first step in programming a new car key is finding all of the old keys that have not been lost or stolen. Make sure you have them on hand, because if you do not have one of the old keys, you cannot use it as an option in programming the blank chip.
After collecting all of the necessary keys, attach one of them to the metal loop located inside your steering column before shutting off your engine and removing the battery from your vehicle. By doing this, even if you lose any one of the original keys, you can still access and start your vehicle by inserting another original key into this loop as well.
With the battery removed, go ahead and insert the newly programmed key into the ignition switch while holding down the brake pedal. Turn the ignition to ON but not START. Then release both pedals, turn OFF the ignition switch and remove your newly programmed key from its slot without touching anything else in your car with it.
Listen carefully during the programming session
Every time I get into my car, I’ve taken notice of how much time it takes for me to be able to drive off with my new set of keys. It can feel like an eternity. When you have the reassurance that your new car key has been programmed correctly and properly, the wait is worth it.
During the programming session, it’s important to listen carefully and follow all instructions closely so that you can receive accurate reprogramming on your new key. Make sure you are comfortable while sitting at a computer or in front of someone as they conduct this process as programming may take up to 5 minutes or longer.
You will need your current key (the one currently in use) and the newly cut blank key. Once seated, the person conducting the procedure will instruct you to insert the current key into the ignition and turn it to run position. Once turned on, he or she will then ask if there is any security code enabled which needs to be entered before proceeding with programming.
Check twice before leaving the shop
You can reduce the chances of problems by checking that the key matches all four security systems – the lock and alarm system in the new car key, and the door locks on both sides of the car. Plus, you should have new keys cut at a hardware store rather than a quick-locate or other similar business. They will be more likely to have proper equipment for reading both old and new keys, as well as cutting them correctly. Cut two copies before leaving the store; this way if you drop one while getting into your car, you’ll still have another.