2001 Prius, key will not turn

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by czunit, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. czunit

    czunit Junior Member

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    So after getting the Prius back from the dealer with new tires (and an alignment) and a $1300 quote to replace the cat (whatever) the daughter parks the car in the driveway and now when I go to start it the key will not turn.

    It turns a tiny bit, enough to unlock the steering wheel (that's not the problem) but not enough to do anything else. Wiggling it doesn't work, using the backup key (master) doesn't work either. Keys work in the doors, so they are not worn that badly.

    So two questions:
    1) Is there an interlock between the shift lever and the key ignition?
    2) Is there an electronic interlock with the brake pedal (maybe a switch blew)
    3) How does one take the whole ignition lock apart

    Thanks!
     
  2. czunit

    czunit Junior Member

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    Ok, so I go outside, sit in the car, turn the key, and everything is fine. Do it again and again, no problem.

    Now what is going on?
     
  3. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Chalk it up to operator error, go grab a beer and call it a night. No shame in that game, we've all been there.

    next chance, put a bit of wd40 on the key and run it through a couple cycles again.
     
  4. Itsmeonprius

    Itsmeonprius Member

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  5. Nelsonprius

    Nelsonprius Junior Member

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    Many other cars will have the key frozen like this if the steering wheel is under Turning pressure, if the steering wheel is turned after the key is removed, locking it under pressure, turning the steering wheel away from the locked position enables the key to turn
     
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  6. czunit

    czunit Junior Member

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    Been working on this, it's a real fun issue. Even tried graphite lube, no difference. But I think I have the symptoms:

    So my wife doesn't usually have a problem unless my daughter drives the car. Interesting. So I sat down this evening to try and figure out what the heck is going on.

    Put wife's key in car, starts fine. Take key out, rotate key 180 degrees, put key in, turn, locks up and binds. Turn key 180 degrees again and still binds, but after awhile it turns.

    Put my master key in, works fine. Take my master key out, put in wife's key on the "bad" side and it locks up, my master key can't turn it. Wiggle for a bit with my master key and it works.

    I think what I have here is a key that is worn on one side. Put it in the right way it works. Put it in the wrong way and it probably jams the pick-proof thing. I guess I need to go to Toyota and get a new master key cut and a new slave key cut, then reprogram them. Right now I'm down to one master, one slave. I'm guessing they can cut the key from code so it's ok.

    Note all keys work fine in the doors, which makes me think it's the pick proof tumbler that is jamming. I'm guessing that feature is not in the door locks (anyone know for sure?)

    Never dull.

    Never dull.
     
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  7. Itsmeonprius

    Itsmeonprius Member

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    Never heard of someone turning the key 180° to see if it makes a difference. Well done.

    As to getting the keys cut and programmed. You don't need to get them programmed as the metal part is held in the fob with a screw. So just get a key cut.

    Here in the UK, there's a guy on fleabay who can send you a key cut just by sending a picture of your key! And it works.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. czunit

    czunit Junior Member

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    This keeps getting better.....

    So yesterday I went over to Home Despot to see if they could cut a key. No blanks, forget it. Thus today I took the wife over to the Toyota Dealership to see what the heck was wrong. They can cut a key for $40 but it costs another $150 to "reprogram" the computer. Yeah, slam the door six times. But wife was there so I asked them to do it.

    Wife gets a call from the dealership. They're sorry it's going to cost thousands to fix but they will offer a generous trade-in on a new car. Ooops. Then the repair people call, apparently there are 4 keys registered and they can't register any more. So for $2,000 they can replace the ECU. However the cylinder was not bad and the master key still works.

    Right. We call this a goat screwing. So I called them up, told them to just make it a valet and we would bury the master in the yard. Nope, 4 keys total. I asked if they had cut the key from code, they had. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. So I said I'd pick it up and pay $40 for the key. Fine.

    Went over, picked up the keys, wife drove home and I looked at them. With a fresh cut key I can see the problem: The first landing on one side of the valet key is worn down completely, I'm guessing that is where the mushroom type anti-pick key pin is. I'm also guessing if the rest of the pins are set and that one isn't it jams the lock (on purpose to drive pickers nuts) until it falls back into place. So yes it's key wear.

    However this leaves a problem: I have one working key left. And it's wearing away. That's bad. So from what I see I have a few options:

    1) Try reprogramming myself. Is it really 4 keys total forever? Can one de-register the valet key and replace it with the new one?
    2) Swap heads. I'm not sure how the head is affixed to the key shaft. Is it fixed in such a way that pulling it off destroys the RFID chip? Use some heat? Can the new key be swapped into the old head? Where is the RFID chip in there?
    3) Weld the valet key: I might be able to weld on some new metal onto the end of the key and use my dremel tools to shape the bottom key landing. Doable?
    4) Pull the tumbler and remove the bottom pins. Does the steering wheel need to come off to pull the tumbler or can I depress a switch on the stalk?
    5) Glue the valet key to the dash and use the new key. How far away does a valid key head need to be from the lock? Where is the pickup?

    Whatever, I'm not spending $2k to replace the computer. That just sounds ignorant.

    If people want I can post pics of the bottoms of the two keys.
     
  9. Nelsonprius

    Nelsonprius Junior Member

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    I had a locksmith program and cut a new Prius key, approx $100 .
    On a MBenz the receiver is a ring around the ignition, and must be within 3", I don't know about Prius tho'. Get some lubrication in that ignition to reduce wear
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Perfectly serviceable car, brought to it's knees, by a "security feature".
     
  11. czunit

    czunit Junior Member

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    I think what's interesting is that the dealership may have lied to me. That's really not cool at all.

    Really busy with other things now, so will try the master key reset and reprogramming next weekend. If I can get two masters working I'll order a valet key on Ebay and call it a day.
     
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  12. OBJUAN

    OBJUAN Member

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    what year is the car? Mine is an 05, only the door uses a key as a mechanical backup if the AUX battery is dead.
    The fob is the key/remote. What have you done with the other programmed keys, maybe salvage the RFID's.
    Weld a bit of metal and regrind sounds like a plan, nothing to loose.....
     
  13. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

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    I had no keys for one car. Been a while back, but I found a mobile locksmith who would reprogram. I took the computer out of the dash, it's behind the steering wheel (helps to have small hands. I don't). Locksmith plugged it in some device, reprogrammed it, and cut me a new key. Charged me $200, IIRC.
     
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  14. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    2001. The information is each poster's bio under their avatar. Again, posting Gen 2 info in a Gen 1 thread is not helpful.
     
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