Do used smart keys work?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by gringostar, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. gringostar

    gringostar Junior Member

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    Hello all,

    I just bought a Prius and the seller only had one key. He lost the other key. The dealer wants $218 plus labor to "program" the key. There are many used smart keys for sale on Ebay. My dealer (dude at parts counter) told me that keys could only be programmed once. Is that true?

    Can a smart key be programmed to be used on a different car? Has anyone done that? I need a key.
     
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Smart Keys are never programmed. Instead, the car is programmed to accept the Smart Key.

    New Smart Keys can be easily registered to work with a Prius. Used Smart Keys, on the other hand, will not be accepted. To pair a used SKS fob with a Prius, the dealer or locksmith must go through a process where all of the fobs are cleared, the system is re-seeded, and then all the fobs are added. In addition to being time consuming, this process requires a special subscription with Toyota to get the new seed code. Many dealers can do it, but it's not cheap.

    A used Smart Key fob can be paired to work as a dumb fob without the above procedure, but none of the smart functions will work.

    Tom
     
  3. gringostar

    gringostar Junior Member

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    Anybody else try a used smart key?
     
  4. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    I've got 5 smart keys for my 2006. Two came with the car, and the other 3 are eBay used units. It was necessary to do a "Smart Key Reset" before adding each used key. I suppose there are defective keys out there that nobody could program, but most of the problems have to do with lack of knowledge on how to use the Techstream scantool. Any Toyota/Lexus dealer (or independent mechanic with Techstream) and a "Security Professional" qualification has the equipment to make a used key work. Some locksmiths also have equipment that works (not necessarily Techstream).

    There is a good writeup about smart keys at Luscious Garage | Blog | Full Service Prius Key Programming . Luscious has the best prices I've seen for the service. They also replace HID headlight bulbs in about 10 minutes (the dealer procedure takes hours).
     
  5. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad Active Member

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    When I purchased my Prius, it only came with one smart key. After reading this, I'm thinking about just purchasing a "dumb" key on eBay to use as a back up.
     
  6. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    I think that's a good idea. Buy the lowest price eBay keyfob you can get (silver logo, black logo, damaged buttons, whatever). Then teach the car to recognize the transponder in it. Forget about the proximity and remote functions that are so difficult to get working. Get a copy (or several) of the mechanical key on an ordinary Toyota keyblank for about $2.

    There is a potential problem with this idea in that there is a maximum of 5 keyfobs that can be registered. All Prius originally come with 2 keyfobs, but the previous owner could have maxed out the 5. When that happens, someone with Techstream is going to have to delete all those lost keys before you can register the eBay one. This is a simple procedure, but it does require Techstream or similar scantool.
     
  7. bl117

    bl117 New Member

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    As a side note, I managed to register my fathers smart key for his 08 Highlander. I should mention that when I bought the car, the previous owner said he had a third key but his son had it and he couldln't find it. I paid the dealer to do the reset so only the 2 keys that I had worked. I can still add 2 more. We also later had my smart key registered on my fathers Highlander. We travel on vacations and my Fiance and I take our Prius. On previous vacations keys were locked in vehicles so now as long as he or I have our keys we can get into each others cars.

    If you buy a Prius used and they "lost" a key, best to get it reset to prevent possible theft or worse.
     
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