Mechanical key for backup

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by nicolas_xu, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    My Gen3 Prius only comes with one key fob, since previous owner only had one. I learned through research that if I lost all the keys, I have to replace the computer in my Prius, costing at least $1500.

    Ordering a replacement key is also not cheap, around $400 at dealer. But I notice there is mechanical key inside the smart key fob. I tried to open the door with it and it works!

    Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 11.25.35 AM.png

    I am thinking can I just go to my local hardware store to copy the mechanical key as backup? It costs only $5. All I need is a backup key that can start the car.

    Do you think this strategy will work?
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    That key (unfortunately) just unlocks the car, can't start it.
     
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  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The mechanical key is also unfortunately not just $5. It's a laser cut key. You can order a new keyfob on amazon for about $100. Many locksmiths also provide the programming service.

    If you are a Plus AAA member or higher, I believe they pay for part of your replacement key.....up to $150 for Premier members (I believe)
     
  4. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    I'm not a fan of the "magic Fob". I'd much prefer a simple combination door key / ignition key. Keep a spare key in my wallet, and everything is good.

    I guess the Fob and push-button start makes it harder to steal the car? I'm not really concerned about that. I just like the simplicity of an ignition key. And it's ridiculous that some Toyota dealers charge $500 or more to replace the Fob?! The car is already overpriced, and now they want 500 bucks for a new Fob. Crazy!
     
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  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    This apparently is widespread across all car manufactures. Convenience has a price
     
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  6. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    Well, I've never found it inconvenient to have a simple key in my pocket. But I'm an old-school guy. :LOL:
    And that Fob probably costs the dealer about $25... and they charge us 500!? I'm not rich like the rest of you guys.
     
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  7. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    Thanks everybody! Looks like there is no cheaper option.
     
  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I believe the most convenient option on my prius is the smart key. I never have to take it out of my pocket.

    I dropped a house key once while on vacation. Happened while I took my car key in and out of my pocket. Cost me lots of money and inconvenience to get back into the house. So having the convenience of not needing to pull out my car keys again is priceless
     
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The simple key also makes the car much easier to steal by simply driving it away. The more complex fob is part of a system that forces thieves to go to the brute force of towing or dragging.
    The labor alone to reprogram the car / fob combination is well over $25. Then add in the special tools too.
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Search for a re-virginized key fob on eBay, will probably run about $85. Ask a dealer service department what they will charge to register it to your car. It may be around $50 depending on the dealer, or you can buy a Mini VCI for less than that, and use a laptop to register it yourself (and then you can keep the Mini VCI for future service needs for your car).

    They key (hehe) is to make sure the fob you buy is re-virginized. If it is merely used, it will be cheaper, but you won't be able to register it to your car. (Still a bit expensive for a useless ornament.)

    Most of the eBay sellers offering virginized fobs will include an uncut mechanical key in the fob. You can have the cutting done at any locksmith or hardware store that cuts 'sidewinder' keys. The scare-word "laser" that gets thrown around for these keys is the marketing name of one of the cutting machine brands.

    [​IMG]

    It cuts with a spinning metal bit like every other key cutter you've ever seen, but cuts the sides of the key rather than the edge.

    -Chap
     
    #10 ChapmanF, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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  11. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    I understand that part, JC. I even keep my fob and my house keys in separate pockets. A lot of guys attach their house keys to the fob key ring.

    But anyway, like I said I'm not concerned about auto theft, and I would be perfectly fine with a simple ignition key / door key. I've been using an ignition key for the past 40 years, so it's no big deal. And I respectfully submit, that $500 is absolutely ridiculous for a new fob!!!! A total rip-off by Toyota dealers.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I recently sprung for a replacement key for a family member's car. A mechanical key, but probably with some anti-theft chip? And it had remote functions on it, for the doors and hatch. $170 please. And they let me know they'd waived the $10~15 charge for shop supplies, nice of 'em.

    A lot of the charges are through the roof. Want to retrofit 2016 level 4 to have a spare: $1000~. Want TPMS in your snow tires: what is it, around $80 per sensor, plus a lifetime of biyearly visits to the dealership for re-initializing procedure, at $75~100 a pop. Lose one of your plastic wheel covers: $100~. Want plastic center caps for your spare hubs: around $100 for a set?

    Getting more serious: the timing belt cover starting to leak: $1000~2000, depending on who you talk to. Break a headlight on the 2016 Prius: $1200+ please (anyone remember $20 sealed beams?). Brake master cylinder failing: $2500~3000? AC out: don't ask, lol.

    The day is rapidly coming, a lot of repair items are just gonna "total" the car. You have to throw in the towel, sell it for part-out.
     
    #12 Mendel Leisk, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  13. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    Yes, but they DID say please..... :ROFLMAO: :)
     
  14. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    I've never lost keys, or locked myself out of the house, fortunately. But if I do, I have a spare house key buried somewhere on the property. ;) Let's just hope I never forget where it is! :ROFLMAO: And here's another question... what if something happens to that push button start someday? What if the button fails to operate, then what do we do? Hopefully, it is very reliable.

    I just like an old fashion mechanical key. Keep life simple. :D
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm the same with air pumps, calipers, pressure gauges. Even have a slide rule kicking around, lol.
     
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  16. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Or an exaggeration of sorts. The fob can be bought dealer new for $140 (that part number is the one with the remote A/C button; the one without is the same price).

    A dealer-new fob comes without the mechanical emergency key, which is priced at $27 uncut (if you have a good price on getting it cut), or $81 already cut to match your VIN (given proof that you own the car).

    That would bring you to about $220 for a fob and the key to go in it, already cut; even full list pricing brings it only to $290. It would still need to be registered to the car. The only way to get "$500" would be if the dealer quotes $210 for the five minute registration dance? That's four times what my dealer charges.

    I would still sooner go with a revirginized eBay fob; I'll readily agree the dealer prices (even the real, non-exaggerated ones) are steep. But throwing around such exaggerated numbers still feels a bit like spreading FUD.

    -Chap
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    So around $350. IIRC that's what my Canadian service manager quoted, one time when my fob was (luckily temporarily) missing.
     
  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I was quoted $370 2 years ago by the local dealer when a valet lost one fob :mad:(the valet company was going to pay;)).

    Luckily for the valet company, a customer found a fob on the floor of their car. They were happy to call us and report that the key was found and return it to us:p.
     
  20. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    Still high, but $220 sounds much better. I said 500 because somebody had mentioned that in another thread.
     
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