More Smart Key Troubles

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by nagrath, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    I hope someone can give me a little advice before I go back to my dealer with this. I have a 2005 Prius, and 2 weeks ago purchased from the dealer a new smartkey, as one of my fobs fell apart, and the other one was still working, but the buttons had worn off, and I decided to give that fob to my wife so she can use the car (would have bought 2 new kesy if they didn't cost ~$350 ea!). When I picked up the car, I tested the SKS functions, moving the old fob far from the car and holding the new, and trying everything out. Worked fine. I then put both fobs in my pocket, jumped in the car, and restarted it, and all seemed fine.

    Since then, about 1-2x a week, seemingly *only* with both fobs in the car, I get a very strange reaction when I try to start the car. The "key" icon flashes on the dash, and the fob itself has a little red light that blinks, specifically it flashes 3 times, 3 times - ... ... ...
    The first time this happened, I tried the start button a few times, got frustrated and put the key in the slot--car started right up. Then the next time I hit the start button over and over and it eventually worked. Seems that if the problem happens, I can hit the start button A LOT and sometimes it works. It then seems to work fine after that, until the NEXT time it doesn't.

    I am obviously going to take it back to Toyota, but I would love to have an idea whats going on before they give me some sort of hand-waving, cock-and-bull story and charge me more money.

    I am guessing it has to do with how they programmed the SKS system for the new key--I am wondering if somehow the two keys have the same code, which confuses the car. But it doesn't do it all the time--it didn't do it when I tested the fobs at the dealer, before I left.

    HELP! I especially don't want to have to replace my other old key for another $350--it WAS working perfectly before, even if it looks like hell.

    Many thankss for any info you can provide!

    John
     
  2. Hal W

    Hal W New Member

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    Why will your car not run with the new fob? Can you not make one good fob buy swapping parts of the two. Are the batteries good in both. Is the new fob a different program , because the car should recognize it, but it is not. Hal
     
  3. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Try replacing the batteries in both fobs. Also, we blame all odd malfeasance on the 12V battery in the back. To program your key, the car needed to be in IG-On for a few minutes, which can severely weaken an old 12V battery. I don't think it is possible for the dealership to have messed something up with the actual programming.
     
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Having two working fobs in the same car will sometimes confuse the SKS. Mostly I have heard about this with the Gen III, when people own two Prius and have the fobs for both in the same car.

    I haven't heard before of two fobs for the same Prius causing trouble with the Gen II, but it is always possible. The OP should try driving the car with just the new fob for awhile, then just the old fob for awhile, and see if everything is okay. That will help narrow down the problem.

    In the mean time the OP should log the problem with the dealer and explain his planned course of testing. That way the issue will be on the books if a real problem is discovered.

    Tom
     
  5. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    OK, on recheck of all combinations, it seems the new fob is not the problem. The old fob no longer works, except in the slot to start the car. Mind you, before getting the new fob, it worked just fine. I stupidly did not think to test *it* at the dealer, as it had been working. My guess is they (without my consent) de-registered the old fob. Why the car started with both fobs in the car when I drove away the first time is beyond me, but if they cost me another $350 to get another new fob, I am going to raise holy hell. The old fob keeps blinking 3 times whenever I try to use a smart function, and the buttons will not even unlock/lock the car.

    Called toyota and am going back on Monday. Will let you know the upshot.
    Does anyone know whether an old fob, once de-registered, can be re-registered to the SKS system, if it is for the same car? I know that a used fob can't be registered to a NEW car.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  6. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    An old fob can be re-registered. The dealer will need to do a seed reset which will clear out all of the fobs, then register both fobs.

    Tom
     
  7. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    Thanks. That should take a while. They better not charge me!

    John
     
  8. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    The technician may have turned off the SKS function for programming and forgot to turn it back on, its the single button on the lower dash near the bottom of the steering wheel that can also accidentally be hit by your knee when getting in or out of the car. So are you sure this button is in the on position?? I do not wish to insult anybody, its just that the poster never stated that he verified that SKS button is on.
     
  9. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    A seed reset shouldn't be necessary in this case. There is a function to erase all keys except the one currently being used. The reset function requires a seed lookup and 16 minutes run time, while the erase function is immediate. After the erase, the other keys can be added back in.

    The seed reset should only be necessary the first time a fob is paired with a different car than it was originally paired with. Or when all keys have been lost...

    I would replace the battery in the old fob just to cover all bases.

    I'd also recommend testing each fob all 4 ways it can be used. That's proximity lock/unlock the doors, proximity start, lock/unlock buttons, and fob-in-dash. Keep all fobs except the one being tested at least 5 feet away from the car.
     
  10. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    If it was an issue with the programming done when you bought the new key, the old key would not work at all. The fact that it works when in the slot shows that the car still recognizes as a valid key. Sounds like the fob battery needs to be replaced (easy to do, if you do not have a spare just use the battery from the new fob to test), or the old fob is damaged in some way that affects its range.

     
  11. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    This means that the key is registered to the immobilizer ECU, but either the battery inside it is dead, or it was deleted from the smart key ECU. If the latter, the dealership damn well better fix that for free. You might save yourself some trouble by putting in a new battery to start.
     
  12. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    Yes, I replaced the battery; didn't make a bit of difference. I suspect it is as you said, that they must have de-registered it from the smatkey ICU, either accidentally or on purpose (perhaps they did a seed reset and DIDN'T re-register the old key?). Will test all before I leave the dealer (I tested all functions on the new fob when I got the car, but never thought to test the OLD fob! Doh! The only thing I don't understand is why it worked fine with both fobs in the car when I left the dealer after picking up the new fob. Since then, it has been nothing but trouble when both fobs were in the car.
     
  13. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    Here's the dissatisfying conclusion. They told me that one of the buttons on the old fob (which, admittedly, has tape and not rubber over the buttons due to wear, but, as far as I recall, was working completely immediately before getting the new fob) was not working correctly, and it was needed to complete the programming properly. So it can only be partially programmed, which is why it works in the slot, but won't function as a smart key, OR as a button-operated remote. And when both fobs are in proximity to one another,. they confuse the car. I couldn't get any farther with the service department, which was very nice and tried to be helpful and sympathetic, but did not really have any answers fro me. I am thinking of trying to add it as if it was a non-sks fob, so my wife can at least use it to open the doors and start the car when she (infrequently, but occasionally) uses the car. The more annoying problem is the inability to use the NEW fob with the OLD fob in the car. The other possibility would be to get a non-SKS fob on ebay and take the old fob out of service permanently. They must have done a seed reset initially and then were unable to fully add the old fob; from what I read above, they should have just been able to use the function that allows them to add an additional fob. Too late now!

    John
     
  14. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    After reading lots of SKS posts on here, I am wondering the following: a)does reprogramming an SKS using a Toyota scanner require pressing the remote buttons at all (giving lie to toyotas explanation above) b)if the key was already registered with the same car (it IS the original key) might it be able to accept/be accepted by the car if I go through the "chicken dance", unlike a used key from another car? I suppose I ought to just try it, but now I am worried about it affecting the function of my existing fob. Possible? Likely? Also, NO ONE in any posts mentions whther the SKS system should be "off" or "on" for these reprogramming steps (as listed in post 16 of this thread: http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...-experience-key-fob-programming-issues-2.html )
    Any thoughts?

    John
     
  15. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    FIXED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I went through the programming steps indicated above, figuring I had nothing to lose, and voile! It worked. Note: I had to use the precise SKS steps in the link in the above post. I now have FULL SKS and non-sks functions on my old fob again! I am about to call toyota and let them know.

    John
     
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  16. Hal W

    Hal W New Member

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    Good going! All is well! Hal
     
  17. nagrath

    nagrath Junior Member

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    I have sent an unappreciative note to the service manager, and let my service advisor know by phone that I was able to fix what I was told was "unfixable." She was somewhat contrite, and was going to tell the service technician.

    John
     
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