Need Help: 2002 Prius all the keys are lost

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by MoriD, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. MoriD

    MoriD Junior Member

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    Hi there,

    I lost all my keys last Friday. I called local locksmith, the guy show up very unprofessional didn’t even check my ID to perform on my car. And I saw he’s cutting a regular key not even a chipped key. I told them which model I have and I need a chipped key over the phone, but still after two hours work locksmith guy told me I have to tow to the dealership.
    I’m getting a quote of $400 of reprogramming for new keys, which I checked around, it’s reasonable for labor fees to perform immobilizer thing. But this morning I got called saying that they have to replace the whole computer(I read some posts maybe it’s the ECU?) to make a new key. And the price is about $1300, it’s way too much than I expected. I did read some post for the scenarios still having one valet or master key. Also I read the post says buy ECU immobilizer with all locks and key use two keys together(?). Sorry I’m a newbie and can’t quite get that. Also I read some posts saying have to reflashing first, does it mean it have to replace the whole computer thing? After I talked the dealership I towed to, I also call around other dealers. They gave me the estimates about the same around $350-400. I wonder if I’ll get the same answers if I bring my car in with a quote of over one grand.
    If I only expect $500ish to deal with this situation, what should I do? I lost all the keys and I’m not very knowledgeable to figure this out myself. Is replace the whole computer thing necessary for this model?

    Please please help.
     
  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    @bwilson4web do you have any suggestions? You used to own a Gen 1 Prius.
     
  3. MoriD

    MoriD Junior Member

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    The dealership is telling me for Toyota Prius 2002 is unable to do the flashing, only option is to replace the ECU mobilizer. But I did read some posts saying DIY reprogramming w/o having any keys. I wonder if I have read it wrong or they are just trying to rip me off.

    Please please need some advice here
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the dealer is not going to offer you a low cost option, they can only go with factory recommendations.
    check with @ovni, not sure if he handles gen 1 or not.
     
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  5. MoriD

    MoriD Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I understand the dealer will try to sell, but the local locksmith isn’t performing well and several lock n alarm companys says they can’t handle this model.
    I wonder if there any other options I could call for?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did you try ovni?
     
  7. MoriD

    MoriD Junior Member

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    Emmmm not sure how to reach him. should I DM him? But I saw his account was registered in Texas. But I’m here in California, not sure if I could disassembled some parts n mail it...
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    pm him and ask him for advice. he may or may not have some.
     
  9. LEVE

    LEVE Member

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    IIRC, a couple of years ago I used my Denso Hand Held Toyoa tester to register keys on my 2005 without doing the Chicken Dance. I was surprised I could do that... I'm not sure if the Mini-VCI would let you do this same thing.
     
  10. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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  11. MoriD

    MoriD Junior Member

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    *Thank you for all the replies*

    I towed to another dealer, they told me someone performed and may burn it, they’re still waiting on the chip and to see if it’ll work out. If not I have to replace the whole computer...I really don’t know if I should throw that much money to do that because it’s a old car already.

    Any suggestions what should I do if it really burnt?
    Ask locksmith to compensate me for the repair? Sell as junk car?
    I just changed coolant gaskets, 12 volt battery, all four tires and two new rims within the year. I don’t know how long is the hybrid battery life, I really don’t know should I stick with this car or get a new one...if i could still drive it for three or four years I’d like to keep it, but i don’t know if there will be any further expenses other than regular maintenance.
     
  12. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but losing all keys in a Gen 1 is very, very bad. And very, very expensive. $1,000? $1,500?

    See this thread
    Gen1 Prius Lost all Keys - dealer quoted over $1500. Don't let this happen to you! | PriusChat

    Basically you need some computer hardware replaced as well as new keys made and programmed. As well as locks.

    Jue Motors is in Covina. I know they work on hybrids and are honest guys.
    Jue Motors
    678 E San Bernardino Rd
    Covina, CA 91723
    (626) 967-9089
    Not sure if they can do this key job, but it might be worth a call.
     
    #12 ericbecky, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    If it were me, I would contact the company recommended by Eric.Ericbecky is one of our trusted professionals here.
     
  14. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Sorry to hear about your problem.
    This situation is actually described as item (3) on page BE-104 of the 2002 Prius Repair manual RM883U2.

    You need to do a few things:
    (a) Buy an immobilizer ECU replacement kit from Toyota. It contains the immobilizer ECU, new steering column lock cylinder, and keys; my memory says it's about $400. It may also contain instructions. Then have Toyota (or a knowledgeable mechanic) replace the immobilizer ECU (the ECU replacement is physically painful; I speak from experience)

    (b) have Toyota look up the key code for your VIN (yes, they can do it) and cut (at least one) new blank for your existing locks.
    (this is a labor minimization process)

    (c) using the new blank (which fits, turns the ignition switch, but by itself cannot start the vehicle) PLUS one of the keys from the immobilizer kit (hold this key right where the key normally fits into the ignition switch) (you know it's right when the red Security light on the console stops blinking), allow the immobilizer ECU to "learn" the key and register the chip-key with the car main computer. This takes about half an hour; the procedure is on page BE-104 to BE-107 in my 2002 Toyota Prius Repair manual RM883U2. It is STRONGLY suggested that you have a 12v battery charger functioning and attached to the 12v battery during this process. NOTE: the procedure in the Toyota manual is translated from the Japanese, and, while technically correct, requires some degree of thinking-through in order to be correctly executed.

    (d) assuming you can now get the car started, you will need two keys to operate the vehicle: one to open the locks (mechanically) and a second key to electrically/RF-wise match the ECU to start the car. It turns out that the Gen I Prius doesn't care whether the RF-chip is near the start switch during operation; it only needs the chip during the START procedure.
    Yup, I had to do this myself, once; replacing the immobilizer ECU (step "a") is an agonizing procedure which requires disassembly of most of the panels around the steering column to get to the immobilizer module (which is bolted to a plate directly atop the steering column).

    Given the amount of labor involved, having Toyota charge $800-$1200 for the job is not unreasonable. It's just a large chunk of money for a long, involved job.

    May the gods of automotive good fortune smile upon you whichever path you choose.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe you should see, how many miles on her?
     
  16. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    A couple observations:
    bisco, it kinda doesn't matter how many miles. The car was fully functional until the keys were lost; now it's a repair or replace decision, and the repair branch was chosen. So we advise; and that's more data for weighing the repair v replace choice again.

    Others: The non-mechanical, all-electronic keys for Gen II (and younger) Prii have a completely different procedure for replacement than the Gen I.

    Cheers, all.
     
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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    actually, in post #15, o/p asks if she should sell.
     
  19. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Apologies; I missed the "Should I sell?" question.
    Kinda gets to the "Who should (or shouldn't) own a Gen I Prius" question.
    I do most of my own work, so my personal equation is different than someone who must hire out the maintenance and repair tasks.
     
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. i'm just thinking that if there is potential for other major repairs, mileage comes into play, along with age of course.
     
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