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Lost my only key and having a nightmare! Advice welcome.


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Hi guys, 

I have a 1998, 5 door, much loved, Rav4 VX, and managed to lose my only key. 

You cannot chastise me any more than I already have done myself...😥

My local Toyota dealer tells me many things which amount to a bill of nearly £1000 for one of the possible solutions. 

A local locksmith says he can provide two keys for £150, which seems too good to be true and so far the key he has given me only opens the doors but does not turn the ignition, at all.

He says he will program the key so it will start the engine but I had to buy an ODB1 to ODB2 adaptor, and he has not yet come over to do the programming...

I have little to no faith that this will work, given what the local dealer told me about having to have the master key in order to add a new key. 

FYI - The key has no buttons or tech in the fob. It is just a plain black plastic top, with no doubt a built-in chip to disable the immobiliser.

Does anyone have any experience with this issue?

Am I looking at having to pay £1000 to a Toyota dealer or can a locksmith really program a new key?

Selling or scrapping my beloved car isn't an option. It only has 72K (genuine) miles on the clock and it is my most loved possession. 

Your thoughts and advice/experience are appreciated. 

Thank You

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Can you turn the key in the ignition barrel - It's not just the steering lock stopping you turning the key, try to wiggle the key as you turn it ? How long have you owned the car ?

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Car locksmiths invest in very expensive electronic tools that have been developed to circumvent the protections employed by Toyota.  Dealers tend to regard them as the work of the Devil, so it's no surprise they don't mention them.

So, yes, a professional with the right tools and experience should be able to program it.

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@flash22 Thank you for your reply!

The key opens the doors but when inserted in the ignition barrel, it does not turn. The steering was not locked at the time the locksmith was trying to make it work, but it is locked now as I was trying to get the car put back in the garage and turned the steering far too much. 

I have owned this car for 16 years, and never once it occurred to me to have a duplicate key made, for which I am kicking myself now. 

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@IanML Thank you for your reply!

Yes, I understand why the dealer turns his nose up at the locksmith 🙄😁

What worries me is that the locksmith literally took a hammer to the key to force it into the ignition, and I wanted to punch him. 🤬

The key fits into the ignition barrel now (the proverbial by-hook-or-by-crook situation), but it does not turn it.

I have little, to no, faith now that this guy will manage to get my car to start, and he is no cowboy - he came highly recommended, but I don't think it will work, though I am encouraged by your assurance that a locksmith can do this!

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Find another locksmith, the locks may have been changed at some point in its life, hence why the key doesn't work in the ignition, if that guy doesn't have the tools that's his problem

1st step is to get a key for the ignition that physically works

a quick google, seems well rated - https://mycarkeys.co.uk/

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@flash22 Thank you! 

My nerves are frayed, with it all. The current locksmith is due to come back to try and program the key he left but which doesn't turn in the ignition. 

The locks have never been changed, and the key I had did everything.

I called the guy you recommended, thanks. Unfortunately he does not cover my area, which is just outside Coventry...

Thanks again for your suggestions and help! 

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How Toyota can charge £1000 for this is totally beyond me.

A few years ago I had to have a new ignition barrel in my 2009 Volvo S60 (long story which I won't go into), total cost £370; if an ignition barrel costs that,  I can't see how replacing a key should cost £1000; Toyota should be ashamed. 

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@flash22

Thank you for that. I have googled for local locksmiths and this one does not do Toyota keys. Most are telling me the car is too old and/or they just do not touch Toyotas. 

Ha!

I will keep trying...

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@Saxacat The dealership service manager said the part cost is £557 and the rest is fitting and VAT.

I am pretty numb from it all, now. The car may have to be scrapped as I have had enough really...

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37 minutes ago, Saxacat said:

How Toyota can charge £1000 for this is totally beyond me.

A few years ago I had to have a new ignition barrel in my 2009 Volvo S60 (long story which I won't go into), total cost £370; if an ignition barrel costs that,  I can't see how replacing a key should cost £1000; Toyota should be ashamed. 

That is known as F U go away price, TBH that car is older than most of the staff at a stealership

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Any mileage in getting a set of locks and keys from a scrapper? Or will it get complicated due to ecu etc?

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It might be worth looking into getting a lock and key from a scrappy.  Or even just a barrel and key.

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This is a question, so probably of little use to the OP but:

Is it the case that the keyfob immobiliser chips generally aren't programmable? 

And that what is in fact happening with the locksmith and his OBD2, is the immobiliser unique code in the (new or different) keyfob is added to a short list of codes that are already programmed into the car ECU?

Is the Toyota dealer requiring the master key in order to clone the immobiliser chip code?  i.e. a different technique to the locksmith.

I'm just trying to clarify what is probably being offered. 

 

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The dealer cost is expensive because they have no official way to make a new key and add its code to the ECU without an existing master to authorize it; The encryption system on the ECU hasn't been cracked AFAIK and I don't think TechStream can inject new keys, certainly on older cars, so the only official route they have is to replace the whole ECU, the ignition barrel, and all the door locks.

To do it without doing that requires a specialist and they're hard to find now; There was a guy on here called Craig or Chris or something like that back when I first joined the forum who did such work, and you had to send him the whole ECU and a lock barrel IIRC, but I haven't seen him on here in over a decade.

I'm sure such people are still around, but finding them is the problem...

Another alternative is to get a full set of ECU, keys and locks from a scrapped car of the exact same type, pref. down to the year and trim level, and have those fitted to the car.

Also, if you haven't already, check your car insurance - A lot of insurers include key cover; If yours does, this is the time to use it!!!

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@flash22, @Catlover, @Stivino, @Gerg, @Cyker

 

Thank you all for your input and advice. 

I have decided to scrap the car. 

It has only done 72K miles, has little to no rust, it has been loved and looked after for 16 years, and has never failed an MOT - and yet I am at the mercy of complete rip-off merchants and idiots, for something which should be simple to fix and get a replacement for. 

I have had enough, and have swollen eyes from crying with the distressing thought of getting rid of a perfectly good car, which is much loved.

I just can't deal anymore and my brain hurts...

Thanks again for all your help. It is much appreciated.

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I wouldn't be so hasty.  There will be a way through this.

I'm trying to get the contact details of the guy who did the key on my daughter's car, I'm sure he'll know.

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1 hour ago, Saxacat said:

How Toyota can charge £1000 for this is totally beyond me.

A few years ago I had to have a new ignition barrel in my 2009 Volvo S60 (long story which I won't go into), total cost £370; if an ignition barrel costs that,  I can't see how replacing a key should cost £1000; Toyota should be ashamed. 

Due to all keys being lost the Toyota repair involves supplying, replacing then coding in a new immobiliser ecu as well. 

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Yeah, it's too early - It's quite distressing emotionally but if you can bear to knuckle down and do the research I'm sure you could save it; It's just if you can afford the time to do the searching!

I went through similar things when trying to figure out what to do with my Mk2 when the gearbox failed - The costs I was getting back were just ludicrous and I had to spend ages trying to find a place that could either repair it or sell me a second-hand replacement without having to sell both kidneys :laugh: 

I was able to find one from a welsh breaker for a fraction of what I was originally being quoted, but it took a lot of searching!

Point is it won't be quick or easy - Sifting through the 'normal' auto-locksmiths trying to find the specialist is going to take time; It's all whether the car is worth it or not!

And you might get lucky and find the key!

If it comes down to it tho', personally I think changing cars is a better idea, assuming you have funds for that, as that one must be costing a small fortune in petrol, and I think it predates Euro emissions so, with all these stupid ULEZ zones popping up, it won't be able to go into most major cities without being penalized soon...!

 

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If you are still on Andrea, I agree with the others it may be a bit early to scrap a much beloved car.

Sit back from the situation a bit maybe for a couple of days, have a glass of wine or two , and let time calm it down little.

Ok ,you may have to take taxis or get a lift for a day or two ,or even consider a cheap runaround temporarily, old mk 1 Yaris 1.0 s can be had for a few hundred,tatty but reliable.

And then sold again when a solution is found.

But I can see no upside to scrapping your car immediately, it won't be worth much scrap, and won't cost anything if on SORN if you have somewhere to park off road.

If a solution can be found from the very resourceful people on here ,no loss , and you have your rav back.

If not , then nothing can be lost by giving a bit of time.🙂

 

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And an alternative to scrapping, which will cost, might be trying to sell it for parts of nothing else. 

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@Stivino @Cyker @Rhymes with Paris @Roy124

Thank you, guys, for your support and words of encouragement. 

I have taken time to step back from the very real distress I felt, after everything I learned in the last 48 hours, and am happy to say that there is renewed hope in the horizon, and that my beloved car will not be going to the scrap yard. Yet!

I wrote that when I felt very low, but having regrouped and started to look at alternatives, I feel much more upbeat. 

This is what happens when you have a car which has never given you any trouble in 16 years, and then you are the one who screws up by losing the only key... 🙄

If I had known what trouble replacing a key would be, I would have made 10 copies!!!! 

I will definitely update the post when I have positive news 😊

Thank you again for all your support and help. 

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I have a 1996 Volvo Volvo 940 and lost the 2nd key.

Yours may have a chip in the key for an alarm and immobiliser like my Volvo has.

A good locksmith should be able to make a new key, clear any old keys out of the secirity ECU memory and code your new key.

Sure it's possible, just need to find the right person.

I had to ring round 4 places just to get a copy done a few years ago, as most couldn't do it/too old. I used CT Locksmiths in Stechford in Birmingham.

Car Key Replacement | Car Key Assist

Cost me £35.

Hope you get it sorted at a good price.

James.

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