$300 for an extra key

I recently bought a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. It only came with one key. It isn’t even really a key. It’s just a plastic thing with some buttons in it and it has a square box on the end that goes into a square hole in the dash. We need an extra one, but between the hardware and the time to program it, the dealer wants over $300. Is there a cheaper alternative?

Go to good a lock smith - I’m not talking about the guy that cuts keys at home depot. A REAL locksmith. They can often provide smart keys for a variety of vehicles.
I had a Subie spare key made for $60 that way.

As mentioned above, usually you will have to buy a new “uncut” key from ebay or alike and then have the locksmith program it. Not sure how much more it will save you. Might want to look on some Jeep forums too.

Try these guys: https://ikeyless.com/vehicles/Jeep/Grand+Cherokee/2009/

Looks like about $90. I have a 2006 Chrysler and it too came with just one key. I bought a replacement key/remote and the dealer programmed it for about $50, still cheaper than a local locksmith would. If your dealer wants a lot more or refuses to program a key you provide, it’s probably time to find another dealer. Once you have two working keys you should be able to activate more yourself if you want more spares.

Was there a problem with the old $4.50 brass keys? Do $300 electronic keys have ANY effect on auto-theft rates? Sounds like just another automotive profit center…

I agree. It is just another way to stick it to the customer.

I disagree, The least-stolen vehicles tend to be familymobiles and luxury models with sophisticated anti-theft systems. This is a luxury vehicle we are talking about here, there is a reason it has a smart key, if it didn’t Thieving Tony would be able to pop the lock and start it with a screw driver and the Grand Cherokee would be at the top of the most stolen vehicle list.

I went to a local locksmith. He referred me to a guy that specializes in auto locks. That guy said he could make a key that would start the car for about $100. But that would not include the integrated remote for the door locks. I would have to open the door with an old fashioned key. Or he could make the whole thing for $225, which is not cheap, but $75 cheaper than the dealer. In the end, I procrastinated long enough and one day the dealer where we bought the car calls me up and tells me they found the other key!


Congratulations on your good luck!

“the found the other key” . . . ?

Can you enlighten us?

Was it the dealer that lost the other key in the first place?

Are the giving you the key for free?

Good gawd! You mean it was supposed to come with two keys, the bozos at the dealer didn’t know this, and tried to rook you $300 for something you should have gotten with the car? I’d have said at the purchase, “Give me two or three keys with it or no sale”.

Actually we bought it from a Mini dealer. They said somebody had traded the Jeep in for a Mini and they only had one key for it. It seemed plausible. But, yeah, a month later, they found the other key. They had no use for it, so they gave it to us. I give them credit for that. It would have been easy for them to make that key disappear and never admit their screw up. If I HAD just spent $300 on a new key, I would have been furious with them.

They actually also lost the other key for quite awhile too. For awhile, we didn’t have any keys! Fortunately, after 20 minutes of desperate searching, somebody found that sitting on the windshield wiper.

“Was there a problem with the old $4.50 brass keys?”

Yes. They didn’t allow you to lock or unlock the doors from 50 feet away. They didn’t open or close the rear hatch for you. They weren’t able to be be programmed to open the windows and sunroof as you approached the car to begin to cool it on a hot summer day. They also let someone jam a screwdriver in the ignition and drive away with your car. They’re not keys anymore. They’re integrated key-fob remotes that do a lot more than turn a lock cylinder.

Now I’m not saying certain things aren’t over-engineered these days, but how many people today would buy a new luxury SUV and be happy about the fact that they had to use the key to unlock the hatch, pull a handle to open it, then pull the hatch closed, then have to use the key again to unlock the driver’s door just to load groceries and get in the car.

There’s a reason that Mercedes has one of the most complicated and intricate key/remote/anti-theft systems. There’s a big black market for Mercedes parts. Kias and Chevys, not so much.

It does happen folks. We got our 2012 Acura last year and the dealer (or at least the saleman) could not find the second key anywhere. So we got one key, then they had to order the second one, and I had to take it in for progtramming. I suspect the cost was in the $2-300 range and the shop charged it to the sales dept. account. The only thing a little fishy was when I called about the status, they said there had been a run on keys from the regional supplier so was delayed a week. I always wondered if maybe the plant shipped with only one key fob due to a shortage. Its a major pain though these days to get a new key and even worse if you have no keys.

Yeah…It was nice in the old days to get a key made at a hardware store for 3 bucks, but as others have pointed out here, thieves could drive away in them within a minute. My Versa, one of the lowest-end cars around, has RKE key fobs, and I really like being able to unlock the car with it when I’m loading groceries, etc…I also like walking away from the car, hitting the button, and hearing that “beep” tell me it’s locked and I have the keys in my hand!

I miss being able to stick a bunch of keys on a key ring and stick it in my pocket. These big plastic fobs are just way too chunky - especially if you have more than one car!

Ack! My pickup won’t start! Oh. Never mind. I just didn’t turn the key all the way because the fob for the Altima is getting tangled up. :slight_smile:


I actually deactivated the “beep” on my car, because it’s so loud that it annoyed the neighbors


@db4690: I managed to use the button sequence instructions in the manual to stop my car from honking while unlocking, and to unlock all doors with a single push of the button. The instructions didn’t work for the honk (and it’s a real, loud honk on a Compass) while locking. The dealer wanted $100 to do it through their scanner, so I annoyed the neighbours now and again instead.

I was just camping, and the 3 college aged girls in the next spot over kept locking their car with the fob, and a honk. At 7 am.

There’s nothing like a car honk when you’re trying to sleep . . .

Maybe the new smart keys do deter theft…The Honda Accord is the most stolen vehicle, and the most often stolen model is the 1996 car…Next comes the Ford and Chevy full-size pick-up trucks. The average age of a stolen vehicle is 10 years…

The other day we tried to lock the wife’s purse in the trunk. It wouldn’t lock and just kept beeping. Finally figured out that her fob was in the purse and the car didn’t want her to lock the keys in the trunk. She just took the purse with her.