98 AVALON KEY I RECENTLY GOT A 98 AVALON WITH ONLY 1 KEY, WHICH DISAPPEARED. I HAD IT TOWED TO A DEALER WHO SAID THEY COULD MATCH A NEW KEY TO THE CAR. DAYS LATER THEY SAID THIS WAS 1 OF A FEW MODELS THAT THE CODE COULD NOT BE DETERMINED FROM ECM. LEAVING THE ONLY CHOICE OF A NEW ECM & KEY FOR $1600. THE CAR IS OK BUT NOT WORTH ANOTHER $1600. THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY, ANYTHING SO I CAN USE IT. HELP PLEASE THANK YOU SUG
Cutting a replacement key is the easy part, programming a new key to the immobilizer system is not so easy.
Toyota’s immobilizer systems require a working “Master key” to program a replacement key. This ensures someone entrusted with the vehicle with the valet key can’t obtain a duplicate key.
The flaw in this system became obvious when original owners lost their keys needed a new ECU to accept new keys.
Toyota developed a customer support program to address this; if the keys were lost Toyota will pay for the ECU if the owner will pay for TWO new keys but only once.
Contact Toyota customer assistance, they will review the vehicles history to determine if the ECU has been replaced in the past and if the support program is applicable. This support is not available to wholesalers, auctions, financial institutions, salvage vehicles or dealers.
If you are on your own with this you might consider a used engine ECU with matching keys or a remanufactured ECU if available.
I guess one lesson for everyone here is to make a second key right away if you end up with one key for a car for any reason.
THANKS FOR THE INFO. I’LL TRY TOYOTA ALTHOUGH I AM NOT OPTIMISTIC AT THIS POINT. IN THE 1st 2 WEEKS I TRIED TWICE TO GET A KEY BUT BLANKS WEREN’T IN STOCK. THEN 1 KEY OFF A RING OF 3 “DISAPPEARED”. I HAD NEVER “LOST” A KEY BEFORE.–TOYOTA SHOULD HAVE TO REPLACE EVERYTHING FOR DOING SOMETHING SO STUPID. THANKS AGAIN SUG
Are we sure this car has a smart key. I think it is a regular key that a locksmith should be able to cut/hack.
Typing in all capital letters makes your posts hard to read. Some readers might decide to skip your posts instead of helping you.