Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Coded car keys--not from dealer?

Toyota charges ripoff prices for their coded car keys. You can’t get copies made at the hardware store. Is there any way to do this while avoiding the high price from the dealer?

There’s a proprietary microchip in each coded key. Toyota isn’t going to license out the technology. They’re the only source to get it from.

Same with all the other car companies, btw.

You should be able to get them at most locksmiths. Each key has a unique electronic code. The car has to be programmed to accept the new key. Usually, if you have two working keys, you can program in more yourself. Check your owner’s manual for the procedure to use to do it.

Toyota licenses the technology from the same companies that everyone else does. They don’t have exclusive rights.

You can buy chip keys and remote key fob’s on ebay. Lots of vendors. A few cars need special equipment, a locksmith, or car dealer to program; but most you can do yourself with instructions given by the vendors.

I have successful programmed chip keys for a '04 Ford, and an '01 Toyota Sequoia. The keys and key fob’s on ebay are like $20.00 while the Toyota dealer wanted about $120 or something ridiculous to cut me a spare coded key.

I saw this posted somewhere a while back and saved it.


Ace Hardware can do at least some coded keys now. You could take your key in & see if they are able to do yours. My local store has a display that you insert your key in & it will tell you if it can be done.