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Computer chip keys?

Is it still true that one can’t get a working ignition key on one of these models outside the dealer,
even after 13 years?
I have a 99 Lexus.

You will be lucky to get one at all…But a good automotive locksmith MIGHT be able to help you…

What is your underlying problem? Lost the key? Key will not turn in lock? Key turns but nothing happens?

Much simpler. Lost a key, don’t have a spare any more.
Need to make keys.

There are a number of online services that can make you a new key. For example:

An uncut transponder key won’t be much help. I believe they have to be programmed for the car.

A locksmith service should be able to handle this.

Automotive Laser & Transponder Keys

I see that Walmart is offering duplicate transponder keys for $50, but you have to have the original. I don’t know any details as I don’t have any vehicles that use a transponder keys, yet.

If you do not have a transponder key for this car, the ECU will need to be re-programmed to recognize any more transponders. Usually, with at least one working key the computer recognizes, additional keys can be added. But, without one at all, a scan tool is required to put the ECU into a learn mode.

Also, it will be hard to get the right cut for the key without a working one. Plan on spending some money if you can find a locksmith with the correct scan tool.

I’m not familar with Lexi, but I’ve had to have several keys cut from the VIN code for Ford and GM cars. The Ford company removes their codes from their computer base after 10 years, but the locksmith i use still has a database he can get into. I’ve never had him fail to make a Ford company key. He uses some sort of computer gizmo. I suspect that a good locksmith with the proper equipment can do one for a Lexus. Check the yellow pages.

If you have a working key, another can be made from it…If you have NO key, that could be a bigger problem, but still it’s doable…

Any competent locksmith can help you, original keys or not.

A note on the simplicity of programming a new key; each manufacture has it’s own proceedures and 1999-2001 Toyota’s are a security overkill.

A master key is required to engauge the programming proceedure, this prevents a nonowner with a valet key from making a new key-good enough.

If the master keys are lost a new key cannot be programmed, the engine ECU must be replaced. Toyota has acknowledged this as an engineering error, should this occur Toyota will pay for the ECU replacement for one time only.

Later years have a “reseed” proceedure if all of the keys are lost, takes about an hour.

If you still hve a working key, you should be able to get a duplicate. “Do It Best” hardware stores are equipped to cut duplicate chip keys. I got one for an '01 Toyota Sequoia that works fine and it is my spare key now.

Lesson is, anyone with a chip key, and the is what most cars use now, should never just have one key for the car. If you don’t have a duplicate spare key now, get one. It is too late once you lose that last working key. Reprogramming the car once all keys are lost is a real pain, and an expensive pain, and in most cases you are at the mercy of the dealer to do the reprogramming.

Is there any limitation on the number of keys that can be programmed for a given car? Of remotes?

Oh yes, Nevada_545, can a copy of a master work as the basis for a new copy?

Many new cars have no keys at all…They come with a fob you keep in your pocket…There is a start/stop button on the dash that functions as long as the transponder is nearby…Ten years from now, we will see what kind of horror stories, fixes, work-a-rounds and hacks this new technology produces…Or is it just a passing fad?

Melott; a working master key is needed to start the programming proceedure. Some models allow 5 keys to be programmed, others 8 keys. Which model Lexus do you have?

I have a 1999 ES 300.
Is a working copy considered to be a master?

If you have a working key (and it not the “valet” key) then you should be able to get a duplicate made pretty easily at places like Walmart, and Do It Best hardware stores.

A master key for this vehicle has a black handle and three buttons, the valet key has a grey handle and no buttons.