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Dealer wants $ 400 to make key

I’ve bought a 2000 Avalon, I loved it. I had three keys. I broke one and lost one. I have only one remote and one key left. The dealer wants $ 400 to make a key. What are my alternatives?

Call around to your local locksmiths. Some of them may have the equipment needed to make the keys, you just have to check around. No easy way to find out unless one advertises or if you call around.

$400 for a key? Might it not have a built-in transponder needed to start the car? Clearly, a simple mechanical key does not cost $400.

If you have one working key, you can get a new transponder key from for $29.99. I’ve bought from them before and have had good service. You will need to get the key cut locally.

Here’s the description they provide for a key for a 2000 Toyota Avalon:

Product Description
FREE PROGRAMMING INSTRUCTIONS PACKED WITH THIS KEY!!! Yes it is brand new and uncut! This is a TRANSPONDER KEY that fits the 2000 TOYOTA AVALON. This key is not available at Wal-Mart or your local hardware show. The key must be programmed to your vehicle. This is a simple process if you already have one existing working key for the car. I’ll include free programming instructions! If you don’t have one working key then you will have to go to the dealer or to a locksmith with the special equipment needed to program these types of keys. This will cost you from $20-$40 to have this done. If you already have one key then you can program it yourself for free! Your only cost is the price of this keyblank and the cost of getting it cut. It can be cut by the dealer or a good locksmith for about $2 if you already have the blank. You will save a lot of money if you plan ahead and keep at least two keys, at all times, for your vehicle. I need to point out that if you lose all of your keys and need a new one made for your vehicle then you will have to call a locksmith to come and make a new key. You will pay about $250 when you meet your local TRANSPONDER enabled locksmith and marvel in absolute wonder as you see him create a new High Security Transponder key for your vehicle from scratch in about an hour. The advantage to all of this is that car thefts have decreased since the introduction of the transponder key system. The disadvantage is that you will pay a lot more for these high security keys. But, with the purchase of this key blank, you’ll save some real dollars and you’ll PAT yourself on the back for being so smart!

If you go on ebay you can get chip keys and key fob’s for very reasonable prices. They come with instructions either in the shipment or via internet link. Some cars need a locksmith or dealer to program, true with most Volvo’s.

I was able to program both a new fob and chip key for an '01 Toyota Sequoia. You should be able to get what you need for an Avalon as it is a Toyota mfg’d product. I think the chip key and fob were less than $40. I took the chip key to a local hardware store to cut using the good key as the master.

once upon a time keys did not have remotes and we all managed…cheap solution just have dealer make a plain ordinary key…I leave my remotes home…can’t stand all the chirping in parking lots as others open and lock their car doors and I will not add to the noise…

Here’s A Link To A Business With Which I Have Had Good Experiences.

Put in your information and see what results. They also have a toll free phone number and a helpful staff. Click the link below to Keyless Ride. Click the link:


Since you are unlikely to get a straight, correct answer about whether the key contains a transponder that is actually necessary to operate the car, go to your local hardware store and see if they can cut you a key from your existing key. If they can, have them make a key (I reckon it’ll cost about 5 dollars) and try it in the door, trunk and ignition. If it works, get another (spare) key made, put the high class key someplace safe just in case you someday need it, and get on with your life using the copy. If the hardware store can’t make a copy or the copy doesn’t work, then plan B is to find someone who can make you a transponder equipped key (a truly weird concept BTW) for less than $400.

The remote? I haven’t a clue. If it is essential, I’d look into cloning it BEFORE I accidentally dropped it down a stormdrain.

Thanks so much all of you for the answers. Yes, I’m going to follow what has been suggested in this thread.
Don’t care about the remote for sure.
Thanks again

Many newer cars like my wifes Lexus doesn’t have a key. Just the remote. As long as the remote is in your physical possession you can operate the car. I have no idea how much it will cost to replace that. Some lock-smiths are starting to carry them and can even program them. Right now the dealers are staying one step ahead of the lock-smiths.

Bring me a mailorder key or I supply the key… same price… and I am not tracings keys for 2.00… .that is a bogus mailorder deal.

I cut keys by CODE… meaning no wear and tear.

If blade broke from a remote head, I transpose the pod into the new blade/head assembly.

No 2.00 scam, but not 400.00 like the dealer ( your dealer is HIGHER than normal )

Beware of ebay.scams

RTM! Your car may have the option for you to program new keys, as I did for 25 bucks for the unprogrammed key from the dealer. It was a bizarre series of put key in turn on igng, turn off ign press brake pedal etc etc. but it worked for up to 8 keys on our car.

Waterboy, Did The “New Key” Programming Instructions Start Something Like This?

You put your new key in,
You put your new key out,
You put your new key in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about . . .