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Programmable keys

Forgive me if this has been covered. Just bought 2005 caravan with one key. I’m going to a junk yard for a couple of small items. My question is. If I obtained a key from a same year while there could it be reprogrammed for my van?

That should be possible, but the keys themselves do not get programmed.
What happens is that you program your van to accept the new key. Normally, if you have only one accepted key, you will need the dealer or a locksmith to program the van for the second key.
Given the programming charges, I wouldn’t take the chance on a used key.

The junkyard key won’t have the same physical profile (“cut” bumps and hollows), so it won’t even turn the cylinder.

If the 2005 is like the 2010, there is no metal blade to the key (for the ignition), and therefore no bumps and hollows to worry about. It’s just a plastic fob that clicks into a switch in the dash that turns like a normal key switch would. The locking features are all electronic, not mechanical.

Your comment certainly does apply to the door key that is in a compartment inside the fob.

Wierd. Thanks for the correction.

The site shows the 2005 Caravan as having a normal transponder key that must be cut (and programmed). If there was an optional upgrade for that year to the style that tardis refers to, I did not see it mentioned (still might exist though).

According to the instructions from that site for that year, if you have two working keys, then programming a third key yourself is trivial (your owners manual along with amazing keys has the instructions). If you only have one key or no keys, then you’ll need a locksmith or a dealer. Locksmiths are much less expensive.

I’ve purchases blank transponder keys from in the past. You can’t beat their prices.

I only knew that the 2010 didn’t have a metal ignition key. I assumed (and you know what happens then) that the 2005 might be the same way since the OP planed to pick up a key from a junk yard.

Joe, thanks for the tip. I’m going to check out that website to see if I can get an affordable replacement key for my Scion. The dealer cost is outrageous. It has the FOB buttons built into the key’s head.

Hey guys, thanks for the input. I appreciate it.


For my last set of programmable keys, I ended up going to Lowell Lock & Key, located at 1599 Middlesex St, Lowell MA, because didn’t have the specific keys.

Those keys were for my wife’s new Toyota Venza. The dealer wanted $245 each for spare transponder keys. At Lowell Lock & Key, I got three keys (cut & programmed) for $136.50 - for everything.

There might be an equivalent locksmith up in the Manchester, NH area, but if not, Lowell isn’t too far away.

Thanks million Joe, I really appreciate the info. I’m in the lowell area very often. I’ll look them up.

I can’t speak specifically for the Caravan but…

I’ve had very good luck buying blank keys on eBay. My local hardware store can cut them and I program them based on instructions off the internet. It’s very easy and way cheaper than a locksmith or dealer. I think I paid $9 for a key and the hardware store cut it for fifty cents. Programming only took five minutes.

My most recent key looked exactly like the OEM, with the exception that it had a Chrysler logo instead of a Jeep.

On second thought… I’m pretty sure that with Chrysler keys, you need two of them to program yourself. With only one, you either need a locksmith or a dealer to do it for you.

This [needing two keys to program another one in] applies to pretty much all makes. Otherwise, the valet or anyone you loaned the car to could make a copy of your key and take the car later.

I was surprised to learn on our 2009 Toyota that all programming of a new key must be done by a dealer or locksmith. The age-old method of having two working keys to program a 3rd was no longer an option.