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

Scion keys

My daughter’s 05 Scion tc has had both of its keys break, in 70,000 miles of use. She’s told that replacing them will cost $500, plus $150 labor. With one, the chip stopped working, and with the other, the plastic case broke. I’ve never had these kinds of problems with other keys. Is this a common problem with Scions? And the second question: why do they cost so much? I’ve never heard of a replacement key costing more than about $50 – not even for my 2001 Jaguar S-type. Why are they so expensive?

Scion keys are Toyota keys, and no I’ve never heard of or had any problems with Toyota keys breaking. Are they replacing the lock cylinder and the keys, or just the keys? Keys with chips in them are expensive, but $500 sounds high for two keys.

No, I don’t think they’re replacing the lock cylinders, but they have to do something on the computer in order to activate the new keys – hence the $150 labor cost. I assume this is because the car now has no working keys, so they can’t just make a new key that matches the old one?

It sounds like your daughter is getting her prices from a dealer.

I suggest you find a good locksmith who has all the necessary reprogramming equipment. I suspect you’ll find the price from a locksmith will be less than half of what the dealer charges.

What part of the country are you located in currently? The reason i am asking is i live in PA and know a guy who can get the keys for a reasonable price. But due to your location, you may not want to travel to get them programmed.

I live in CA, so going to PA wouldn’t be practical. But, obviously, it would pay off not to accept the dealer prices and look around. Is your person a locksmith?

Thank you, I will pass on this suggestion.

Yes yes yes, this is a common problem with Scion tC keys. I have a tC, bought new, and I just had to retire one of the keys because the plastic case broke. I kapt “bandaiding” the key until it just would not hold together any more under the twisting force necessary to turn the car on.

In your daughter’s case, the chip on the one key may have stopped working because the battery is dead. The Oener’s Manual shows you how to change these batteries. Simply pop th ecas eopen with a common screwdriver using the little slot on the edge.

The cars are great. The keys are junk.

Logical but invalid assumption. My 2005 Corolla keys were totally completely different from my 2005 Scion tC keys.