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Discussion Starter #1
Title says it all. I see posts bout programming keys from earlier models, not for the 2010. Must I have a dealer do it, or can I do it myself without any other hardware/software?
 

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The car is programmed to accept a new fob. The fob is not programmed. So unless you have the special equipment necessary, you will have to have the dealer program the car.
 

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Yes - that's what I meant. Can a used fob work for programming? If so, at what cost?

It's crazy to have to pay $350 for a new one at the dealer. Mine charges $130 just for a new mechanical key, when I can buy a blank for $10 and have a locksmith cut it for $20-25.

Making an extra Smart Key (1.e., programming a Prius to accept one) seems like something locksmiths might get into, if the equipment is about $400. Anyone know one who already does this?
 

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Hey, hansi805,

I just went to my local True Value hardware store a few months back & paid about $2 for my blank & they cut the 2-sided key for about $2 more. It was too hard for my arthritic hands to turn the small head of the hidden metal key in the door lcck when I wanted to leave the A/C on for our crated dog in the car if we had to leave it for a few minutes. The head on the True Value key is about 1 1/4 inches wide, so it's real easy on my hands.

I've never had the need to get a new fob though, but I can feel your pain about having to spend so much for the fob & the car's programming. If it is any consolation though, I drive for a car auction company & the dealers complain about any car with only one fob that they cost so much (for any make) to buy & program for an extra key/fob, so it's not just us Prius owners.
 

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hansi805 said:
Yes - that's what I meant. Will dealers accept a used fob for programming? If so, at what cost?
Due to the rolling security codes used for the Prius, the car can't be programmed to accept a used fob. The dealer can pay Toyota for a reseeding code where they can reset the computer back to ground zero and then program for a used fob. However, the cost will probably be as much if not more than just buying a new fob and have the programming done by the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I love our Prius, but we already paid a premium in terms of price. Paying $350 to replace a Smart Key is nuts. I'm terrified of losing it.

I do computer database and network consulting, and cannot understand why Toyota makes setting up a fob such a Byzantine operation. Or is the problem that most dealers are uncomfortable with or afraid of the sorts of procedures and usual aggravations necessary to accomplish a task like this?

Maybe it's partially the dealers' anxiety about the task that is causing it to be so expensive. If so, why doesn't Toyota provide training to independent consultants who might provide this service to dealerships or to owners? There are so many kids coming out of school for whom this would be relatively simple.

Something's wrong here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PS

If someone sets up Smart Keys frequently, the task should then become relatively simple (or at least straightforward) for him or her. Dealers will never get to do enough of these themselves for this to happen.

Something's wrong here.
 

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Hi, hansi805,

You should be terrified about losing it. Definitely get a new one for the dealer to program the car to accept before you do lose the only one or else you will be forced to pay the bigger bucks to have the dealer re-seed the car's computer before any new fob(s) can be accepted by the car. As long as you have one fully functional fob to access the smart key computer, you can add up to 4 fobs total. I would suggest you have the dealer remove the missing original one first so that the previous owner (if he still has the other fob) no longer will have access to your car (should he discover it's now in your possession). You should never be down to only one fob or you run the risk of losing the one working one that will grant the dealer access to program the car for another one without the added cost of the re-seeding.

The $350 you mentioned in your earlier post sounds a little steep, but I bet that is the price for the fob including the car's programming for it. I think I've seen a price mentioned on this site of about $250 with about $90 for the programming, so your price now sounds in the ballpark only if it includes the programming. I think a new fob includes the hidden metal key, so I don't think you have to pay the $130 on top of the $350 (that would be if you only needed a metal key by itself, but that seems way too high). The metal key is supposed to be laser cut, but I don't know how much they may charge for that. When the hardware store cut my $2 blank for the $2 service/cutting fee, they had a bit of a time getting it right because of the difficulty holding the small size of the original hidden one. After re-adjusting & re-clamping the original 3 times & re-chasing the notches on the blank with their grinding wheel, it finally worked in the door lock. That may be why the dealer does it with the more accurate laser.

If there are 3 drivers in your household, you may want to ask the dealer if there is any additional programming charge for the 3rd one (I would think not as they are already into the computer & it's real easy at that point to just add another new fob's ID into it). Of course you will still have the cost of the new fob, but it is likely it will only be around the $250 amount I've heard of before. If you do add another one separately later on, it will most likely be around the $350 again. Again, it's not just Toyota that has expensive fobs & programming as I've learned from talking to the dealers at the car auction I work at.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have 2 fobs. Does the car need to be present when the new fob is set up? If not, perhaps there's a dealer out there with a reasonable price to whom I could mail my 2nd fob to use as a model. (Is that possible?)
 

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hansi805 said:
I have 2 fobs. Does the car need to be present when the new fob is set up? If not, perhaps there's a dealer out there with a reasonable price to whom I could mail my 2nd fob to use as a model. (Is that possible?)
hansi805, didn't you understand the previous posts? The car is programmed to accept a new fob. So obviously the car needs to be at the location where the programming takes place. The fob is not programmed.
 
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