Replacing your car key used to be easy. Getting a duplicate key meant simply taking the key to a local store that offered key duplication services. For modern vehicles, the story is much different. Toyota, like many other car manufacturers, now depends on computer technology to provide added security features for its keyless entry remotes. Sure, you can replace the ignition key, but the car will not start or you will not be able to defeat the auto alarm without the companion microchip.
Things You'll Need
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Car title
- Proof of insurance
Determine whether you need a replacement or duplicate key. If you lost all available original keys, go to Step 2. If you already have a key (and remote) and simply want to duplicate that key, proceed to Step 3.
Bring proof of ownership for the car key you must replace to either a Toyota dealership or a licensed locksmith. This may consist of one or all of the following documents: car title, registration and proof of insurance.
Write down your Toyota's unique vehicle identification number (VIN), usually found where the dash meets the front windshield. If the vehicle is not coming with you, make sure you also know the make and model.
Visit your local Toyota dealership or licensed locksmith. With the information from Steps 2 and 3, they will determine which key is appropriate for your Toyota and provide a replacement or duplicate.
Tips & Warnings
- If using a licensed locksmith, call first to confirm that he can service your Toyota make and model.
- Replacing transponder keys can be expensive. Shop around. Locksmiths or key replacement business websites may be a more affordable alternative to the Toyota dealership.
- According to Jose Hernandez, owner of Omega Locksmith Security Professionals in Chicago, “A Toyota made from 1998 to 2003 is a particular challenge because it requires the car’s onboard computer to be physically removed for reprogramming a new key.” If you are unfortunate enough to need a replacement key for any Toyota manufactured during these years, getting a replacement will take more time and be more costly.
- Don’t attempt to circumvent the auto alarm or security features. Doing so could void your auto warranty and possibly damage your car.
- Bill Willis; Parts Professional; Cedar Rapids Toyota; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- The Boston Globe
- Jose Hernandez; Owner; Omega Locksmith Security Professionals; Chicago