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No Keys For Car. Let Locksmith Open?


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Well, it finally happened. During our last move, the box containing all the keys on the key rack -- every spare key to every car and house and neighbors, etc. went missing. I've been meaning to get to the dealer for a spare but haven't. I have an enormous dislike for our dealer, supposedly the largest dealer in the country. I did read here a few months ago how to order a key and program it so shame on me for not doing it the instant I saw that.

The dilemna now is, my toddler son loves car keys and took off with mine. I got distracted and failed to pry it away from him. Now -- no key. None. Nada. Nowhere. He could have flushed it for all I know. He did push all the buttons though, so the car is locked. He loves the unlock button, couldn't he have held it long enough to make the windows go down?? My purse is inside. Thankfully, the car is in the garage.

I called AAA to send a locksmith to open the car and thankfully they did not show up last night. Now that I'm awake I realize that without the remote, the security in the car will go off and make me crazy.

What to do?

Tow it to the dealer? Call them and see if the parts guy remembers me and will cut the key from the VIN and I'll have someone pick it up for me? Then what? Security will still go crazy, can I program it with that going off?

I'm going to lose my mind! :)

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well, u may have to call dealer to explain your situation: NO KEY whatsoever!

I hope I am wrong, but I recall u will need at least ONE working key with transponder embedded in order to program extra 'master key'. so, it's possible that u may have to change ECU in order to get working keys.

VIN matching only gets u a key to open doors/trunk, but it won't give u or dealer the code to program the transponder which is required to start the engine. I don't believe they keep the code record per VIN. but, again I hope I am wrong.....

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Roadside assistance is only 4 years unlimited miles. They may or may not charge you, Lexus is pretty good about that. BUT they will bring you a new key (That they will definately charge you for). Those keys are really expensive too. The right key turned in the lock shouldn't set off the alarm.

I too have been meaning to make a spare key but they're so expensive...

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A new key definitely cheaper than that whole mess.

The short of it is - the locksmith slim-jimmed the car, the alarm only goes for about 2 minutes. Just don't close the door again. Thanks to work-related connections (I work at a wheel store), the parts department had no problems cutting a key for me and one of our drivers was ready to go get it for me. The locksmith had tried to cut it according to the key code but it didn't work.

Verdict -- without any key with working transponder, the ECU would have to be removed and programmed -- "flashed" they called it. Locksmith's guy was $500, dealer was much more. ECU is located under the dash, behind the glove box. So expect about 40 screws from an uncomfortable position to gain access to this.

Of course, Murphy's Law must prevail. After having just gotten the ECU out, I found the key. A day and a half of crazy searching by 4 people did not reveal the key. I found it while on the phone, walking aorund the yard -- it was hanging in a hedge that we had all checked several times. Locksmith copied the key. Made an extra copy of the key to hubby's truck too, and everything is good.

If you only have one key for a second gen Lexus, realize that no master = no duplicate transponder = no starting the car without reprogramming or replacing the ECU. I survived 5 years with only one key for my SC400 but I was stupid to wait too long to get a spare and now paid the price (though it was a lot less than it could have been).

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sounds like I was *unfortunately' right about the ECU thing...

yep, the first thing I did when I got my 97 LS4 is to make a spare master key with transpondent. it costed me about $100 at dealer. but it's much better than $500 to reprogram the ECU if I ever lost it!

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Of course, Murphy's Law must prevail. After having just gotten the ECU out, I found the key. A day and a half of crazy searching by 4 people did not reveal the key. I found it while on the phone, walking aorund the yard -- it was hanging in a hedge that we had all checked several times.

VMF - i think she's got it covered now ;)

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  • 7 years later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Locksmith service provider should be licensed and professional and reliable business is the right person. You can verify the authenticity of the service requesting proof of identity card or a technician. You should request a copy of the invoice when the work is done, and payment must be made. Decrease of work through the proof of service.

Denver locksmith

Good advice,the last thing you need is to find your car stolen later by a dishonest locksmith who made an extra copy of your key for themselves!

Oh and welcome to the LOC :D

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IF you dont have an extra key......... WHY dont you???

it is not very smart to be without one.

it is always the first thing I do if it comes with a single key.

just for peace of mind.

You must have done some searching to find this 7 year old topic Billy! :D

Is that 96 you bought all sorted now?

I have just missed out on a 1998 with 63,000 miles for $1800.00

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nope... someone else found it, I just adlibbed.... but it is the first thing I do, NOW, that I have messed up in the past... this is where I got mine http://www.ebay.com/itm/160672475825?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_2109wt_932 And on my 96, I am almost finished. I just bought a remote for it, went to program it and my PDL are not strong enough to go through the 10 cycles to do it.... going to have to go into each door and clean the contact points so I can use it. I just keep on discovering "things" to do.

How did you miss out on that 98???? 98, 63k, 1800$ drivable?, in a foreign country?

Mine looks like this now:


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  • 5 years later...

If your key does not have embed chip, you can just get it from dealer. They will cut the key for you for about $60 (no force entry needed). Check the price at dealer and do not listen to lock Smith guy, s/he will try to scare you about the cost at dealer for a key. And Lock Smith guy will have to bend the door to some extent to reach the unlock button. Even if Lock smith can open the driver door for you, you cannot open the trunk anyway, so if your keys are in the trunk, you cannot get them.

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  • 4 years later...

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