I have a Nissan Versa 2012 Standard Edition purchased used with only one
key and fob. I'd like to get a duplicate key in case of loss. I emailed
the local Nissan dealer and they said:
"The key for that vehicle runs $48.82 plus $50.00 to program all existing
keys and new key. Also if you are looking to get an extra key fob, the
key fob is $131.39. Let me know."
This is outrageous. A local lock shop says they can duplicate my current
key for $65. Why so much cheaper? Is it safe to duplicate a programmed
("chipped") key - any possibility they can damage it so I end up with no
On Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:52:40 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:
My wife bought a used Volvo with only one key and remote; the cost for duplicates was about what you mentioned. Think of it as insurance to lessen the chance of getting your car stolen; protection money.
look in the owners manual to see if there are instructions for programming a
new key yourself. With my old Ford, I got a couple keys at the dealer (not
sure of cost, but not what you are quoting) and programmed them myself.
Something like "put programmed key in, turn key on three times, put new key
in, turn key on and leave it, scratch your left ball three times . . ."
It is a common mis-conception that the keys are programmed. Actually
it is the car's computer that is told (programmed) to accept the
PIN/Serial # that is embedded in the new key.
That's why, on some makes, only a dealer with the right computer
software can program the car to accept a new key.
However some locksmiths have gone to the expense of obtaining this
software, and are capable of doing the programming.
Also, some makes of cars allow the owner to program the car computer
thru a series of steps involving have a existing, working key, and a
lot of button pushing in the right order, to add a new key. That's
probably what your local shop would be doing.
Read your owner's manual and see if it gives D-I-Y instructions.
I spent $12 for a chip key from Amazon and Homedepot cut it for free
(ace hardware refused to cut it for any price). I was able to program
the key in the ignition of our Taurus in about 30 seconds
by following instructions in the owners manual.
Speaking of Home Depot, I recently had a padlock key cut by their Laser
The operator put the original key in one compartment and pressed a button.
A few seconds later the key blank number appeared on the screen. He grabbed
the corresponding key blank from his stash of blanks and put it in a
different compartment. He pressed another button and a short time later, my
new key was done.
There was a can on the counter near the machine with a label that read
"Mid-Cut Keys" I asked him how many faulty keys he ends up with. He pointed
to the laser machine and said "With this machine, none. The can is because
of _that_ machine...", pointing to the traditional key cutting machine.
You can buy spare keys online and get someone local to cut it, but
generally I think they would charge enough extra to cut it that you
almost might as well buy the key from the locksmith. I know of one
case where he charged no more, but that was a I believe a close-knit
communtiy where people do favors for each other.
You can buy a fob online too. The instructions for my 2000 Toyota are
not the owners manual, but they are in the shop manual. Of course the
shop manual costs over 100 dollars. However there are webpages that
tell you how to program just about any car. The one I rmember is very
boring, almost entirely black, with a little box to enter Make, then
Year, etc. The instructions it gives for my car are the same that are
in the shop manual. I guess I'd find the instruction before I bought
Unfortunately I can't get my car into programming mode, because the fob
receiver has failed. Bought a used one for 45, also bad. A new one is
about 450 dollars!
Never buyin' a foreign car again. Certainly not a Toyota (for other
Is it a basic transponder key or a key with an attached fob?
I bought an extra fob and key for my wife's Saturn for around $50 at
Ikeyless.com. THOUGH, I do have to have it cut and programmed as well.
The bad part is her fob cannot be programmed by me via the cars computer
and must be taken in to have done, but I won't have a dealer do it.
There are locksmiths who specialize with autos and they can do it
cheaper. As was suggested, check your manual first. If it can't be done
by you, choose a locksmith.
Here are the keys and fob for your car.....
BTW, in addition to getting more chip keys, you should get one or more
non-chip keys cut to fit your car. So if you don't have a chip key, at
least you can open the doors and the trunk. You won't be able to start
the car, (unless maybe you hide a chip key in the trunk somewhere.)
A codger at HD refused to cut the key saying it wouldn't work, but I
insisted and he sold me the blank and cut it, at the regular price.
You might also want to look into valet keys. On the LeBaron, the
valet key was a copy of the non-valet key, but on a blank that wouldn't
fit in the trunk or glove compartment. If you had to leave your car to
be repaired, and he didnt' ahve to get in the trunk, you could leave
that key. He could still run to the locksmith and make a complete key,
but most people won't do that.
On other cars the key is cut differently at the tip. If you don't have
one already, maybe you could borrow someone else's just to do the tip,
but I'd probably just forget it.
Because a) you may not be able to find them for some reason, b) because
maybe yours is a car that can't be done by the owner.
It's a heck of a lot easier to program a third key than a second. The
simple way requires 2 working keys to add a third, forth, or fifth
Cutting the key is not an issue - anyone who can cut a non-chipped key
can cut a chipped key.
My 2002 chevy venture uses chipped keys. About 90 bucks from the dealer, must prove ownership, identity, title to vehicle, a whole list of security stuff for a old vehicle
Wallmart sells the chipped key for 35 bucks. depending on the store.
you tube has a video of how to bypass the system. Basically get a sensor, attach a chipped key permantely to the sensor. Add a relay so when you turn the key, a non chipped regular key trips the relay, activates the chipped key and sensor....
Isn't there already a sensor under the dash? Near the keyhole.
Yes. You can even use a broken key, as long as the head has the chip
in it **
If you use the sensor under the dash, it's already connected to a relay.
And that relay is already connected to the starter motor as it should
If you want to learn more about this, read the instructions for
installing a remote-start system, which is often part of a burglar
alarm. I wondered how they bypassed the need for a smart key, and they
don't. They have you take one and attach it to the chip-key sensor,
which is under the dash and near the keyhole.
For that matter, you can use a non-chip key to start the car, if a chip
key is on the same key ring. That second key will be almost as close to
the original sensor as the key in the keyslot will be, and that's always
or usually close enough to the sensor to work.
**But there is a procedure for matching the key to the sensor, just like
any new key. On my car, when I start to match keys, it unmatches all
previous keys and both new keys and old ones have to then be matched.
It goes very quickly once you've tried 2 or 3 times.
Older remote starters used to require that you use that method. I recall
giving the installer a key, after which he went in the back and ground the
teeth off so it couldn't be used to start the car. He then attached the key
to a sensor and mounted it under the dash.
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