I heard from a Honda dealer that a VIN and a title are not enough to
produce a replacement key. They can duplicate an existing key, but if one
looses the the keys, there is nothing they can do. I found this difficult
Can anyone here refute or corroborate this claim ? The car in question is
one with an RFID key.
"Tom Rauschenbach" email@example.com wrote in
what are you calling a "RFID key" ?
the dealer should be able to program any type keys for
I'm calling any key with a "chip" an RFID key. And again, the dealer said
he could duplicate a key but not produce one from just data. It sounded
more like he couldn't grind the key than that he couldn't program the chip.
And if "RFID" is the wrong term for keys of this sort I'd appreciate being
IE-walk in off the street, title and other proof in hand, in a
LOT of cars WILL NOT get you a working key made without the car
REQUIRES THE CAR as well.
AND, as a 'for instance', my local Toyota dealer CANNOT duplicate
a Camry key..WITH the car present.
"Tom Rauschenbach" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote in
the dealer should also be able to cut the key by code and
program the key.
(car would have to be present)
see another dealer
an auto locksmith in your area.
it can be done...
I call the keys Transponder Keys.
however there are different systems.
Depending on the model and year, it is possible if you have had your
immobiliser key duplicated (cloned) by a locksmith and the locksmith
databased the transponder code for you. You could then obtain a working key
from the VIN.
To walk into the dealer with just the VIN and walk out with a key that
starts the vehicle isn't going to happen.
Some models can have new keys programmed, but the car has to be present.
i.e. dealers or suitably equipped locksmith.
If you have a model that has to have a 'red key' and you haven't got it, you
will need to replace the immobiliser. Again, dealers or suitably equipped
To make a long story short, there are some transponder keys that the
dealers can do and some they can't. If all keys are lost, on some
systems the dealer has to replace a computer module and then program in
new keys. On some, you can just program in new keys. There are
special boxes the do what we call "reflash" the module. This
reprograms the module and returns it to the condition it was before
keys were ever programmed in the car. Then new keys can be programmed
in. The dealers cannot do this, but many locksmiths have the
equipment. Without specific year, make and model info it is hard to
give a specific answer. Some of the newer keys are also not of the
standard type that are just cut on the edges. We call these high
security keys. Everyone cannot make these keys. Some can. Lastly,
some of the Honda keys (when not all are lost) can be what is called
cloned with special equipment. This makes the new key and exact copy
of the original.
Following up on this thread... A couple of people said that having the
car present was a requirement, but nobody said why.
Here's what experience taught me. If you bring in the key (and title and
VIN) they don't use the VIN, they copy the key to try to match the wear on
the key. And of course they "program" the "chip". The car seems to be
needed just to check that the key works. The mechanical part of the key
seems to be the easy part. Four out of four dupes would turn the
lock, but only two of four would start the car.
Also interesting, the chip seems to actually control the ignition. A non
working key will crank the engine, it just doesn't start.
"Tom Rauschenbach" wrote in message:
I don't understand why copying a car key is such an involved process,
as possession of the working key and the actual car it goes to would
be good enough proof of authorization to duplicate it... I know that some
people would abuse this -- but umm, then why not check titles and VINs
and ID's for all copying of keys for all vehicles, not just the new
keys for the newest vehicles...
I wonder where the hesitation to duplicate these high-security auto keys
is coming from on the part of the dealerships, because if they were truly
wanting to be "high-security" then the car makers would issue "cards"
like the high-security lock companies like medeco do that must be presented
in order to obtain new keys... When a vehicle is sold or transferred the
new owner must provide copies of the sale documents and new title to
deactivate any old cards for that vehicle and to be issued a new one
in their name... Any other system just doesn't seem to me to be able to
work... Or perhaps make the locks easier to rekey and just require that
all cars that are sold/transferred get rekeyed to ensure security for the
The "chip" in the key controls the fuel pump, no fuel to the engine,
car won't go anywhere under its own power...
~~ formerly a maintenance man, now a college student...
the chip controls a lot of things, AND in most cases MUST have
the car present to make it work... SOME cannot be be done with
the car present tho.. you must replace the very expensive
In my case it involves about an hour's drive each way and $45/key. The
dealers don't hesitate to do it, but if the vehicle is not present they
won't claim that the key will work. And again, they don't use the car in
any way to make the duplicate key, just to test it.
I know that some
I think they should - but they don't, or at least not all of them. None
I've encountered (sample size is two!)
That fits perfectly with experimental evidence. It seems the system was
designed to not merely thwart thieves, but annoy them as well!
RFID is a correct term if you are talking about a transponder type key as
opposed to a key like the old VATS resistor 'chip' GM keys which had
nothing but a resistor pellet embeded in the key and did not use
transponder/RFID technology. A transponder is not a "chip" though in the
traditional sense of the word. For a late model Honda RFID is correct.
Because if the trasnponder code is not available, i.e. in a working key or
in a database linked to the VIN, or if the system uses rolling codes the
cars on board components have to be queried for the code.
Usually they will punch the mechanical key from the keycode. A worn key is
less likely to work than one cut to original specifications.
And of course they "program" the "chip". The car seems to be
Again it depends. If the transpoder code, usually an alphanumeric string,
sent from the transponder in the key to the receiver in the car is
available from a working key or database yes. If not no. Obviously
security is better if the car is needed to program the key. With a car
that uses rolling codes where the code is changed and re-synchronized at
every start there is no way AFAIK to program a new key without either a
working key, the car, or both.
The mechanical part of the key
It is if they have a keycode either linked to the VIN or provided with the
car. Most dealerships do not have anyone who can make the key without
obtaining the code. They can't mechanically fit a key to a given locks
pinning. They cut a key from a code or duplicate an existing key. No
existing key or code and they will probably want to replace the locks or
subcontract to a locksmith.
In general when you put the key in the ignition and turn it the cars
engine management computer sends an rf 'challenge' signal to the
transponder key via a transmitter/receiver usually located in the column,
in return the transponder sends back an alphanumeric string. If the string
matches what the computer has stored in memory the computer enables fuel
and ignition and the car starts and stays running, if it doesn't match
then fuel and ignition are not enabled or are cut off within a few
seconds. Honda AFAIK has a discreet imobilizer component that tells the
ecm whether or not to allow the car to start but the net effect is the
same. Some systems also have rolling codes whereby the code changes
everytime the system is started. This renders a cloned key useless if it
isn't used at the very next restart. e.g. if a valet clones a key, gets
the owners address off the registration in the glove box then goes to the
persons house later that night or the next day to steal their car his
clone won't start it if the owners key has been used to start the car in
the meantime because the code will have already changed. Authorized
existing duplicates are exempted and their codes will roll seperately as
they are used based on a permanent electronic ID assigned to each
individual key. There will be a maximum number of authorized duplicates
allowed at any given time, usually two.
And that sometimes is enough to duplicate it. For a price. Although not
always and I can think of a number of senarios where someone might have
use of a car the owner doesn't want them to be able to retain a working
I know that
Because it's an unnessessary burden relative to the value of many if not
most older vehicles. Additionally it would have to be legislated because
where the technology required to make the key is widespread, e.g. an 85
Ford Escort where the "technology" is a punch or a key duplicator hardware
stores and others with said technology aren't going to jump through a
bunch of hoops over it.
It comes from the insurance companies who are tired of paying out the ass
for stolen cars. Some cars do have a similar verification process to get
duplicates to what you describe. Mercedes for one.
When a vehicle is sold or transferred the
Who's going to "require" it? The elected legislators who are elected by
the public they are going to be inconveniencing? There is a trade off
between security and convenience i.e. a trade off between the desires of
the insurance industry and the people who buy the cars and lose their keys.
The transponder doesn't directly control fuel. The engine management
system of the vehicle controls operating parameters like fuel and ignition
and enables or disables them depending on input from the transponder in
the key. Also most systems do more tham simply disable the fuel pump, such
as disable fuel injectors and ignition. A system that simply disables the
fuel pump would be very easy to bypass with a schematic of the wiring.
Simply provide power or ground as needed to the pump and you're in
business. A system which disables fuel injector drivers in firmware is a
lot harder to bypass.