Cut to the chase, how much is it going to cost me to program keys for my Prius?
Well, the truthful answer is that it depends on the many situations we see.
Situation #1 -- Other shop says,"sure we can do that." [later] "Nevermind, take it to the dealer"
Symptom -- Clicker doesn't work to open doors. Key must be plugged into the dash to start the vehicle (but it starts)
This occurs when the smart key is paired with the immobilizer ECU, but not with the Smart Key ECU. The registration procedure for the immobilizer ECU is less prone to complications, and most shops are able to manage this procedure. If the registration to the Smart Key ECU was simply omitted, it's fairly easy to correct. However, if the registration failed because the Smart Key had already been registered to a different vehicle, that's a different story. There is also the possiblity the key is incorrect for the car. Therefore, there are three ways to correct this situation:
1. If the key is a used key, then it requires a Seed Reset Procedure = 1.25hr labor PER KEY + one-time $38 seed fee*
2. If the key is a new key, then it requires a standard Smart Key Registration = 1.0hr labor FOR ANY NUMBER OF KEYS
3. If the key is incorrect for the car, then you'll need a new key plus registration = 0.5hr + cost of new key
Situation #2 -- "i just got X number of used keys from eBay; how much to program them?"
Symptom -- It seems cheap to buy a key from eBay, so how hard could it be to register it to my car!?
With the help of the internet, more and more people are finding used keys available to purchase, but not the relevant information about what equipment and skills are required to perform the registration. In the bay area, most dealerships and independents CANNOT or WILL NOT work with customer-supplied, used Smart keys. When a Smart key has been registered to a vehicle, as is the case with a used key, the Vehicle Identification (VID) is "burned" into the remote by the smart key ECU. Toyota does not have a procedure available to delete the VID value. A remote registered to a VID that is NOT the current vehicle ID will NOT perform like a smart key. A brand-new remote DOES NOT HAVE A VID STORED. This is an important distinction and the reason why you should consider avoiding eBay keys!
Art's Automotive has a proprietary procedure that has been, at time of writing, successful at reprogramming 100% of used keys
1. FOR EACH USED KEY, a Seed Reset Procedure is required = 1.25hr labor PER KEY + one-time $38 seed fee*
Situation #3 -- "i found a dealership on the internet to sell me X brand-new keys; how much to program them?"
Symptom -- It is possibly cheaper to buy and ship a key from an out of state dealership.
Some online dealership stores are selling Genuine Toyota parts over-the-counter to customers. This may or may not be cheaper than purchasing a brand-new key from Art's Automotive or your local Toyota dealership. Since we don't attempt to compete with the internet, we are unconcerned with what possible offers there are for parts. One cautionary anecdote: one of our customers purchased a "New Smart Key" from an out of state dealership, and they charged her for a Smart Key ($196), but sent her a "Dumb Key" (black-backed, no smart functionality). No returns allowed. Oops
1. standard Smart Key registration for CUSTOMER-SUPPLIED NEW KEYS = 1.0hr labor FOR ANY NUMBER OF KEYS
Situation #4 -- "Hello trustworthy professionals at Art's Automotive, i need X new Smart keys. How much?"
Symptom -- You realize that there is little-to-no savings for doing anything other than this and you want guaranteed-operational keys on the same day of your appointment
We're glad you asked! This is the best option available.
1. standard Smart Key registration for any number of new keys SOLD BY ART'S AUTOMOTIVE = 0.5hr labor + Dealer List Price per Smart Key
JUST TELL ME THE NUMBERS!
The extra cash you may be saving with used keys must be considered a financial RISK. The fact of the matter is that your cheap eBay keys may FAIL TO REGISTER, and this will only be evident POST PROCEDURE. Therefore, you pay for the attempt REGARDLESS of success.
* THERE IS NO GUARANTEE FOR EBAY KEYS TO BE PROGRAMMED SUCCESSFULLY. DONT WANT RISK? BUY A KEY FROM US AND HAVE US PROGRAM IT. 100% GUARANTEE *
All keys must be present WITH THE VEHICLE at time of programming. No mail orders possible.
Many people are taking these numbers to the bank. These are *** BALL PARK FIGURES *** to help illustrate a point. I have no way of predicting what eBay will charge, another dealership, and the current list price for the Key. We get an awful lot of "but your website says" queries, when the reality is that many customers aren't taking the time to actually read what the website says beyond dollar figures. C'est la vie.
** IT COSTS MONEY TO CUT THE KEY BLANK. The estimates below do not consider cutting the blank because many people do not care about getting in to their car when the battery dies. It usually costs $25 or so PER BLANK to VIN-cut the key from Toyota.
|$70 for the keys at $35 each
$10 for shipping
$38 for reset seed
$15 for 2 new emergency key blanks
$245 for labor for Seed Reset Procedure (2 x 1.25hr x $98/hr)
** MAY OR MAY NOT WORK. NO GUARANTEE **
|$280 for 2 keys at 30% off dealer list
$10 for shipping
$98 labor for standard registration procedure
** LIKELY TO WORK IF PART IS CORRECT. NO GUARANTEE **
|$400 for 2 keys (Or whatever current list price is)
$49 labor for standard registration procedure
** GUARANTEED TO WORK + WARRANTY + SAME DAY SERVICE**
These are just "guess-timates" for comparison. They do not include tax. They do not include the cost of cutting the emergency insert.