Happy holidays! Art’s Automotive will be closed 12/25 – 1/1 for Christmas and New Year’s
Short answer: it depends, but we’re cheaper than the dealership!
The cost of adding keys depends on a number of factors. Let’s walk through a typical “how much for a new Prius key” phone call. This will be a logical “choose your own adventure!” Please enjoy…
If you lost all your keys and your car has to be towed, go to 5
If you want us to program a NEW or USED key that you already have in your possession, go to 10
Do you still have at least ONE Smart Key that is FULLY OPERATIONAL? In other words, do BOTH buttons lock or unlock the car? Can you pull the handle or push the start button WITHOUT touching the key?
If YES, go to 2
If NO, go to 3
SOLUTION: Add another key. If you already have one fully working key, we charge 1/2 hour labor to add ANY NUMBER of additional new Smart Keys. Parts and labor prices are subject to change. Expect this option to cost APPROXIMATELY $225 out the door
Do you have a key that used to work, but now it doesn’t? Does it start the car if you plug it into the dash board? (For 2010 and newer Smart Keys, can you ready the car by pressing the key back’s Toyota emblem onto the ready button?)
If YES, go to 4
If NO, go to 5
Let’s attempt to fix your key. If you press a button, do you see a red light in the top right?
If YES, go to 6
If NO, go to 7
SOLUTION: You have lost all keys, as far as the vehicle is concerned. If you arrived here, either you must insert your broken key into the dash board to drive, or you have no keys in your possession and the car will be towed. First, we must verify your identity, so bring your vehicle registration and two forms of photo identification with you. Second, we must buy a new Smart Key and emergency key blank that is cut to match your VIN. Third, we must then perform a Seed Reset or Lost All Keys procedure. We charge 1.25hr labor and a $38 Seed Reset fee, plus the current list price of the Smart Key(s) themselves. Expect this option to cost APPROXIMATELY $375 out the door, for ONE working key. Additional keys can be added at NO additional labor during this time.
If you press a button, see the LED illuminate, but the car’s door locks DO NOT respond, there could be an issue with the transponders on the vehicle or the key. This will have to be investigated, so please call for an appointment.
If you press a button, see the LED, the car locks DO INDEED respond, but you cannot READY the vehicle without inserting the key into the dash board and cannot simply pull the door handle to unlock, you may have toggled the Smart Key Disable switch. Many customers do not realize it exists. Look beneath the steering wheel by where your knee would be. There should be a single black button with the label “KEY” above it. Press it once and recheck. Note: only 2004-2009 Prius cars have the disable button.
If your Smart Key lights up, but the car does nothing, and the switch is NOT engaged, then the key is defective EVEN IF IT WORKS IN THE DASH:
If it’s your only key, go to 5
If you have another working key, go to 2
If you don’t see the LED light up when pushing a button, press each button to see if they move freely. Including the PANIC red button, each button should have a nice solid click feedback. Does each button click nicely?
If YES, go to 8
If NO, go to 9
Replace the Smart Key battery. I should probably make a youtube video about this. Here’s the procedure in words:
1. remove emergency key blank
2. hold key blank lever back, slide back plate off. This part can be tricky because the plate can get stuck with life debris. There’s an edge for your thumb to get purchase, so press in the direction of this ridge
3. use tiniest screwdriver known to man to remove battery plate
4. Replace CR2032 remote battery
If your key now lights up and tests normally, congratulations!
If your key does not work despite a new battery:
go to 2 if you have another working key
go to 5 if this is your only key
Surgery. Use a razor to remove the stuck button(s). A key will stop functioning if a switch is permanently depressed by a stuck button. The Smart Key is somewhat water resistant, so the button faces just interface with the circuit board behind it. Removing a stuck button will let you press the buttons. Does it light up now that the stuck button is removed?
If YES, congratulations!
If NO, go to 8
We can program a customer-supplied, NEW IN BOX, TOYOTA BRAND smart key for 1.0hr labor. The charge is more than when we supply the key.
We can program a customer-supplied, NEW IN BOX, aftermarket (ikeyless.com) smart key for 1.0hr labor, and NO GUARANTEE of success. We will assess the charge regardless of whether the key pairs properly. We have found that the counterfeit keys try to spoof the Prius, and it just doesn’t always work. We won’t know whether it will work until we try.
We can technically program a customer supplied, USED smart key, but the risk to you is greater. Think of it this way: you bought someone’s house key off of eBay, and you want me to change the teeth to fit your lock at home. Neither the key, nor the lock are originally engineered for this type of procedure. Therefore, Toyota does not have an official way of pairing a used key to a different Prius. That being said, we have been quite successful doing something that works. If you insist on getting us involved with a used key, we charge 1.25hr labor + $38 seed reset. The estimated cost is APPROXIMATELY $150 PER EACH USED KEY. Thus, if you have TWO USED KEYS it’s $300. YOU WILL PAY THESE FEES REGARDLESS OF SUCCESS. We cannot determine IN ADVANCE whether the procedure will succeed. YOU ARE GAMBLING by going this route. Assess the risk and proceed at your own (dis)comfort.