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Lost my keys this morning. Taking GFs car to dealership. Can they program the key without the car there? Can I do it myself back at home? I’ll bring my registration and proof of insurance, I hope that’s enough to validate me as the owner, as I don’t have the title handy. Ugh....what a great morning. And my iPhone stopped working last night. Perfect storm!

Your day looking better?
 

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I don't believe they can reprogram the vehicle without it being there, and usually you need 2 keys to reprogram an additional key yourself......and if you have no keys they have to replace a bunch of module stuff to my understanding......and that's really expensive.
 

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I don't believe they can reprogram the vehicle without it being there, and usually you need 2 keys to reprogram an additional key yourself......and if you have no keys they have to replace a bunch of module stuff to my understanding......and that's really expensive.
Just had this done - they need the car there. Also ensure that the car turns on with the key in the truck. They programed mine to remote start with the key, but once I was in, I couldn't turn on the car
 

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Chrysler (now FCA) got rid of Customer Self Programming (because a few dealership employees took part in scams to make spare keys to sell to thieves) starting in 2009 with some models not losing it till 2010. Since then, they brought it back in some later models, I'm assuming because of Customer Complaints.

I know I wrote a long letter to Chrysler Customer Service threatening to never buy Chrysler again over the scam they're pulling with these $8 keys they are selling for $300 at least and close to $500 by the time you get out of the dealership door with programming they no longer let you do yourself.

I know my Daughters 2016 Jeep Compass has the Customer Self-Programming Feature. My 2011 Jeep GC does not.

Check the Owners Manual, if they describe the procedure to do Customer Self-Programming of keys, then you vehicle has it. If the O.M. just says to take it to the dealer to get the keys programmed, you don't have it.

Besides, you need two valid keys already programmed to the car to put the vehicle into the Customer Self-Programming mode to make more keys. So, if you're down to 1 or no keys, there is no way to Self-Program new keys.
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You could call some locksmiths and check prices with them. Working with these electronic keys requires some very expensive tools, but more locksmiths are springing for the tools and often will come to you to make the key at the car. Make sure to explain it's one of the electronic keys that only the Dealer is suppose to program, so they can tell you if they are capable of doing it or not, cause a lot can't.

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They need the car with all the keys. i.e. you'll have to have the car towed to the Dealership.

The system is literally programming the Car to the Key.

Each Key has an unique identifier that doesn't change, the cars immobilizer is programmed to recognize that keys unique identifier as a valid key to start the car. The key is then also electronic set as being programmed to a car, so it can't be reprogrammed to another car.

When they program it, in most cases they completely clear out the car's registry of keys (I think they do this for all cars now, I might be wrong and some older models can not be cleared out), and program just the keys on hand, that is why you need to bring every key you have for the vehicle. Good in sense you don't have a key that can be used to steal the vehicle floating around somewhere, Bad in a sense that if you find your lost key, it will no longer work with the car.
 

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Some things to do to avoid having to dole out a weeks pay if you lose your car key.

If your vehicle is capable of Customer Self-Programming, you never want to get to less than 3 keys on hand. You need 2 valid keys to put the vehicle into the self-programming mode. So, if losing a key puts you down to 1 key, you can't program it yourself and thus are stuck taking it to the dealer, if your down to 0 key, you'll have to pay to tow the car to the dealer.

You can only program a max of 7 or 8 keys to the vehicle, if you loose that many keys, I believe the dealer can clear out all the keys and start over again, and just program the keys you have on hand to the car.

If you do NOT have Customer Self-Programming, then you have to pay the dealer for making the keys.

Why pay for the service from the Dealer multiple times? Why buy the $8 key from the Dealer for $300+? (To be fair, Chrysler/FCA is charging the Dealer at $300 per key, that is why you'll never see the key for less than $300 from the dealer).

You can find keys on ebay for as little as $25, which really calls into question the $300+ price the manufacturer is charging. If you open the key, you'll see it doesn't look like $300 worth of technology. RFID chips are disposable, meaning they costs pennies. There are other chips, but I doubt they justify the price.

You get yourself a collection of spare keys from alternative sources, take them and your existing keys to the dealership (or Locksmith) and have them all programmed at once. You can have a set of 8 keys for less than it would cost to get one new key in the scenario of losing your only key and having the vehicle towed to the dealer and having them program a new key they supply.

Keep in mind, lots of bad dealers out there, it should be one service fee to program all the keys, ~$75-$150. I would not put it past a Dealer to try to charge you $150 per key for programming, if they do that, just walk out the door and find another dealership.

There are risks buying keys off ebay.
*The biggest is getting the wrong key for your vehicle, the keys are part number specific. You've got to do the research to find out the specific part number key you need. If you just pick one that looks like the key you have now, it might not work.
*Getting a used key, once a key is programmed to a car, it can not be reprogrammed to another car. Unless its been reflashed to its original state. I've seen people selling their old keys on ebay, saying it can be programmed to your car, it can't, the dealer can not flash keys into their original state. There is a special tool needed to do this, and your local locksmith is not likely to have it either. I've seen "refurbished" keys on ebay, where they put the electronics in a new case and specifically state "they have reflashed the key into its original programmable state and they guarantee the key to be programmable" by the dealer, locksmith or Customer Self-Programming. This key I would buy.
*Proximity Enter and Go. Some WK2's have it, Some don't. This is the system with the pushbutton start that you don't have to take your key out of pocket to unlock/lock the doors and get in and start and drive the car. The keys for both systems look identical, but the internals look totally different, because the internals are totally different. If you have Proximity Enter and Go, and get a key without that ability, it might not work at all, or at the very least, the Proximity Enter and Go won't work, i.e. you have to press buttons on the remote to unlock/lock doors and have to pull out the pushbutton and stick in the key and turn it to start and drive. Make sure the description of the key states it works or doesn't work with Proximity enter and go. If doesn't say anything about it in the auction, expect it doesn't have it.
 

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Oh BTW, on ebay I'm seeing Proximity Enter and Go keys for as low as $50 and they're refurbished, guaranteeing they are in their original programmable state. So it does appear the Proximity keys are more expensive, and honestly if you open one up, they do look like they have more technology in them than the regular key.

I haven't seen a new Proximity key on ebay for less than $150.

And I have seen used keys on ebay, with vague statements about you "should" be able to reprogram it. Stay away, once a key has been programmed to a car, it can not be reprogrammed again, or to another car. It can be done, but the dealer can't do it, nor can most locksmiths, the chips have to be reflashed to their original new state to be programmable. Only the keys that they talk about reflashing them and guaranteeing they are in their original programmable state would I purchase.
 

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This just happened to me. I had the Jeep towed to the dealer, thru FCA's roadside assistance. The dealer programmed a new fob and cut a new key.

Towing: $165 CAD
Key FOB and programming: $315 CAD
 

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$250 USD for a new Key is ridiculous, but its better at least, in the past it could easily have been $450-$500 USD or $600-$650 CAD.

Because they so ridiculously inflate the price of the key, they force their customer's into these situations where they have to have the car towed to the Dealership.

I'm telling you, they would still be making a huge profit selling the keys for $25-$50, but no, they are taking advantage of consumer ignorance to get an obscene profit of 1500% or more.
 

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Old post, but if this happens again, search online for "mobile locksmith" in your city. They generally charge just as much as the dealer, but you can get the new key quickly, and save on towing charges.

I believe AAA Plus covers the first $100 of emergency locksmith service too.
 
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