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choicesmade

@optonline.net

[Help] Duplicating car key?

I really hope someone can help me out. I lost a key for my 2003 Toyota Corolla, but I do have another one. I don’t want to take a chance of not having that extra key just in case for some reason I lost the only remaining car key. Is it possible to just go to a hardware store and make a duplicate copy of the original car key, and if not, what are my options? I didn’t want to have to spend a fortune for another key from the car dealer if it’s as simple (and cheap) to duplicate a car key at a hardware store. As a side note, the car doesn’t have an alarm or remote, just the key. Thank you very much for any help or advice. It’s really appreciated.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
Does the car have a factory immobiliser?

If you can describe or post a picture of the existing keys, we can determine this.

For example, is the head of the key plastic, and if so, how thick is it.
--
Overheard: "I could careless matter of Fact"


choicesmade

@optonline.net
reply to choicesmade
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Thanks a lot for getting back to me. I have no idea if it has a factory immobiliser, as i'm not very familiar with the in and outs of this stuff. I attached a few decent quality pictures of the key, if that helps at all. Thanks so much in advance.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to choicesmade
Nope, that is just a plain old key. No microchip or anything built into it. You should have no problem having a locksmith or hardware store making you a new one. A good idea is to bring the car registration with your name on it with you, just in case they want proof.
--
I can spell. I just can't type.


Cho Baka
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join:2000-11-23
there
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Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to choicesmade
That is a plain key, just as Lurch mentions.

Is that the only key that is left?
It appears to be a valet key. The valet key will not work in the trunk or in the glovebox lock (if equipped).

Look among the documentation that came with your car.
There should be a key number (key code) that either the dealer or a locksmith can use to cut you a replacement key.

If you have proof of ownership and photo ID, the original selling dealer may be able to provide you with the key number. Do not expect this number to be provided over the phone.

The dealer I worked at would cut you the key using the key number; they would just charge for the key blank.

You would have 4 key blank options:
Valet OEM
All metal master OEM
Plastic head master OEM
All metal master aftermarket blank

The dealer need not be frightening...


Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to choicesmade
A reputable locksmith shop also has the capability to cut a replacement key coded to your vehicle's original lock cylinders; they can usually look it up by VIN.

If your remaining key has been in storage and rarely used, an analog duplicate from the hardware store should suffice; put your remaining original key back in storage and use the newly minted duplicate instead.
--
Don't pay ME back, pay it forward.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
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·TekSavvy DSL
said by Irun Man:

A reputable locksmith shop also has the capability to cut a replacement key coded to your vehicle's original lock cylinders; they can usually look it up by VIN.
I already mentioned that a locksmith can also cut a key.
A locksmith cannot look up a key code by VIN.
Toyota, for security reasons (presumably) does not keep a list of VINs and key codes. If the original selling dealer has it, it is because they created that record while doing the paperwork at the time of sale. (There is a little aluminum tag that comes with the keys. It has a code on it, something like S23476.)

said by Irun Man:

If your remaining key has been in storage and rarely used, an analog duplicate from the hardware store should suffice; put your remaining original key back in storage and use the newly minted duplicate instead.
Again, as I mentioned before, that key looks like a valet key.
Yes, he can have it duplicated. He would then have 2 keys that do not work in his trunk.
--
Overheard: "I could careless matter of Fact"


choicesmade

@optonline.net
Thanks a lot for everyone's help. That key (as far as I know) is an extra key and not the valet key, as the key I lost was the valet key.

Before I posted on this forum, I had e-mailed Toyota about my question, and noticed I had just received a response. Is the information they give correct? With Toyota’s response, does that indicate an expensive duplication, or still a cheap duplication ($15 or so) because it doesn’t have the chip? Below is my e-mail to them, and their response. Thank you so much for all of your help.

(my e-mail)

I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla. I need a duplicate car key for my Corolla. Could you please tell me if I can get the car key duplicated at a hardware store or locksmith? I know some cars now have a chip in the key where it’s costly to duplicate a key. Please tell me if I can get a duplicate key at a hardware store, specifically for my 2003 Toyota Corolla.

------
Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
We appreciate the opportunity to address your inquiry.
The new key for your vehicle can only be made at the Toyota dealership. This is for security reason. When the Toyota dealership makes a new key for the vehicle, they need a key code. Toyota has a safeguard in place so no one can make a new key just by the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
They will only cut you a replacement key upon physical presentation of picture identification and proof of ownership, such as the registration or insurance card.
We hope you will find this information helpful. Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your inquiry.
If we can be of help in the future, please do not hesitate to send us another email, or contact us by phone at 800-331-4331 between the hours of 5:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday and 7:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday.

Sincerely,
Toyota Customer Experience


Cho Baka
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there
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reply to choicesmade

This is the usual shape of a non valet key
Basically, they are saying the same as what I said.

The main concern they have is not giving the key code or new key to someone who isn't the registered owner of the vehicle.

If you have the code, pretty much any reputable locksmith can cut it.
If you don't have the code, you, your ID, and vehicle ownership can get you the code.

As for whether that is a valet key, go try it in your trunk to make sure.
I'll bet you a slice of pizza that it won't work.

--
Overheard: "I could careless matter of Fact"


choicesmade

@optonline.net
Alright, I'll check to see if it's the valet key or not. Either way, I'd like to have a spare key just so I don't have to worry about losing any remaining key, because that would be a serious problem, I'm sure.

So from the sound of it, I just go to the Toyota dealer with ID, the VIN #, and the registration and/or title, and they can give me a duplicate key? Do you have a rough estimate how much they would charge for that? Thanks a lot. You're very helpful.


Cho Baka
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join:2000-11-23
there
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Probably about what they said in the email, could be less if they use an aftermarket blank.


61999674
Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do
Premium
join:2000-09-02
Here
kudos:1
reply to choicesmade
Just go to a hardware store or the like with the key and get a copy, no ID, Title, registration, etc. is needed.

It isn't that complicated.
--
Everybody is some kind of Junkie (GODZ)


choicesmade

@optonline.net
reply to Cho Baka
I didn't notice in the e-mail how much it said it would cost. If I get the key code from the dealership, do you think the key duplication would be around $25.00, as oppossed to around $125+? Thanks for all the help!


Cho Baka
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Oops, sorry, I saw the $15.00 in your post, and mistook that for a quoted price.

My guess would be anywhere from $10-20 with an original black head Toyota blank, and anywhere from free to $10.00 for an aftermarket blank.

As BurntCricket said, it isn't that complicated.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to Cho Baka
said by Cho Baka:

Is that the only key that is left?
It appears to be a valet key. The valet key will not work in the trunk or in the glovebox lock (if equipped).
My '99 Tacoma had the same looking key. Was not a valet key, just looks like it. I walked into a local locksmith and had a new copy made using the original key. Cheap and fast. New key worked fine.
--
I can spell. I just can't type.


choicesmade

@optonline.net
reply to Cho Baka
Just as an update, I called my Toyota dealer this morning about duplicating the key, and he said it should take about "5 minutes" and "around 10 bucks".

I just wanted to thank everyone for their help.


USR56K

join:2000-05-20
Lynnwood, WA
reply to Cho Baka
said by Cho Baka:

Toyota, for security reasons (presumably) does not keep a list of VINs and key codes. If the original selling dealer has it, it is because they created that record while doing the paperwork at the time of sale.
This must be a toyota only thing.

I've gotten keys cut from VIN, by NOT the original dealers, for both a 95 VW and 94 Subaru. Just need proof I owned the cars, 10 min later and ~$20, I had my keys.
--
If it's not on Google, then it doesn't exist.

**DC++ FAQ**


djim933

@insightbb.com
reply to choicesmade
Home depot, Lowes, or any hardware store will be able to do this for you. It will cost only $1 - $2.


choicesmade

@optonline.net
reply to choicesmade
Here is an update:

I went to Home Depot to make a couple copies of the car key. I went home to try the key out and it had trouble opening the car door. It finally did. Then I tried the ignition. Not such a great idea, though. The Home Depot duplicate key got stuck and took about 5 minutes of wiggling the key around to get it out of the ignition. At first, I thought it would be stuck forever. Needless to say, it looks like I should go to a locksmith or dealer to get a copy.


hellowafer

@att.net
reply to choicesmade
well sometimes the aftermarket blank will be slightly different from the genuine blanks, depending on the supplier of the blank key.

ive had that issue with my corolla, i went to a cheap locksmith and the key didnt work at all so they gave it to me for free. then i went to a reputable locksmith in our area (it cost about $1 more only), and it worked fine!

compared both keys the difference was VERY VERY minimal, a few millimeter difference in the distance of the grooves.

a good advice would be to compare the blank's thickness as well as the grooves on the side with the key to be duplicated by physical inspection before proceeding.

HTH.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3


Better advice would be to not get your car keys made by Home Depot....or even Lowe's........Menards......you get the point.


r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44
reply to choicesmade
There is nothing wrong with keys made at home depot, mendards, or lowes.
Even professional locksmiths could make a key that is off by a little bit.

The best thing to do is test the keys in the parking lot and go right back into the store if they do not work.
--
»www.ryanoneill.us

PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
reply to choicesmade
I just had a replacement key done for my Toyota Tacoma at the Toyota dealer (due to the plastic cracking at the key ring hole). They said the key might need to be wire brushed if it was difficult to use. (It worked fine). Generic ILCO blank, BTW.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to r81984
said by r81984:

There is nothing wrong with keys made at home depot, mendards, or lowes.

My experience does not agree with your opinion, but of course you are free to have it.


r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Well what do they do that makes their keys bad?
--
»www.ryanoneill.us


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3


It isn't really their fault, but they have certainly become victims of the times.

Keys these days are getting a real makeover. You see more exotic metals like Nickel being used, and also hard-chrome plating on some. Key thickness is becoming an issue, and also the extended-cut keys make things tougher too. The older key-cutting machines are unfortunately becoming obsolete, unless they can be up-fitted to deal with these harder materials.

Even some smaller dealerships (like mine!!) are hesitant to buy the new machines, as most of us believe the future trend will be *away* from keys in most applications, and over to electronic transponder solutions, like the new Chrysler mini-vans and Corvettes.

It's difficult for the "aftermarket" if you will, to keep up with the changes in the blanks. They are also becoming much more proprietary, especially when it comes to the security keys that manufacturers are embracing. Most machines have trouble with those new designs, so in the long run the chances of having a reliable key made outside of a dealership is getting is getting lower.

I don't necessarily agree with the trend, and I certainly don't have the "gotta get it done in a dealership" mentality either. I owned by own business for far too long to agree with that stance. Reality, however, directs my advice and in this case, for now until the vendors catch up, your best bet is at the dealer.