Lost Master keys

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Thread: Lost Master keys

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    Default Lost Master keys

    I have lost my master key and only have the valet key for my 2004 4runner. The shop says they cannot program a master from a velet key. Does anyone know what I have to replace so I can get this done? They say I have to replace the computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iriepunk
    I have lost my master key and only have the valet key for my 2004 4runner. The shop says they cannot program a master from a velet key. Does anyone know what I have to replace so I can get this done? They say I have to replace the computer.
    Hey iriepunk,

    Man, I hate to be the bearer of "bad news", but you're in a REAL "pickle" here and unfortunately, at your dealers mercy on this one! I hope the following info will help... at least... if nothing else... in understanding "why" the computer is going to have to be replaced in your '04 4-Runner. Working for the largest Key Blank manufacturer in the states, I can at least give you that much honest and "accurate" info.

    Since your 4-Runner is an '04 model, you have a "factory installed security system". This type of technology began with the '99 model of the 4-Runner and is still in use with new models. In fact... nearly 76% of all vehicles today use what's known as Transponder Keys in them. These keys have a "chip" inside the head of the key. In most cases, they're very easily recognizable. The head of these keys will be quite a bit "thicker" than an ordinary plastic-head car key. If you're not sure, the ONLY way to tell for sure, is to go by a reputable locksmith or Toyota dealer and ask them to "test" your key for a chip. They'll have a small hand-held unit (possibly a TD3A) which will read the type of chip in the key head. This "chip" has to be in close proximity to the ignition as it has a "matched" code with the ignition of the vehicle's on-board computer which it will recognize allowing the vehicle to start. For instance... if you were to take your key to a local WalMart and hand them your key to have a duplicate cut, they'll probably have a key blank that will match. The "key" (no pun intended) here is, that the key probably won't have a "chip" in it and even if it does... it won't be "matched" to your specific vehicle's on-board computer... thus the car won't start and the key blank is useless... PERIOD! The technology does work and works well... well enough that insurance companies are lobbying BIG TIME for these types of keys in every new vehicle. Is a VERY big thief-deterrent! Obviously your 4-Runner has this technology since you've already been to your dealer and gotten the bad news about replacing the computer.

    If you, your wife, or someone else in your family had at least one "master" key, your Toyota dealer could possibly "erase" the existing code for the keys you lost. I say possibly, because in some cases you have to have BOTH "master" keys. This would (of course) mean you'd have to buy all new keys, but it's STILL cheaper that the ONLY alternative you're faced with by not having even one "master" key ... REPLACING THE ON-BOARD COMPUTER!!

    There has to be at least one master key in the ignition to "erase" these codes and without it, the computer has to be replaced with a new "key-code". Unfortunately, when it happens the customer/owner really gets the "brunt" of this. Let me give you a recent scenario here at work: I realize this isn't going to "help" your situation, but it my help prepare you for what you could be faced with at your dealer... our key blank manager here was contacted by a guy who'd just bought a Lexus at an auction, "thinking" that he'd saved a bundle of $$$... and he did... except for the fact that he was only given a valet key. He called several places and finally ended up calling us, in the hope, we'd have the "miracle" he was looking for. Unfortunately, that's impossible without a "master" key. He ultimately end up having to shell out close to $3,000 to have the on-board computer replaced! OUCH! :cry:! Hopefully, it won't cost you that much, even though Lexus is also made my Toyota!

    I SURE wish I could give you better news, but without at least one or all of those "master" keys you're in a real fix! Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news!

    Best of luck,
    Dave

    P.S. If and when you get things straightened out, PM me and let me know. I can maybe (at least) help you get a second set of keys so this won't happen to you again.

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    Default iriepunk

    Do a search for "key" there was whole thread in the Tundra section that somebody had the same problem. Don't recall the final but I thought they were able to something else. Only wound up a couple hundred which sucks anyway. Where is the second master? Normally you get 2 master and 1 valet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoiasoon
    Do a search for "key" there was whole thread in the Tundra section that somebody had the same problem. Don't recall the final but I thought they were able to something else. Only wound up a couple hundred which sucks anyway. Where is the second master? Normally you get 2 master and 1 valet.
    Hey sequoiasoon,

    That was me also, who posted to that guys thread. The difference here is... only one set of his keys were stolen out of his vehicle and he still had the other set. Hence, he had the opportunity to take that one "master" key to the dealer and have them "erase" the "codes" in his vehicle's on-board computer and install new codes for another set of "master" keys. Last I read in that thread, he said they had some idea of who did it. Some young "crack-heads" according to him. At this point, I don't think anything has been finalized as to what he ended up doing about it. At least he hadn't indicated so in his last up-date to the thread.

    Anyway, I went on to tell him that if his Tundra didn't have a "Transponder Key" in it, then he would only have to replace his ignition, and door locks. If he had keyless entry, then he'd also have to replace that as well. Since I had keyless entry added to my Tundra, I knew the cost was about $300 give or take a few $$$.

    Unfortunately, in "iriepunk's" case (according to what he posted) he's lost ALL of his "master" keys and from being in the "biz" (if you will)... there just isn't any other recourse for him to follow at this point... :cry:... unless someone else in his family has at least one of those "master" keys. If that turns out to be the case... then all will end well.

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    Default

    Something about this request doesn't sound quite right to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgl002
    Something about this request doesn't sound quite right to me.
    I agree, its easy to lose one set of keys, but you get 2 sets when you buy it
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    It's true about requiring an existing programmed master key to program new keys (master or valet),valet keys cannot be used.

    I have a feeling your 4Runner has the same newer immobilizer systems we use at Lexus. If so you do not have to replace the ECU,just reprogram the existing one,the dealer has to do it of course. They make a phone call to a tech line to get certain info,after which they can do the reprograming via scantool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    It's true about requiring an existing programmed master key to program new keys (master or valet),valet keys cannot be used.

    I have a feeling your 4Runner has the same newer immobilizer systems we use at Lexus. If so you do not have to replace the ECU,just reprogram the existing one,the dealer has to do it of course. They make a phone call to a tech line to get certain info,after which they can do the reprograming via scantool.
    Hey Eddie,

    Well my friend... you're "partically" right.

    As I stated before, I work for the nation's largest key blank manufacturer and it's our "JOB" to stay on top of these things and to "KNOW" how we can help the independent locksmith stay competative in today's market. Especially, in the world of auto "Transponder Keys"! That said, please allow me to enlighten you...

    "IF" iriepunk's 4-Runner had been either an '01 or '02 he "could" (as you stated) have had the ECU "reprogrammed". The actual term for this is having the ECU "reflashed". Yes, the ECU DOES have to be pulled from the vehicle and sent to someone with a "reflashing" machine... such as a high-end locksmith. What this "reflashing machine" does, is to actually burn a new memory onto the ECU with a set of new keys.

    HOWEVER... in 2003 that changed... when Toyota found out this could be done! They in turn, changed the programming of the ECU so it CANNOT be done now! Mainly as a further security measure. As you might suspect... of course... the dealer "wants" to sell a "new" ECU (tanslated: $$$$$$$) thus, this is also a"part" of the reason for the change in '03, which unfortunately WILL affect iriepunk's '04 4-Runner!

    Bottom line... getting this problem solved without replacing the ECU (unless at least one "master" key can be found)... well... "it jus' ain't gonna happen"... PERIOD! :cry:

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by TundrastruckDave
    Hey Eddie,

    Well my friend... you're "partically" right.

    As I stated before, I work for the nation's largest key blank manufacturer and it's our "JOB" to stay on top of these things and to "KNOW" how we can help the independent locksmith stay competative in today's market. Especially, in the world of auto "Transponder Keys"! That said, please allow me to enlighten you...

    "IF" iriepunk's 4-Runner had been either an '01 or '02 he "could" (as you stated) have had the ECU "reprogrammed". The actual term for this is having the ECU "reflashed". Yes, the ECU DOES have to be pulled from the vehicle and sent to someone with a "reflashing" machine... such as a high-end locksmith. What this "reflashing machine" does, is to actually burn a new memory onto the ECU with a set of new keys.

    HOWEVER... in 2003 that changed... when Toyota found out this could be done! They in turn, changed the programming of the ECU so it CANNOT be done now! Mainly as a further security measure. As you might suspect... of course... the dealer "wants" to sell a "new" ECU (tanslated: $$$$$$$) thus, this is also a"part" of the reason for the change in '03, which unfortunately WILL affect iriepunk's '04 4-Runner!

    Bottom line... getting this problem solved without replacing the ECU (unless at least one "master" key can be found)... well... "it jus' ain't gonna happen"... PERIOD! :cry:

    Dave
    So you're saying the ECU cannot be reflashed starting in 2003,including Lexus ones?
    Interesting,before the '03 models we did the opposite,replace the ECU and keys. The newer models we reflash,our diagnostic tech had to reflash an IS300 when the owner lost all her master keys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    It's true about requiring an existing programmed master key to program new keys (master or valet),valet keys cannot be used.

    I have a feeling your 4Runner has the same newer immobilizer systems we use at Lexus. If so you do not have to replace the ECU,just reprogram the existing one,the dealer has to do it of course. They make a phone call to a tech line to get certain info,after which they can do the reprograming via scantool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    So you're saying the ECU cannot be reflashed starting in 2003,including Lexus ones?
    Interesting,before the '03 models we did the opposite,replace the ECU and keys. The newer models we reflash,our diagnostic tech had to reflash an IS300 when the owner lost all her master keys.
    I agree with EDDIE
    This is 100% correct, the 04 runner immobilizer can be reprogrammed only at the dealer (04 runner is 1 of a few vehicles). You will have to prove ownership.
    The ECU WILL NOT HAVE TO BE REPLACED, just 3 new keys cut, 2 master and 1 valet(which you have), Flash program (DEALER ONLY), then your done.
    Cost = 3 master keys and labor to do it. We call this re SEED ing the ecu.
    We get lots of cars from the AUTO AUCTION, which have no keys. Some we send out ecu's and some we RESEED. 04 runner is a RESEED.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang67408
    I agree with EDDIE
    This is 100% correct, the 04 runner immobilizer can be reprogrammed only at the dealer (04 runner is 1 of a few vehicles). You will have to prove ownership.
    The ECU WILL NOT HAVE TO BE REPLACED, just 3 new keys cut, 2 master and 1 valet(which you have), Flash program (DEALER ONLY), then your done.
    Cost = 3 master keys and labor to do it. We call this re SEED ing the ecu.
    We get lots of cars from the AUTO AUCTION, which have no keys. Some we send out ecu's and some we RESEED. 04 runner is a RESEED.
    Hey mustang67408,

    Hummm... that's interesting and informative

    Did a little "deeper" digging this morning... made a few phone calls and found out that you and Eddie are right.

    However, there "IS" still a catch! To start with, the dealer WON'T do it anyway... period! Made several calls this AM to Toyota dealers (indicating to them what company I was with and why I was asking for the info) and NOT ONE of them said it could be done... the ECU would have to be replaced. That even included the '01 and '02 models, which we KNOW can be done. Matter of fact, I doubt "they even KNOW about this technology" and even if they do, it's probably very few dealers. Even then, they're NOT going to offer the service anyway since "they" can't do it!

    In any case, we contacted one of our "paid advisors" (who is just one of many resources we have) for getting accurate info about auto key "stuff". Matter of fact, he's probably the #1 or #2 locksmith in the nation for Automotive key needs! And yes... you guys are right... the ECU of the '04 4-Runner "CAN" be "reflashed"! BUT... BUT... (and here's the catch I spoke of) ONLY if the independent locksmith has UPDATED his "reflashing" machine/tool with a new 32 bit programming system, which is now in use by Toyota. He "guess-ti-matted" that there probably wasn't many more than a 100 locksmiths nation-wide with this kind of technology. Obviously, you guys must be in that small group, or at least "know" someone in that small group of locksmiths. Especially, with mustang67408 being in the AUTO AUCTION business... that "certainly" stands to good reason. Hey, we all gotta make a living, right... . Our "Transponder" key blank manager says, he's probably only spoken to a hand-full of locksmiths who have updated to this 32 bit system.

    About the ONLY way to have first-hand knowledge of this type of info is simply by being in the AUTO KEY BUSINESS from its' infancy, such as our "paid advisor" has been ...

    Good info guys. Er..ummm, you guys interested in being on our contact list for advice? Let's just hope iriepunk can "find" one of these "updated" locksmiths where he is... if... this thing is on the up-n-up to start with?!

    Later,
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by TundrastruckDave
    Hey mustang67408,

    Hummm... that's interesting and informative

    Did a little "deeper" digging this morning... made a few phone calls and found out that you and Eddie are right.

    However, there "IS" still a catch! To start with, the dealer WON'T do it anyway... period! Made several calls this AM to Toyota dealers (indicating to them what company I was with and why I was asking for the info) and NOT ONE of them said it could be done... the ECU would have to be replaced. That even included the '01 and '02 models, which we KNOW can be done.
    Later,
    Dave
    I dont want to argue. .... BUT.... The DEALER- DOES OFFER THIS SERVICE.
    We here at the Dealer offer this service to those who have lost their keys.
    We download info from a special Toyota website, and use the TOYOTA scan tool to flash the ecu (04 runner specifically, that we are talking about).
    We dont replace computers on cars that cant be programmed thru TOYOTA.
    We send those out to be FLASHED (unlocked )to a independant lock/key(you guys) place. Then WE (DEALER) reprogram new keys.
    The dealers who said they couldnt do it, are either money hungry (wanting to sell stuff u dont need) or they are very UNINFORMED, just plain LAZY.
    DEALERS CAN FLASH PROGRAM CERTAIN MODELS.
    Would not have a problem being on your contact list for advice if your still interested.
    Victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang67408
    I dont want to argue. .... BUT.... The DEALER- DOES OFFER THIS SERVICE.
    We here at the Dealer offer this service to those who have lost their keys.
    We download info from a special Toyota website, and use the TOYOTA scan tool to flash the ecu (04 runner specifically, that we are talking about).
    We dont replace computers on cars that cant be programmed thru TOYOTA.
    We send those out to be FLASHED (unlocked )to a independant lock/key(you guys) place. Then WE (DEALER) reprogram new keys.
    The dealers who said they couldnt do it, are either money hungry (wanting to sell stuff u dont need) or they are very UNINFORMED, just plain LAZY.
    DEALERS CAN FLASH PROGRAM CERTAIN MODELS.
    Would not have a problem being on your contact list for advice if your still interested.
    Victor
    Hey Vic,

    No need to argue... if you're right... then... you're right! Fact is, we learn QUITE a bit from locksmiths in the field and that's why we try our best to keep most of them "happy"...

    One question though... are you saying that you "can flash" the '04 4-Runner "in-house" or do you have to "out-scource" the work to an independent locksmith and then you guys (the dealer) replace/reprogram the new keys?

    In any case, I think you've "hit-the-nail-on-the-head" as to why the dealers I called said they couldn't do it. JUST PLAIN LAZY... not to mention... MONEY HUNGRY! That's why we're in the "Transponder Key biz"!

    Have to admit though... you're one of the VERY few! My hat's off too you!

    Dave

    P.S. By the way, send me a PM with your info and a little background (i.e. the dealeship you work for, your bkgrd. in these types of keys, etc.) and I'll pass that info along to the Transponder Dept. people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TundrastruckDave
    Hey Vic,

    No need to argue... if you're right... then... you're right! Fact is, we learn QUITE a bit from locksmiths in the field and that's why we try our best to keep most of them "happy"...

    One question though... are you saying that you "can flash" the '04 4-Runner "in-house" or do you have to "out-scource" the work to an independent locksmith and then you guys (the dealer) replace/reprogram the new keys?

    In any case, I think you've "hit-the-nail-on-the-head" as to why the dealers I called said they couldn't do it. JUST PLAIN LAZY... not to mention... MONEY HUNGRY! That's why we're in the "Transponder Key biz"!

    Have to admit though... you're one of the VERY few! My hat's off too you!

    Dave

    P.S. By the way, send me a PM with your info and a little background (i.e. the dealeship you work for, your bkgrd. in these types of keys, etc.) and I'll pass that info along to the Transponder Dept. people.
    Yes we FLASH(seed) the (04 runner) in house.Then program keys.
    It has been a pleasure discussing this topic with you.
    This sight (T.S.) is a very good place that we can all learn from each other.
    There are alot of very mature & well informed people here, I consider you 1 of them.
    Have a great weekend my friend.
    Victor

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    Smile Transponder key issue..

    Hey folks- I followed this post with great interest- as a locksmith.. most all I read seems to be true -and correct..I for one am curious-as to whether any insurance co. would help pay a claim- for "lost key/ code replacement"??- Just curious- and I will be the first to agree the electronic key issue has created a bit of a "snafu"..due to the influx of high-technology anti-theft - And lastly can't help but note that most, if not all dealer salesmen-& women,"after making the sale"..may only mention the code- for those orig. keys- Not. the transp. issue.. so that more new owners understand how important an issue it is, just my .02 worth, keep up the great work -all of you- ,till later, JB..aka-"jamesdean"

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