Adding, replacing and/or creating a spare key - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-19-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Adding, replacing and/or creating a spare key

Reading around messages about lost keys made me decide to create a spare key for a non-alarm equipped Rubicon. Costs for replacement keys at the dealership have been reported to be $90 to $270!

The critical issue is to create a spare key while you have TWO functional keys. If you have two working keys you can add an additional key without needing access to a dealer and their diagnostic computer. So if you have three keys and lose one you can buy another blank and still program another replacement key. According to the owner's manual you are limited to 8 keys that can programmed by an owner.

I picked up a blank non-alarm key that includes the critical transponder chip for $15.00 including shipping on eBay. The vendor I used had 1,000s of posts with favorable feedback. I read one report of someone who felt they got a fake key with no transponder chip from another vendor. But this could have been user-error on the programming.

For those of you with an alarm key fob you can still use the non-alarm, but transponder equipped key as a back-up key. This would allow you to later purchase a remote equipped key blank (likely from a MOPAR parts dealer), but you would be able to code it to the vehicle yourself because you have TWO working keys and can save some cash.

After you get your blank you will have to get your key cut and copied. I decided to go to a locksmith rather than the hardware store because I've found that hardware stores make more bad copies as they are less skilled than a locksmith. This isn't an issue when they are providing the blanks and simply cut you a new key if the copy doesn't work. On the other hand, since I just spent $15.00 on a blank I didn't want to have to try again with yet another blank.

The locksmith was surprised when I brought my own blank, but after I explained it was transponder equipped she understood. She asked if I knew how to program it and I said I did. Since I provided the blank she charged me a whole $2.00 to cut my key. So my total cost for this "mod" was $17.00.

The next thing you want to do is check your key and make sure it works. Check it in all the doors and the gate. The key is designed to work in two directions so check it once, rotate it 180 degrees and check it again. Lastly you want to check in the ignition. Be careful here or you will wind up triggering the ant-theft system. I only spun the key to the accessory position. I did this twice and flipped the key on the second try.

If you actually try to start the Jeep with the key before it is programmed the motor will run briefly and than shut off. If you do this too many times, not sure how many though, the Jeep will shutdown for 24 hours and your only option is to wait it out or tow it to the dealer.

Assuming the key mechanically unlocks everything you are ready to program the new key. YOU MUST HAVE TWO EXISTING FUNCTIONAL KEYS. Here are the steps as cribbed from the vendor and modified by me to be JK specific:

1. Insert one of the existing transponder keys into the ignition and turn the switch to the ON/RUN position. (i.e. not the ACESSORY postion, but don't start the Jeep. Marvel as all the idiot lights illuminate because engine is non-running)

2. The key should remain in the ON position for 5 seconds but not more then 15 seconds before you turn it back to the OFF position.

3. Within 10 seconds, insert the second existing transponder key into the ignition and turn the switch to the ON position. The VTSS(Vehicle Theft Security System) or Sentry Key Immobilizer System lamp (depending on model ) should start to flash. On the JK this a red dot over by the temperature gauge. It is located at about the 1:00 or 2:00 position of the gauge.

(The key vendor suggests "this along with a audible tone will indicate to you that the system has entered the 'Customer Learn' programming mode." I didn't hear anything like this. I just kept hearing the seat belt chime. But I didn't have any issues.)

4. Within 45 seconds, turn the switch to the OFF position. Insert the new transponder key that you just had cut and turn the switch to the ON position. "After approximately 10 seconds an audible tone will sound and the Indicator lamp will stay illuminated for 3 seconds." Once again I didn't hear any tones other than the seat belt chime. But the VTSS light next to the temperature gauge DID turn itself off. I waited a few more seconds and turned the Jeep off.

At this point you should be done. I crossed my fingers and started the Jeep with my new key and it worked fine. If it didn't the Jeep will run for a few seconds and shut off. DO NOT KEEP TRYING THE NEW KEY IF THE ENGINE DOESN'T CONTINUE TO RUN. You will activate the the anti-theft feature. Start the Jeep with one of your original keys first, stop the engine and try again.

I also checked my two original keys running the Jeep for about a minute each time to make sure there were no issues with the anti-theft system. I didn't have any problems.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Last edited by Timbo2000; 02-19-2010 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Fixed some typos, updated number of keys
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-19-2010, 01:00 PM
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Good write up... Too late for me... Only have 1 key left

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post #3 of 31 Old 02-19-2010, 02:48 PM
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Excellent write-up. Seems like a good idea to have an extra... Can you divulge the ebay username you got the blank from?

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post #4 of 31 Old 02-19-2010, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejwil View Post
Excellent write-up. Seems like a good idea to have an extra... Can you divulge the ebay username you got the blank from?
PM Sent. So as not to create an ad here if anybody wants to know the vendor I used send me a PM and I'll be happy to tell you.
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 01:18 PM
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Just did mine per your write up. Spot on. I saw the "ready to program" red dot show up on the lower right side of the display. FYI mine is a 2010. Thanks for the write up.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 08:04 PM
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Nice write up...

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post #7 of 31 Old 12-20-2010, 07:59 PM
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What if you only have one key?
Could you use the same key twice instead before programing the new key?
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-22-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
What if you only have one key?
Could you use the same key twice instead before programing the new key?
No, you are out of luck. You have to have TWO physical keys for this to work.

The dealer CAN add another key with their diagnostic computer, but of course you will pay dealer rates for them to do it.
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-22-2010, 08:51 AM
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Thats what I figured
Thanks for the info!
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 11:49 AM
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Great instructions. There's nothing like the feeling of savings a few bucks.

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post #11 of 31 Old 01-18-2011, 05:06 AM
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Good info.
I made myself a spare too just after I bought it.
Used a Rock key...
http://www.allthingsjeep.com/rockkey-tr-tan.html

You can also find the black OEM blanks for 20-50$ on Ebay (with lock/unlock buttons).
The 20$ ones are selling fast...
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-18-2011, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoxxis View Post
Good info.
I made myself a spare too just after I bought it.
Used a Rock key...
http://www.allthingsjeep.com/rockkey-tr-tan.html
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-18-2011, 07:33 AM
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Didn't think about it... So no...
I ordered from them multiple times... Never thought about a rebate...
Whatever, the prices are ok.
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-30-2011, 12:27 PM
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do all jeep keys have a transponders in them? or is it on certain model jeeps?
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-30-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icandothisallday View Post
do all jeep keys have a transponders in them? or is it on certain model jeeps?
x2, i got a sport with no options except a/c (less stuff to break)
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-30-2011, 10:22 PM
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Great writeup! I think I'll go ahead and make a copy in case I lose one of my keys. Can you pm me the ebay seller please?

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post #17 of 31 Old 02-03-2011, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpiker View Post
x2, i got a sport with no options except a/c (less stuff to break)
As far as I know all the models have the transponder key.

Regards, Tim
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post #18 of 31 Old 02-03-2011, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo2000 View Post
No, you are out of luck. You have to have TWO physical keys for this to work.

The dealer CAN add another key with their diagnostic computer, but of course you will pay dealer rates for them to do it.
A locksmith can program new keys as well when only one or no keys at all exist. It is usually less expensive than the dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo2000 View Post
As far as I know all the models have the transponder key.

Regards, Tim
That is correct.


Also be aware. Transponder keys can only be programed once. Some eBay sellers take used remote heads and replace the blades and sell them. These keys will never be able to be programed to your truck.


Nice write up.
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post #19 of 31 Old 02-18-2011, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoxxis View Post
Didn't think about it... So no...
I ordered from them multiple times... Never thought about a rebate...
Whatever, the prices are ok.
For future reference.... Most sites that offer JKO discounts just require for you to type jkowners into the coupon code section and it works.... I just bought a key from allthings and it worked just fine


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I think I understand your question - but I am a two door guy.
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post #20 of 31 Old 03-05-2011, 03:45 PM
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Just programmed my key yesterday. The directions in this write up were spot on! Thanks again JKO!


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post #21 of 31 Old 04-12-2011, 05:05 PM
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what about Remote Start Option...? Do they sell a remote w. the key along w/ the Lock & Un-Lock buttons...
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post #22 of 31 Old 04-21-2011, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pazitive44 View Post
what about Remote Start Option...? Do they sell a remote w. the key along w/ the Lock & Un-Lock buttons...
You should be able to find any configuration on eBay. My key has everything, remote start etc. Just make sure you are getting the right key, it is easy to mistake the wrong key for yours by looks alone. There is a microscopic part number on your keys which you can go by to make sure.
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post #23 of 31 Old 05-07-2011, 01:34 AM
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pm sent ..thanks for writeup

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post #24 of 31 Old 09-18-2015, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for the write up. One of my keys programmed easily, the other won't program, I suspect that one has a bad chip. The security light will blink like it's supposed to but blinks for a long time, like it's trying to program, then it goes solid and won't go out (instead of going out).

Still, even if they won't replace the bad key (if that's the issue), I've got a new chipped key for under $20 total.
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post #25 of 31 Old 10-25-2016, 02:30 PM
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Can you use two keys from a locksmith to make a new one? Or do they have to be the two original keys that came with the vehicle?
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