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Programming Used Smart Key (Fob)

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Old 01-20-12, 09:17 AM   #1
SlvrBulit
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Default Programming Used Smart Key (Fob)

Can a used Lexus smart key be re-programmed to work for your car? The answer is 100%, abso-effin-lutely YESS!!!

A little background. I recently purchased a 2008 Lexus GS350. Being new to the "smart key" concept I was alarmed when I was warming up my car, and when I walked away the car started beeping. Fearful the car was going to shut off I left the key on the sunroof of my car (I realize now that the car was alerting me the engine was still running instead of warning me it was going to shut off). I come back minutes later and drove off, and only after accelerating to get onto the freeway I hear the keys fall off the roof of my car and the screen on my car alerting me that the key was "out of range". Basically I needed a new key.

Luckily my dad owns a used car wholesale business so I asked my little brother to send me several used Lexus smart keys they had laying around. Making sure the number on the key fob matched the one on my spare.

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What compelled me to post this thread is because after taking it to Lexus of Carlsbad and spending 1.5 hours there they were not able to program my keys. According to the service rep the Master Technician said, "There is now way to program used smart keys." And they were going to charge me half of the original quote of $125. I ended up getting it waived, and while I very disappointed, I was happy to get a free car wash.

I then took it to the locksmith option. If you're in San Diego contact Jerry with BusyBee Locksmith in Little Italy, and tell him Vince with the silver GS sent you. I brought the 3 spare keys I had to Jerry, and after about 1-hour of trouble shooting, he was able to program all 4 keys (1 original, 3 used). He would probably be able to do it in 30 minutes or less from now on. Here are some things we learned:

1. The smart keys to be programmed need batteries - for some reason the ones I had didn't have batteries in them and the dealership failed to check. That is unless they removed them.

2. They needed to reset the proxy (proximity) computer.

3. It takes 16 minutes to access and reset the proximity computer - I believe Lexus set this up as a precaution so someone couldn't easily boost your car. It would take at least 16 minutes.

4. When programing the smart keys by touching the Lexus symbol of the fob to the ignition button in your car all other keys should be out of proximity (approximately 3 feet outside of your vehicle) and done one at a time - we noticed when we were programming that the lights on all the key fobs were blinking. This means the computer was confused on which key to program.

I know there are other threads out there on the same topic, but I many weren't detailed and were debating back and forth of whether this is possible. Hope someone finds this useful. Good luck!
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Old 01-20-12, 11:50 AM   #2
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This is a great write up and very helpful, this should be in the DIY section since so many people ask this question.
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Old 01-20-12, 02:14 PM   #3
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great information. did he use the key programmer that is orange and plugs into the obd2 port?
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Old 01-20-12, 02:40 PM   #4
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nice write up. So disappointing to pay top dollar to have your car serviced by Lexus specialist only to find our that you were able to trouble shoot more accurately then they were.
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Old 01-20-12, 03:21 PM   #5
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So what did he actually use to program them
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Old 01-20-12, 05:49 PM   #6
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No. He mentioned the company was based out of the UK and able to program all makes and models.

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great information. did he use the key programmer that is orange and plugs into the obd2 port?
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Old 01-20-12, 06:15 PM   #7
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I bought a used remote and took it to the Lexus dealership where my friend is the Service Manager. They were not able to program it for some reason. Are you saying that if they reset the proxy computer, then it would have been programmable? Does my original remote have to be re-programmed too after the reset?
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Old 01-20-12, 06:49 PM   #8
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GREAT writeup, great details and alot of help.
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Old 01-20-12, 07:12 PM   #9
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i believe you're only allowed to have it reprogrammed once. I had a lost key replaced by a Smart key specialist in my area that came to my office and did the job for $149. Cut a new key and everything. Took less than 30 minutes to complete as well. Was originally quoted $280 by my lexus service tech.
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Old 01-21-12, 01:10 AM   #10
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Yes, you have to reset the proxy computer which then none of your keys will work. You then have to program each key including your original. I read somewhere on CL that there is a finite number of times you can reset the proxy server before you have to replace it. I believe it was 10 though I haven't confirmed it.

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I bought a used remote and took it to the Lexus dealership where my friend is the Service Manager. They were not able to program it for some reason. Are you saying that if they reset the proxy computer, then it would have been programmable? Does my original remote have to be re-programmed too after the reset?
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Old 01-21-12, 01:13 AM   #11
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I'm sure you are wrong. Stop speculating, that's the whole reason I started a new thread. The others were loaded with people stating I think this, and heard that...

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i believe you're only allowed to have it reprogrammed once. I had a lost key replaced by a Smart key specialist in my area that came to my office and did the job for $149. Cut a new key and everything. Took less than 30 minutes to complete as well. Was originally quoted $280 by my lexus service tech.
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Old 01-22-12, 10:48 AM   #12
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I have a couple questions before I bring my car back to the dealer and have them try this again. I'm going to tell them what I read here about the proximity computer needing to be reset. Are they going to know how to do this? Should all Lexus dealers know how to do it? Are they going to look at me like I have 3 heads? I contacted an EBay member who sells used remotes and he told me all his remotes have been "flushed" of the previous code. Would that be the same thing as resetting the proximity computer would do to a remote?
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Old 01-22-12, 01:07 PM   #13
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I would suggest Google "Lexus locksmith <your city>" and contact a locksmith. The first one I called did not have the device to reset my proxy computer and referred me to someone that did.

Again, I don't know if the process is the same for your vehicle and it may be different than mine based upon year and model. Does your key's match my ID above?

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Originally Posted by LenniePaz View Post
I have a couple questions before I bring my car back to the dealer and have them try this again. I'm going to tell them what I read here about the proximity computer needing to be reset. Are they going to know how to do this? Should all Lexus dealers know how to do it? Are they going to look at me like I have 3 heads? I contacted an EBay member who sells used remotes and he told me all his remotes have been "flushed" of the previous code. Would that be the same thing as resetting the proximity computer would do to a remote?
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Old 01-22-12, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlvrBulit View Post
I would suggest Google "Lexus locksmith <your city>" and contact a locksmith. The first one I called did not have the device to reset my proxy computer and referred me to someone that did.

Again, I don't know if the process is the same for your vehicle and it may be different than mine based upon year and model. Does your key's match my ID above?
Yes, my ID numbers are the same. Are you saying a Lexus dealer can't reset the proximity computer?
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Old 01-22-12, 08:54 PM   #15
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I'm saying I don't know, and that they weren't able to able to help me.

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Yes, my ID numbers are the same. Are you saying a Lexus dealer can't reset the proximity computer?
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Old 01-22-12, 08:54 PM
 
 
 
 
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