11-19-2012, 11:03 PM
Official TN Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Spare Key Ideas
Hello. I just joined toyotanation after having purchased a 2012 TCH last week. It's an interesting vehicle, which on very early data seems to be delivering on its promised gas mileage. It's also the most technically complex car I've ever owned, and this has banished any thoughts of my trying to work on it myself -- even to change the oil.
One decided disadvantage is the ridiculously expensive Smart Key fobs. I should have bargained for a third key when I bought the car. Now the dealer is quoting over $400 to add one. Ouch!
Actually, all I really want is a backup key for emergencies, so maybe I don't really need a third key, but I definitely don't want to start on a road trip with only one key. I'm pretty good about not losing them, but there is always the possibility that I'll drop the fob and break it, or get it wet, or any other number of arcane possibilities.
For all intents and purposes, I'm the only one who will drive this car. I used to carry a spare key in my wallet, but, well, the fob wouldn't fit there too well. So, what I'm considering is taking one of the Smart Keys, engaging its Electronic Key Battery Saving Function on p 59 of the manual, and storing it in some unobtrusive area inside the car. I'd then put it's metal key in my wallet or change purse for safe keeping. I've tested this and it seems to work OK - the car doesn't complain about the fob being left inside with the Batt Svg function engaged. Another advantage is that every couple months I could swap the fobs to make sure both still work and so each gets some use.
How durable are the fobs? Can they reasonably withstand being dropped a few times without breaking? (On thinking back, I can recall dropping my keychain while fumbling for a key on many occasions and it never killed any of my previous fobs, but this fob isn't just for convenience, it is essential.)
What are people's thoughts on this spare key thing? Any other ideas? Also, is it possible to have a key cut which has a flat traditional head on it instead of the 3D plastic one on the key in the key fob (so that it really would fit well in my wallet)?
Thanks for any advise or insight. I'm looking forward to enjoying my new TCH and interacting with you all here.