Toyota Nation Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The manufacturers key will not turn in my 2001 Toyota Camry LE (4 cylinder), but when I tried a generic key, the key truns in the switch as normal each and every time. The current Toyota key and an old one I had both would not turn, but a new hardware store made key worked fine. My Dad thinks the old keys have worn down some and is suggesting putting graphite into the ignition. Can graphite hurt the ignition system and is there a mechanism on a Toyota key that stops it from turning if worn? The wheels on the car are straight, so that was not the issue. The key does not have a chip in it. Are there other security features on the Toyota key that would stop it from working while allowing a generic key to work? If there was a problem in the ingition switch I should think the generic key should not work, yes? Is using the backup key the answer?
 

·
Wagon Crew
Camry SWAGGER WAGON
Joined
·
1,515 Posts
i had a similar problem. i couldnt unlock my doors with my key and somrtimes had trouble starting it as well...but i got a new key cut at ACE hardware and it works perfectly. idk why...but it does. i dont use the original anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Like your dad suggested, the original keys are worn to the point that they will no longer lift the tumblers inside the ignition lock. Graphite will not likely help. If you have the original key tag, you can go to the local Toyota dealer, and have them cut a new set of keys at a nominal cost. I am surprised that your keys are worn out. My 97 still has the original keys in good shape, and the original Securikey+ fobkey that Gulf States Toyota installed. I use that one everyday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,184 Posts
Some people use the key to open the doors and also to turn the ignition switch and start the car. Those keys are subject to a lot more wear than using a remote to open the door and then the key to start the car.

I agree your key is worn and that the best advice was to go to Toyota with proof of ownership and have a key made from the VIN number. That key should work fine. I would have a couple of keys made that way.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I may be guilty of having had my work keys hanging on the key chain. I stopped that practice some time ago. I no longer do this but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't mess up the tumbler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Don't put graphite in a car's lock cylinder -- it will gum up the mechanism.

Toyota uses a waterproof grease that doesn't always age well. Cars left outside in hot climates often have hardened grease. Removing, cleaning and re-greasing the lock cylinders might be called for.
 

·
V8'sRGone
95 Cam
Joined
·
1,956 Posts
You might widen the search but yotas have valet key options and when you find that the key works in the ignition but not the passenger door then you know they key is not 100% correct or its a valet key. Same applies to the trunk. You can unlock, but you can't lock (think turning counter-clockwise to 9 O'clock). The valet option allows you to hand the doorman a key that works the drivers door and ignition, but not the trunk so as to have access to your valuables.

Go to the dealer or a competent lock smith and have them make a key that flawlessly turns the passenger door to Lock/unlock all doors and works both directions in the trunk too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,610 Posts
I'll assume here that the original keys that no longer work in the ignition once worked great when the copies were made, right?

Because if the original keys no longer worked in the ignition because they were worn, and these keys were used to make copies, how would copies made from the original worn keys in a hardware store work? The copies are made from tracing the original key pattern, not from a key code.

I guess that tells us to make copies of the original keys when the originals are new and still work, to avoid problems down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Thanks for the advise. We have definitely had quite a few 90+ days here in Pittsburgh. What does removing, cleaning and re-greasing the lock cylinder usually run $ wise?
I've seen desert cars where the grease hardened to almost a plastic, but they get many more hot sunny days than Pittsburg.

It takes about 30-40 minutes per lock cylinder, and a few dollars for grease.

It's probably not worth the time and money to pay someone else to do it unless you are already having problems. But if other work is being done in the area (e.g. replacing the exterior door handle), it's worth the few extra minutes to do the lock cylinder.
 

·
抵抗しても無駄だ
2002 Solara SLE V6
Joined
·
9,091 Posts
73sport, I will check out all the keys. I had forgotten the security lock for valet service. Guess that says I don't use this feature very often any more. Thanks!
also the valet keys do not work in glove box lock. if yours can open/lock the glove box then it's gotta be the master key, just worn out.

I have a suggestion for you as I obsessively always replace all keys every few years for all my cars hehe...

get the blank key off ebay, usually it will be the one with blank transponder (for immobilizer circuit) in it, but it doesn't matter (works for non-immobilizer applications too):
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/99-0...ptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
they come from Taiwan. best thing that they actually have Toyota logo on it, not some aftermarket brand logo :)

that's what i got for my both solaras 2000 (no immobilzier) and 2002 (with immobilizer):

then take the original (or whatever you have) master key and car registration to Toyota dealership and tell them you need new master key cut and hand them the blank blade (ebay) key.
They will cut it for you for FREE, because unless they sell you their own key they cannot charge you for it ;)

It works in Home Depot too :)

But the difference is that Home Depot will make a COPY of your existing key, while Toyota dealer can cut the NEW one from digital data stored in their system.

If car has immobilizer then tell the dealer not to worry about it as you can do programming yourself ;)

There is immobilizer key programming step by step guide in FSM at least for the gen4 camry (works for solaras too).

Body Electrical:
http://www.camrystuff.com/manuals/Gen4/Body_Electrical.pdf
page 121.

There are also instruction on key code erasure and adding a sub-key (valet). Those are all for immobilizer applications.
 

·
2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
Joined
·
1,687 Posts
that's what i got for my both solaras 2000 (no immobilzier) and 2002 (with immobilizer):

then take the original (or whatever you have) master key and car registration to Toyota dealership and tell them you need new master key cut and hand them the blank blade (ebay) key.
They will cut it for you for FREE, because unless they sell you their own key they cannot charge you for it ;)
I read this post with interest, since one of my keys broke off the key ring loop thingie, so I put the spare on my key chain. But reading this got me to thinking. Do I have a transponder key?? Do I have an immobilizer? What is an immobilizer anyway ? I'm so confused. :confused:

So I did a little searching on the web and found out that my key labeled "Curtis TR-47" was in fact a transponder key. So I call the dealer and they quote me $110 to cut a key with a transponder, 8.00 without a transponder. I told him I had a TR-47 and he said "Yep that's a transponder key". So I was looking at $110 to program it. :eek:

Screw that. I was going to order one from the eBay seller that you mentioned, since $14.00 was much better than $110, that's for sure. But before I did, I thought it might be a good idea to do what I always do, when in doubt, take it apart, and in this case cut it open. So that's what I did.

Hmmm, I smell a rat with this transponder stuff. There's nothing in my TR-47 transponder key, nothing. See pic below. There is nothing in the plastic, and they couldn't hide one in the blank metal. But the real test would be if it started the car. Sure enough it did, no problem.

So I'm going to have some fun this afternoon. I'm going to go to the Toyota dealer and have them cut a key. If they tell me it's a Transponder key, I'm gonna tell them fergetaboutit, I don't want no stinking Transponder Key. Have them cut one from one of their blanks, and be on my way. Maybe they will have a SpongeBob Square Pants key blank. :clap:

So before you either fork out the outrageous fee to have a dealer cut a key, or buy one off eBay, cut open your key and see what's in it. I did, and it saved me some money.





.
 

·
抵抗しても無駄だ
2002 Solara SLE V6
Joined
·
9,091 Posts
transponder is the signal emitter for immobilizer circuit.
immobilizer is a car feature (or engine feature as it interacts with ignition circuits and fuel delivery).

usually if car is equipped with an immobilizer there is a SECURITY LED which starts blinking once you lock the car doors with a key (transponder equipped). it won't happen (no security LED blinking) if you lock the car with a key without transponder in it.

the key in above picture does NOT show any transponder, just a broken plastic shell around metal key.

easy check. take that broken key and try starting the engine with it, there is no transponder on it (as per pic), so if it starts and no security LEDs ever anywhere blink red then you have no immobilizer.

It's also possible that IF you have immobilizer, then the immobilizer circuit has been permanently bypassed by the ignition cylinder by placing transponder chip in close proximity to the receiver - so car "thinks" there is always a correct key nearby.

above is a standard practice for installation of aftermarket remote start modules on cars that are immobilizer equipped (more complicated in practice, but more or less that's the point).
 

·
V8'sRGone
95 Cam
Joined
·
1,956 Posts
You might widen the search but yotas have valet key options and when you find that the key works in the ignition but not the passenger door then you know they key is not 100% correct or its a valet key. Same applies to the trunk. You can unlock, but you can't lock (think turning counter-clockwise to 9 O'clock). The valet option allows you to hand the doorman a key that works the drivers door and ignition, but not the trunk so as to have access to your valuables.

Go to the dealer or a competent lock smith and have them make a key that flawlessly turns the passenger door to Lock/unlock all doors and works both directions in the trunk too.

isn't valet vs master the due to the 1st/last tumbler cut on the key? 8 vs 9 i think????? IDK!
 

·
2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
Joined
·
1,687 Posts
the key in above picture does NOT show any transponder, just a broken plastic shell around metal key.

easy check. take that broken key and try starting the engine with it, there is no transponder on it (as per pic), so if it starts and no security LEDs ever anywhere blink red then you have no immobilizer.
Well I went to the dealership this afternoon, and my buddy Joe was behind the counter, and I gave him my key, and asked if it had a transponder. Without blinking, he said, nope. Joe knows his stuff, and if he says it isn't a transponder key, then it isn't. I said "can you make a key?" Sure, no problem. He asks "does it work?" holding up my key. I answer yes, and he goes in another room, I can hear the key machine grinding away, and he comes back with my new key. Easy as can be.

Fortunately I didn't have a transponder, and if I did, I would disconnect it if I could. Who needs one more electronic thing to go wrong, anyway. I mentioned to Joe that $110 seemed a little steep to program a key, and said, "Be glad you don't have a 2010 model, they cost $350-$400 to replace a key." Just another reason not to buy a new car. TPMS and now real expensive keys.

While I was waiting, I noticed there were some credit card things laying on the counter. It was something about the Toyota "Owners Club". Well sign me up I said. So I went to www.toyota.com/owners and signed up. You put in your VIN, name, address, that sort of stuff, and when you get to the home page, you can access all of your service information. I think the cut off is like 5 years, but YMMV.

Mostly pretty bland stuff, oriented towards the average Toyota owner. But there was one page that caught my eye. You can see the listing on the left and some of them were pretty interesting. They had Toyota Part Numbers and models all arranged nicely in one place. So I saved the PDF files and zipped them up and you can download it if you want. It's about 7.2 megs and contains Air Filters, Battery, Brake Pads, Oil Filter, Spark Plug, Wiper Blade, Wiper Blade Inserts.


The rest of the topics were pretty lame. The site must be pretty new because there are still some typos, but all in all it's worth taking a look at, even for nothing else to access your service records.




.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top