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Lost key - how to make a new one using VIN


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22 replies to this topic

#1 etc

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 10:36 PM

I lost the original key for 98 Legacy.

I tried to make a copy at Home Depot but what they did does not work, only opens the doors but does not start the ignition.

Can I go to a dealership and have a key made using VIN?

#2 Durania

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:23 PM

Yes, and have proof of ownership is what they told me.

#3 backwoodsboy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 06:56 AM

Indeed.

Drivers license and your registration are acceptable proofs (bring em both)

My dealership requires us to make copies and hold em on file even! :eek:

#4 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:37 AM

it's not cut from the VIN per-se. and all the comments about personal info is anecdotal, that just depends who you talk to/where you go. here's how it works:

each key has a 4 digit key code, that's what you're after. when the car is sold the salesmen is *supposed* to record the 4 digit code in the sales paper work/computer.

if they did this - then the VIN can be used to look up the key code. if not, the VIN won't do it.

every time i've gone to a dealer they've never asked for any info, they just look it up. i wouldn't be surprised if they want proof of ownership, just depends on the local and how well they know you.

do you have any other Subaru keys, it's not that uncommon for a key to work in multiple vehicles. particularly older and warn down keys. i have like 30!

the next step is to look at the lock cylinder in either front door, the key code is stamped on it. on some models you can even see the code without removing the lock cylinder. pull the door panel and look. otherwise you need to remove the circlip and pull the lock cylinder out to read the code.

once you find it i would recommend having multiple keys and writing the code down.

#5 davebugs

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:38 AM

My local dealer used to cut them from the vin for 3 bucks.

Now they say 28 bucks. Title, drivers license, I think they mayneed to fill out a form or something else as a CYA move.

Said too many repo guys were getting keys, etc. State was cracking down.

But it could have just been turned into yet another "profit center".

For 3 bucsk I just always had them cut from the vin. Now that they are 28 bucks Lowe's works for me.

#6 backwoodsboy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:55 AM

all the comments about personal info is anecdotal, that just depends who you talk to/where you go.


Gary,

I dont know about YOUR state... but in NY you MUST SHOW PROPER ID. I work in the Subaru parts room. I know.

If a dealer is giving someone a key cut from code WITHOUT showing proofs, they are not following orders. This was effective as of May 2008.

#7 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:00 AM

Don't know the cost, but a mobile locksmith guy, can come to your home and cut you a key on the spot.

I once watched a locksmith ply his trade at a Goodwill car auction. Some cars would be donated with no keys. The guy could cut a key to start any car in less than 5 minutes. I teased the guy in converstion by telling him that he was in the wrong biz. He could be in the car theift biz, and make a lot more money, until caught, and put behind bars.

#8 edrach

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:13 AM

the next step is to look at the lock cylinder in either front door, the key code is stamped on it. on some models you can even see the code without removing the lock cylinder. pull the door panel and look. otherwise you need to remove the circlip and pull the lock cylinder out to read the code.

once you find it i would recommend having multiple keys and writing the code down.

On the older gen cars, the key code is only on the front passenger side lock cylinder. 'Don't know if newer gen cars added it on the driver's side.

It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to remove the door panel and slip an inspection mirror near the lock cylinder and read the code. Once you have that, any decent locksmith can cut you a master key.

#9 nipper

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:17 AM

I had a key made last year, I just showed them the reggy to the car (for the vin number) and they made the key.

I dont know if they would do it if you just walked in with a scrap of paper or the vin memorized :)

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#10 etc

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:49 AM

An update - the copy of the original I made at Home Depot suddenly started working (after not working initially).

I still need an original Subaru key however... plus I need the second key anyway.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:11 AM

taking all your info and documentation with you is the way to go. i wasn't trying to discount that, it would be silly not to.

I dont know about YOUR state... but in NY you MUST SHOW PROPER ID. I work in the Subaru parts room. I know.

caps, this is getting serious! sorry that wasn't meant to say you are wrong. actually i agree and should have +1'ed that. just stating different locals, management and personnel operate differently. plenty of rural places and honest people left that all dealers don't comply with "protocol".

i've had them not be able to cut keys from VIN's before, because the key code wasn't available. and i've never had to give ID of any kind, as time goes on that will diminish as people take advantage of it.

and the opposite happens too:

a friend of mine is a service manager at a dealer that won't work on any pre-1990 Subaru. they're in the ghetto of a large metropolitan area and get sued too often because of old, poorly maintained vehicles falling apart when they work on them.

#12 backwoodsboy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:26 AM

Sorry for the caps.... I get a lil carried away sometimes:rolleyes:

#13 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:30 AM

Sorry for the caps.... I get a lil carried away sometimes:rolleyes:

good thing, otherwise this dude could have listened to my incomplete babbling commentary. "hey sir, we need a title for that key code"........

#14 etc

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:31 AM

I talked to the Subaru service people and they said they *don't* need a VIN to make a key... weird.

#15 grossgary

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:36 AM

I talked to the Subaru service people and they said they *don't* need a VIN to make a key... weird.

that's what i was saying in my earlier reply- they don't use the VIN to make a key, they use the key code.

but they aren't magicians either, so they need some way to identify the vehicle and look up the code. your name (if you've been there before maybe), VIN, something.

imagine walking in and saying "i need a new key" and they hand it to you. obviously that's impossible, they need something to work with!

#16 backwoodsboy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:02 AM

Also, beware of someplace that *doesnt* need your vin OR key code... but rather asks to see your old key for a minute.

More times than not, you will be getting a "trace" of your old worn out key, which works... sometimes:-\

#17 edrach

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:20 AM

Also, beware of someplace that *doesnt* need your vin OR key code... but rather asks to see your old key for a minute.

More times than not, you will be getting a "trace" of your old worn out key, which works... sometimes:-\

It could be the ignition lock has a few sticky parts. Get some tri-flow lubricant (squeeze bottle, not spray) and put a few drops onto the key and try the ignition lock a few times. With luck it will get better.

#18 nipper

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:02 PM

Use lock-ease, as it is made especially for locks, including ignition locks.

nipper

#19 edrach

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 02:27 PM

Use lock-ease, as it is made especially for locks, including ignition locks.

nipper

I won't argue with your choice of lubricants, but our locksmith swears by tri-flow.

#20 davebugs

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:46 PM

I use lock-ease in every car that is subjected to being outside in the winter in all the door locks. All my vehicles, friends vehicles, etc. Never used if for ingitions but it does make sense.

I've actually had luck w/PB Blaster on ignitions and locks getting them free'd up.

I'll have to keep an eye out for this tri-flow product.

#21 etc

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:29 PM

Subaru DLR took my registration and DL, got some 5 digit number, (which I should have copied for me I suppose) took it to the parts dept. There they cut me 2 keys, at $11 each. They look substantially different from the poor copy Home Depot made me. I don't blame HD as they didn't have a good original to go on.

The sweet thing is the new keys now open the pass. side door and the rear wagon door that the old key didn't open, it was worn out terribly. So losing this key is good riddance.

I used some graphite lubricant and now all door locks open real nicely.

Mental note: Always keep a spare key, you never know when you lose it or lock it inside.

#22 edrach

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:33 PM


Mental note: Always keep a spare key, you never know when you lose it or lock it inside.

Having gone through three kids who used all of our early Subarus sequentially, we had multiple spare keys made and one emergency key hidden in our lockbox.

Make yourself some spares from the masters you have now just in case you lose one or both.

#23 nbiehl

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:13 AM

Any know a way to get a new remote key?

I just went from a Loyale, which opens all the doors with one turn of the key, to an Outback, which doesn't. Having to fumble around with the lock switch while everyone waits outside is a pain.




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