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Okay so I own a 2011 Subaru legacy, second owner, I am a klutz when it comes to losing things. this time it has been my keys, I have already lost another set and the previous owner has lost the two it came with. I tried getting a new key cut/programmed to my car but it wasn't working, so the locksmith tried a different brand but still same specs type of key and that didn't work either, apparently you can only have a maximum of 4 keys programmed to a car and I'm wondering if there is any possible way other than towing my car and having Subaru service remove my ECU and wipe whatever they need to wipe in order for me to be able to program these keys to my car in turn spending close to 1200 on this service. is there anything I can do or maybe a local mechanic with a cheap new amazon ECU could do?

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The memory of all keys not present at the time of initializing are deleted. So only the keys present when programming them to the car are then allowed.

All old keys become dead at that point.

 

So if you're having an issue programming and the car still not accepting then. You should probably try the dealer.

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Dealer charged me $65 or $85 last year to program all my keys and remotes I bought used, off eBay and Amazon.

 

$1,200 is not correct, call another dealer or tell us EXACTLY why and how you’re getting that number. Easiky as much you’re misinterpretation or misunderstanding as it is theirs.

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I work at a Subaru dealership. Adding extra keys is easy, but if there is no working key, it's a big deal. Towed to the dealer, ECU and sometimes gauge cluster removed, shipped to Subaru, wiped, shipped back, reinstalled, and reprogrammed. Yes, the bill is frequently 4-digits.

 

 

To the OP, I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't have another suggestion. If a good locksmith doesn't know a way, I doubt that there is one.

 

 

 

To everyone else. Let this be a lessen. You might be afraid of a $250 bill for an extra immobilizer key, but if you loose all the keys, you're in for a much bigger headache.

 

The idea of an immobilizer seems great, making cars extremely difficult to steal. But when you're the legitimate owner just trying to get a key, it's a huge pain.

Edited by Numbchux
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I work at a Subaru dealership. Adding extra keys is easy, but if there is no working key, it's a big deal. Towed to the dealer, ECU and sometimes gauge cluster removed, shipped to Subaru, wiped, shipped back, reinstalled, and reprogrammed. Yes, the bill is frequently 4-digits.

 

wow, are you serious? 

what's the exact hang up - the ECU requires seeing at least one valid immobilizer chip before it will allow programming?  or it won't allow programming until the car is started...or it'll "lock the entire system down once you open the doors...or what?

 

good grief there's still no easy way around these immobilizers ?  there's some talented people out there - get to work!!! 

 

being so "important" and "effective" a commensurate drop in insurance rates is right around the corner right?   ROFL

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Yea, before you can enter the key-adding process, you have to power on the system with a valid key. Now that's with the Subaru software, so it's possible there's something out there, but seems to me a good locksmith would be the one. AFAIK, there are aftermarket keys/software to clone a keys ID, so the computer in the car can't tell it's a new key. But again, without one to clone.....

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I wonder if you could buy the immobilizer and related bits from a Salvage/Used Auto Parts yard and swap them. I've read (i think)  that the immobilizer somehow even 'communicates' w/the engine to keep it from working unless they all 'match'.

 

But if you could buy the parts, swap it and then have the dealer program it ASSUMING you have a matched immobilizer, ECU and (chipped) key, maybe?

 

Obviously, having all the paperwork verified for the used (NOT STOLEN) parts and checking w/the Dealer first, before 'trying this @ home'.

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I wonder if you could buy the immobilizer and related bits from a Salvage/Used Auto Parts yard and swap them.

 

That requires sourcing, shipping/pick up, towing multiple times as coordinating with a dealer that won't install them so they'll have to be installed somewhere else, which is significant labor costs, then taken to the dealer for more programming.  Wont' be cheap, has a lot of moving parts and isn't full of clarity.

 

given the OP's self description and current scenario this seems like a bad fit at this time.

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I work at a Subaru dealership. Adding extra keys is easy, but if there is no working key, it's a big deal. Towed to the dealer, ECU and sometimes gauge cluster removed, shipped to Subaru, wiped, shipped back, reinstalled, and reprogrammed. Yes, the bill is frequently 4-digits.

 

 

To the OP, I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't have another suggestion. If a good locksmith doesn't know a way, I doubt that there is one.

 

 

 

To everyone else. Let this be a lessen. You might be afraid of a $250 bill for an extra immobilizer key, but if you loose all the keys, you're in for a much bigger headache.

 

The idea of an immobilizer seems great, making cars extremely difficult to steal. But when you're the legitimate owner just trying to get a key, it's a huge pain.

 

So the takeaway is to buy two extra keys when you get one of these types of cars with the immoblizers?  What year did this become standard?

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So the takeaway is to buy two extra keys when you get one of these types of cars with the immoblizers?  What year did this become standard?

 

Subaru started using Immobilizers in the turbo and 6-cyl cars in 2005 and phased them in until 2009 when all models had them. One of the reasons I love my '04 H6....

 

 

All new cars are delivered with 2-3 keys. If any have gone missing, it's a good idea to get spares, but also to wipe those old keys out of the system.

Edited by Numbchux
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Call a few (not all are considered equal) car security system installation companies and get their opinion. They understand setting up the keys, immobilizers, ECU and helped me similarly to save my fast key on my Evo. And if they can help you, it will be a whole lot cheaper than the dealership.

Edited by coryl

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For what it's worth, I strongly suggest getting into a routine when leaving and coming home. I used to be semi-forgetful as well when I was younger, so I started doing a -keys-phone-wallet- "check" every time I'm going somewhere. Everything stays in the front pockets (force of habit from driving semis, as it's possible a wallet can get pushed up and out while getting out and you'll be miles away before realizing) which makes a simple unconscious verification "check" when out and about easy. Once home, everything gets dropped in the same spot. Keys are never out in public unless key chain swipe card is needed.

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