This is the first of a two-part article on key programming. Depending on how wordy I get the series could expand into three parts.
Before tooling up for factory programming, if anybody had told me 20% of my workload would be security related, plus replacing and programming keys, I’d have asked what they were smoking. Key replacement and initialization requests seldom came our way at Motor Works. This was fortunate because our answer would have been the one thing you never want to tell a customer, “I’m sorry but we don’t do that here.” Further explanation on the perils of saying no is undoubtedly not necessary.
Maybe it is a function of the famous quotation from the movie “Field of Dreams”; “Build it and they will come.” Indeed, the key replacement and programming requests have come and multiplied.
Security work and key programming, in particular, has several hurdles one must overcome to avoid the dreaded “No” word. These include the need to have:
Factory diagnostic and programming tooling, and/or
Factory “Like” diagnostic and programming tooling, and/or
A dedicated key programming tool
Access to key and security pin numbers
A source for keys and remotes
Support for the occasional problem
Optionally, registration with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), to obtain inclusion in the Locksmith Identification (LSID) Registry as a Vehicle Security Professional (VSP). Man, there ought to be a law about using that many acronyms in the same sentence.
Factory Diagnostic and Programming Tooling
There is not too much to say here. If you’re reading this article, you either already have a collection of factory scan tools or are considering it. Factory tools are the only certain way to turn “No” into “You Betcha we can” when it comes to security work and key replacement/programming. If you want to be a consistent hero, factory tools are the answer.
Factory “Like” Diagnostic and Programming Tooling
Key programming is available in limited degrees in the new breed of factory “like” scanners now available. Hearing about the strong capabilities of the Autel line of scanners, I recently consulted Louie Nelson, President of Advanced Training Systems, Inc. and Carquest Technical Institute trainer since 1999. Authors note: I have trained personally under Louie’s steady hand, and consider him an automotive mentor, friend and one of the brightest minds in the automotive industry today.
Louie has personal experience with the Autel Scanner, using it to programming keys for Fords, Hondas, and Nissans. He remarks that the Honda programming abilities of the Autel tool are amazingly faster than the factory Honda equipment.
Louie also wants me to pass on the tin foil “Top Hat” trick for getting cars with new ignition switches started and moved to where programming can take place. This will come next month.
Those readers interested in the many abilities of the Autel scanners can call the AE Tools staff for an enthusiastic and knowledgeable discussion…
The Autel Maxisys Elite is a premier aftermarket scan tool. It can also program keys for Fords, Hondas, Nissans and more.