Jump to content

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. ?

Interesting Toyota Solara problem

Recommended Posts

Couple weeks back young lady family member bought 2001 Solara convertible. Nice little car and very well built. Strange situation though: she only ended up with ONE key for the car, and it is a "valet" key. Dealership says only way to get new/more keys is to replace a computer, make new keys and then have technician program the car to the keys!! Oh,all for only $400!!! I admit there is much I do not understand here but this astounds me.

Any insights? I will add that until I took it around the block I had never even been IN a Toyota, but this car is well made, solid and comfortable and loaded with usefull options. But $400 for new keys?

Hell, when I needed extra key for classic vintage MB it cost me $50, my VIN and three days time to ket it. And it came from Germany!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, the dealership is telling you the truth. The key you have is a valet (grey head or "sub-master" as Toyota calls it). On the first Toyota vehicles that used a chip key it happens to be that when a master key is lost the vehicle must have the ECM replaced to reprogram a new key. Once the first ECM is replaced it will never have to be replaced if a key is lost.

Toyota has an ECM replacement program for people who have lost both keys. You basically pay for two keys and the labor to install and program the ECM and keys and Toyota will provide the ECM. In most cases when a customer has a "valet" key left the dealer will "turn their head" and say both were lost and submit the claim to get the new ECM covered otherwise the ECM itself depending on vehicle is anywhere from $650-$1200.

There is always a catch with the keys on Toyota's newer vehicles even. Lets say you have a 2007 Camry and lose a key, which happens to be a master (black) key and all you have left is a grey valet key... The dealership will have to cut you a master key and re-seed the ECM, which labor is still 1.5 to 2.5 hours plus a key- which can still bring the total to the $200-300 range. So the issue isn't just with the older chipped vehicles- just the new ones don't need an ECM replaced.

Toyota on some of the new models- especially the Highlander has gotten away from chipped keys on about 50% of the vehicles. Of course most of Toyota's newer vehicles are pretty much push button start (with trucks and small cars being the exception) and the master/sub-master key situation isn't a problem.

My rule of thumb I've always told customers is that if you have a single master key- get another made asap as the labor then is only a half hour. Always keep two master keys around.

I don't know if Toyota is the only company like this with key issues of such. But I will tell you that your reaction and comment is a very common one among customers at a dealership.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good info. Thanks Danny. Welcome to HSO!

The key issue is the same for most everyone. I just had an explorer in that had an extended crank or even a no crank. The security was flashing fast when the key was turned to the crank position. I called the customer and he said it had been doing that for a while but always started. Regardless the customer cranked it until the battery went dead. The vehicle decided to forget the key and then it would not crank at all, and the customer did not have a spare. On top of the diagnostic charge for the original problem they are also going to pay for a starter since it was toast from being over cranked plus the diagnostic for the security system plus the new key plus programming the new keys.

We bring jeeps in all the time to have new keys programmed into the computer as well as quite a few Hondas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to say it but most of the cars now are pretty expensive to do keys for like that.

At Nissan a iKey is somewhere in the 250$ to 350$ range depending on what model you got. No replacing the ECM as we program the ECM to the available keys but the keys themselves are just really expensive. Crazy.

When I was on the hunt for a car a couple years ago I was considering a V8 XC90 Volvo and I about fell over when I saw what a key for that ran. I think it was somewhere in the 700$ range. I ran away from that mess fast.

Yikes for having to replace the ECM on a Toyota for a new key. I LOVE Toyotas but that is just nuts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try going to a Toyota dealer and ask them if PANT bulletin GI003-09 applies to this vehicle.

I was told by a Toyata buddy that if you are the owner of this vehicle and have lost your keys, that there is a Toyota bulletin GI003-09 that allows the Dealer to install a new computer and 2 new keys for free. He said he thinks the parts are free but you probably have to pay the 1-1.5 hours labor to have them installed.

Check it out, PANT bulletin GI003-09...nothing to lose and hundreds to save. wink

Let us know what they say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you gents. I feared you might confirm what I was told. It all seems a bit bizarre to me but it is what it is. Appreciate your help. Maybe I can help her out a bit. As I said, it IS a very nice little car.I am impressed-and I drive star cars. Ha Ha!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now ↓↓↓ or ask your question and then register. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.