July 1, 2014

Switch blade fob

You know when you have a project and you have to purchase a special tool or a package of supplies to accomplish it?  You use the tool once or the remainder of supplies that go into a box somewhere to either get lots, damaged or dry out before you can use it again?

Well tonight I got to use lithium grease on another thing!  I originally bought it to lubricate my car door, then used it on my house door.  Tonight I used it to lubricate the stupid switch-blade action on my car key.

It didn't fix the problem but it's a little better.

Apparently in an effort to curb car thefts, modern manufacturers have special cut keys in addition to RFID chips in the fob.  This means that if a replacement is needed, it has to be ordered from the manufacturer through dealership for ~$150 and then programmed by them for an additional ~$100. 

For a key. A spare key is going to be just shy of $300. 

The RFID chip is also made out of glass. This makes it difficult to handle without breaking.  If it breaks and it's the only key then the car is immobilized and will not start.   It will need to be towed to the dealership and a new key ordered and programmed.

The chip is glued into the fob, using nail polish remover I was able to loosen it up and transfer it to a new fob purchased from Amazon.  The new key isn't really flush with the fob so it takes some work to extend.