Common Toyota Key Problems

Whether you have a mechanical key or an electronic key fob, both can get a lot of wear in everyday use. Let’s look at some common issues that can happen over time.

Mechanical Keys

Toyota key problems

If you drive an older Toyota, you may still use mechanical keys for the ignition and doors. After repeated use, physical metal keys can eventually wear down. Friction from inserting and turning the key will ultimately dull the teeth on the key. When this happens, the ignition or door lock tumblers may not align properly. The key may become difficult to turn or may not turn at all. Having a new key cut may eliminate the problem unless there is also wear in the lock cylinder.

Remember that most physical Toyota keys also have a transponder chip (often called an immobilizer) that requires programming. Besides having an embedded computer chip, the key may look like a standard physical key. The transponder chip communicates a security code to computer modules in the vehicle. Therefore, the old key will be required to program the new one. Always contact a qualified Toyota dealer or locksmith to program a new transponder key.

Smart Key Fobs

Toyota key problems

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Toyota smart key fobs incorporate advanced electronics for vehicle operation and security. The smart key can function by proximity to the car to unlock the doors and cargo area without pressing any buttons. Depending on the year model, the key fob may also enable push-button start inside the vehicle. Some smart keys also offer remote-start capability.

Common problems with key fobs include:

Out Of Operating Range

The key fob may be out of signal range from the vehicle. Moving closer to the car may be all that is required to function correctly.

Dead Battery

Some Toyota models will display a low battery warning for the key fob. Replacing the battery is easy. It only requires a small screwdriver to open the fob to change out the battery.

Worn Buttons

The key fob buttons may wear out after years of use. This issue will require replacing the key fob.

Damage From Moisture

Toyota smart key fobs are water-resistant but not waterproof. The fob can withstand surface moisture, but submerging it in water will cause it to fail. Water can either short-circuit the electronics or introduce corrosion over time.

Damage From Dropping

While Toyota smart key fobs are durable, dropping on hard surfaces may eventually cause damage to the buttons or the electronics inside.

If you want to learn more about they type of key you have, check out this post. If your key needs to be replaced, always contact a qualified Toyota dealer or locksmith to program the new fob. Incorrectly programming a smart key fob can put the onboard computers into lockdown mode. Once the computers are locked, they may require costly repairs, including replacing several computer modules. If you have questions about replacing or reprogramming a new transponder key or smart key fob, email us or give us a call.

You Can Count On Olathe Toyota Parts Center 

If you find you need to replace your Toyota key fob, Toyota Parts Center offers a huge selection. We're centrally located in Kansas City and can provide fast shipping to the east and west coasts. Our large selection of smart key fobs and other OEM parts for your Toyota vehicle are all backed by the standard 12-month, unlimited miles warranty.

Do you have questions? We’re here to help. Please feel free to contact us