Tuesday, 7 February 2012

­Lost My Prius Remote Key Fob - And Found It Again

Agh! I lost my master Prius remote key fob the other day.  I'd had a hectic day organising childcare then driving a hired van to take some of our household furniture and items into storage as part of a de-cluttering exercise.  Stupidly, I had the van keys, the Prius key and our second car's key in my boiler suit pocket altogether.  These got swapped at different points in the day's activities between my rucksack and boiler suit.  With the hire van outside the next morning and due to be taken back to the depot I was searching the house high and low for my Prius keys.  Slowly, that sinking feeling that I had lost the Prius keys started to sink in.  It wasn't just the fact that this was the master key that was upsetting me so much as the fact that my house keys and other important keys were on the same key ring.  I grabbed the second Prius remote fob and used that with my back door key so that I could get the van back and get other jobs out of the way.  I'd look again later, I thought.

Well, later came and it fared no better.  I'd already thoroughly checked the van to see I hadn't dropped the keys in the cab.  I called my wife on her mobile phone and left a message - had she seen them?  I was starting to get agitated so I called the van rental company to see if maybe the keys had slid out of my pocket and got wedged between the driver's seat and backrest.  They were very obliging and as helpful as they could be but, nope, no joy either.

A Possible Solution to Replacing the Lost Prius Key

I then started to check the internet for solutions.  Well, where else do you turn to for help in the 21st Century?  I came across useful devices that you can attach to your key fob that help you locate them when lost, such as the Loc8tor Lite that you can buy from online stores like Amazon (click here to see more info). However, these devices are not for those blessed with after-thoughts like myself.  I then turned to thinking of buying a second hand Prius remote key fob from eBay where a search of completed listings shows that you can pick one up for around £30 to £35 plus shipping (about another £2 to £3).  'Aha!' I thought.  All I need do now is learn what the options are for programming it for my car.  The most obvious, and most expensive option, would be to get the remote programmed at my local Toyota dealership.  The second option would be to try programming the key myself.  A quick internet search turns up possible solutions, such as the one below that should match the needs of my second generation 2006 Prius.  Please note: I did not try this sequence myself so I cannot vouch for its effectiveness or accuracy.  (If anyone has tried it then I’d love to hear from you and you could help others too.)

Reprogramming sequence:

STEP 1. Driver door open, no key in slot, door unlocked. 
STEP 2. Put valid key in and out of slot twice within 5 seconds.
STEP 3. Close and open driver door twice.
STEP 4. Insert and remove key in slot.
STEP 5. Close and open driver door twice.
STEP 6. Insert master key in slot and close door.
STEP 7. Press power on then press power off in one second interval. This is add mode
STEP 8. Remove key from slot
STEP 9. Car should lock and unlock door once for add mode.
STEP 10. Press both buttons on transmitter.
STEP 11. Within 3 seconds, press one button.
STEP 12. Car should respond with one lock-unlock. Two means it didn't work.
STEP 13. Open a door or put key in slot.
Problem Solved

How did I eventually solve the problem?  My wife called back.  Yes, she had the key all along.  Didn’t I know that? I wasn’t sure whether to rage or punch the air for joy.  Joy won over in a flash.  I was pretty darned happy actually.  Relieved too.  Lessons to be learned up here?  Don’t put all your important keys on one bunch.  Consider buying a key finder gadget like the one mentioned above.  Communicate with your darling spouse.  Some of these lessons will no doubt be easier to implement than others.

In the meantime, happy driving!


  1. That's not the one I used, but similar. You can program a used fob ignition and doors . I read somewhere that the prius can accept 4 different fob signitures. Toyota said I couldn't but that's not true. I have a '06 prius non sks key fob.

  2. Yes, I would always take what the manufacturer tells you, or dealerships, with a degree of circumspection. If you do enough research and ask enough questions then you find that yes, you can do it yourself - and save your hard-earned cash too! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Your steps were close, but here are the modified steps that worked for me:

    Follow STEPS 1-6 above

    STEP 7. Press power once, wait a second, press power a second time to turn the car on, wait a second, finally press power a third time to turn the car off.

    Follow STEPS 8 & 9 above

    STEP 10. Press and hold the lock and unlock buttons on the OLD key. (Basically wait a couple of seconds for the locks to cycle, then release)
    STEP 10a. Press and hold the lock and unlock buttons on the NEW key and hold for 1.5 seconds.
    STEP 10c. Wait 3 seconds then press lock on the NEW key.

    Follow STEPS 11-13 above

    Go here for the original post: http://priuschat.com/threads/important-experience-key-fob-programming-issues.80121/page-5#post-1760603