Sometimes a Cheap Quote for a Toyota Smart Key can end badly.


..or “Why you should never use YouTube locksmiths!”

So we had a customer..

..who was looking for an additional smart key for his 2010 Toyota Rav 4. He shopped around for the cheapest locksmith he could find. He found the cheapest. Unfortunately, the cheapest locksmith is rarely the best one. 

The amateur locksmith he entrusted his vehicle to destroyed it. More specifically, he destroyed the (tech speak incoming) synchronization security data from the car’s smart key system. This effectively renders the vehicle dead. Kaput. Done. The data is wiped and the ECU and related systems won’t play ball with each other. So our customer now is faced with taking the vehicle to the dealership so they can replace all of the interior modules that were wiped, and have it programmed like a new car. 

Needless to say, the customer is not pleased at finding out that this particular repair costs more than the value of the vehicle. 

What a pickle. Dead end. No solution. 

He took it to a mechanic he trusts to see if he could help him out. They had no luck for months. Finally, the mechanic, tiring of seeing the vehicle collecting dust in his shop started calling local locksmiths to see who could help, if anyone. Eventually, he was referred to Automotive Key. 

We’re happy to help.

We asked the mechanic to remove the ID box, which is in a lovely place, all the way-down behind the dashboard, next to the firewall against the engine, as well as the other elements we would need and and asked them to bring them to our shop in Sharonville.

Now that we had all of the components it was time to get to work. We re-flashed all of the necessary files and synchronized all of the modules. 

Good as new.

We’re not going to give away all of our secrets, but here are a few pictures, 😛

Not as fun as it looks 😛

So, long story short: Don’t go to the cheapest locksmith, go to the best locksmith. You’ll save money. You’ll save your car. You’ll save your time. 

If something ever happens when we are working on a locksmithing job, we hang in and fix it. We would never leave a customer in a tough spot. That’s the difference between a locksmithing professional and what we call a “YouTube Locksmith.”

-Automotive Key Cincinnati



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Just a heads up before you contact us, we’re not the cheapest, we’re the best. If you’re kind of just shopping for the best price, with no other considerations we’re probably not what you’re looking for :).