Programming the Keys
Then I thought, “What if the new Key Transponder ECU comes programmed when sold with the lock set?” There is no mention of this in the instructions, but wanting to avoid the shame of failure, and the fear of having the same problem with the new part, provided me with all the motivation I needed to completely exhaust all avenues before giving up and ordering yet another new ECU.
We used a test cut key without an RFID chip we had made to insure the VIN code cut would work . (If the locks had ever been rekeyed, the key cut based on the VIN would not work. Better to ruin a $3 key blank than a $35 key blank). Anyway, I used this key to turn the ignition to the “on” position with one of the master keys from the lock set taped to the top. There was immediate hope: the immobilizer light stayed lit and did not blink. 30 minutes later, the car started up. 5 minutes after that, I had programmed a total of 4 master keys and 1 valet key. So, lessons learned: 1) always use a battery charger when doing any sort of ECU learning, especially on a hybrid — since the car is started with the 274 volt battery, the 12 volt battery can be *very* bad with no noticeable symptom. 2) Key transponder ECUs sold with lock sets must use a key provided with the lock set for the first key registration. Any other RFID key blank can be programmed after. 3) Charge at least 2 hours labor to replace key transponder ECUs and register the keys.