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2011 Grand Caravan Keyfob Programming

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by BGWheelhorse, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. BGWheelhorse

    BGWheelhorse Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend that just bought a used 2011 Dodge SXT minivan. It only came with one key. He is going to buy an extra keyfob off of Ebay. Can he program the replacement or must he go to a dealer? If anyone has the steps that would be great.
     
  2. gusc

    gusc Member

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    My '06 requires two different (non-duplicate) working keys to reprogram a new key/remote combination. After getting another key from a locksmith (WM can't do any after '03?) or getting the ebay key programmed by a dealer I think he then can program as many duplicates as he wants.

    My '03 was programmable with only one original key and a duplicate from WM. However, the remotes are separate from the key.

    Once he has two working keys I strongly suggest he buy at least two more blanks from ebay which he can easily program so he won't have to go through this mess again. I have four working keys for each G4 van. It took me months to get this all done and I don't want to do it again!
     
  3. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Check the owner's manual (if he has one) or he can go to the Dodge website and click on owners. From there he can download the appropriate owner's manual.

    If it's anything like my 2010 Journey, you can only program additional keys if you have two of the keys currently programmed to the vehicle. A maximum of 8 keys can be programmed to the vehicle. If one key is missing, a dealer visit is required. The dealer will probably charge a set rate to program additional keys. Figure on an hours labor for the charge - about $100. Yeah, it stinks, but there's no other way around it.

    Blank fobs are available online from aftermarket sources for far less than what the typical dealer charges.

    I couldn't find the procedure for my Journey, but I did find the procedure for my 2006 Ram:

    Customer Key Programming
    You can program new keys to the system if you have two
    valid keys by doing the following:
    1. Insert the first valid key into the ignition and turn the
    ignition to the ON position for at least 3 seconds but no
    longer than 15 seconds. Turn the ignition back to the OFF
    position and remove the first key.
    2. Insert the second valid key and switch the ignition to
    the ON position within 15 seconds. After 10 seconds the
    Security Light will begin to flash. Turn the ignition back
    to the OFF position and remove the second key.
    3. Insert a blank Sentry Key into the ignition and switch
    the ignition to the ON position within 60 seconds of
    having removed the second key. After 10 seconds the
    Security Light will stop flashing, then turn on for 3
    seconds; then turn off.
    The new Sentry Key has been programmed. The Keyless
    Entry Transmitter will also be programmed during this
    procedure. Repeat this process to program up to an
    additional 6 keys. A maximum of 8 keys can be programmed
    to the system, including the original keys
    provided with the vehicle.


    **Chrysler may have changed the procedure for your particular model. I know we added an additional key fob to the 2009 Journey (since traded - long story) we had previously and the procedure was the same as the Ram.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    With only one key, he would need to visit a dealer.
    If he can combine some services on the visit, he may get a break.
    Have the dealer make sure all vehicle control modules are at the latest and greatest software version or release while the WiTech is connected to do the key.
     
  5. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    Some locksmiths can do this and likely cheaper than the dealer. I had a duplicate made for my 2014 using an E-Bay key, and the locksmith only required 1 key to make the duplicate. Even though I had both keys, I could not self program the 3rd key. Sometime around 2011 to 2012, Chrysler removed the capability to self program the 3rd or more keys on the Caravan/Town and Country, and possibly other models.
    If you are in or near a large town, you may have a locksmith that can do this. Call around to check.
     
  6. BGWheelhorse

    BGWheelhorse Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, all. He is going to order a couple of keyfobs off of Ebay and then go to the dealer.
     
  7. gusc

    gusc Member

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    John,

    I think this problem is that the locksmith only duplicated the key you had but owner programming requires two different keys. Not certain about this though:)

    It seems that each new year is getting progressively harder to program. Makes it harder and more expensive for us owners but probably doesn't affect thieves much! Good dealer business too.

    I had no problem with this on my '03 but didn't have to find out on my '06 because I had the two originals.
     
  8. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

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    For 2011+ minivans you have to go to the dealer to have a key programmed, regardless of how many keys you have.
     
  9. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    Dealer or advanced locksmith who can program vehicle computers to a compatable key FOB. Our local locksmith often performs field or on-site key programming for any vehicle manufacturer and often does work for the local dealers. He has equipment to program any vehicle computer and is mobile when requested (very pricey for mobile work but reasonable at his facility).

    It is definitely irritating that Chrysler took the self-program feature away (with 2 FOBs).
     
    UN4GTBL likes this.
  10. gusc

    gusc Member

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    Yup, they just keep making these things more user friendly all the time:)

    BG, please cancel all I said since my comments seem to only apply to G4 vans - sorry about that.
     
  11. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I had a locksmith explain to me, the tool locksmiths use to program keys to a vehicle work off a token system. That is the only way they can afford the tool, instead of the manufacturer getting the 10's of thousands they want for allowing such a tool out of their control, they allow the locksmith to get the tool at a reasonable cost but he can't use it without paying the manufacturer an exorbitant price for a single use, every time he uses it. I don't know the veracity of this, and perhaps I got something wrong. It makes sense, regardless the consumer is still bent over a barrel. I imagine the manufacturer could keep a record of the transaction and its details as well, to aid in security.

    And another story I was told, about Chrysler ending the Customer Key programming feature starting in 2009 on some models and all by 2010, is because they couldn't trust their Dealerships. It seems more than a few Dealerships were NOT keeping tight reign on the keys and inventory, employees would use the feature to make an additional key (using a cheap ebay key) then sell the key and registration information to car thieves. By removing the customer programming key feature, making it only possible to make a key copy with the wiTECH machine, Corporate has a record of every key made and who made it (the wiTECH machine has to connect to a corporate database over the internet). So now the customer has to pay the Dealership to make them key copies, so Chrysler instead of punishing the Dealers for what is their fault, they are rewarding them.

    Finally, on another forum, someone stated they were involved with a company that makes the FOBIK keys, that they sell them to the Manufacturer for $7 a unit. Open one up, that is very believable. RFID chips are put into disposable packaging, there is nothing expensive about them. Yet look up the price of FOBIK at the Dealer, its $350. The fact you can find them on eBay for as little as $25 is very telling about the true manufacturing cost.
     
  12. gusc

    gusc Member

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    None of that was ever in doubt in my mind! Another advantage to older vans, keys are plentiful and cheap on ebay.

    Remember a few years when mfgs tried to get a law passed that auto maint could only be performed by dealers?
     
  13. Ray Green

    Ray Green Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!

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    I found key fobs for my 2014 on Ebay for $9.99. I plan to order a couple as I think we have a tool at work that will program them. It'll do GM stuff so it may do mine too.
     
  14. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it.

    1st, the FOBIK key have part numbers, NOT every FOBIK works with every Chrysler vehicle, make sure to identify them by part number and that the part number is the correct one for you vehicle.

    2nd, make sure the FOBIK is new and unused, a FOBIK can NEVER be reprogrammed once its been programmed to a vehicle. It will only work with the one vehicle that it has been programmed for, it can NOT be re-programmed. There has been more than one scam artist selling used FOBIK's on ebay, for the buyer to find out the FOBIK he receives is worthless because its been programmed already to another vehicle and can never be reprogrammed again. If the FOBIK has a pic of it in a sealed plastic bag, that might be a good clue its brand new and never used. If the FOBIK is NOT packaged and looks worn, that a good clue its used and useless.

    3rd, the FOBIK keys work off RFID chips that are in the keys, there is NOTHING you can do to program the actual FOBIK, the chip is NOT programmed, other than to flip a bit that won't let it be programmed to another car. It is your vehicle that programs itself to the RFID chip in the FOBIK. So, unless this tool you're talking about is a Chrysler wiTECH machine, it will NOT program a FOBIK key. You have to put the vehicle into a mode to program itself to accept the RFID chip in the new FOBIK. You need a tool to connect the vehicle itself to the tool to put it into the programming mode.
     
  15. Ray Green

    Ray Green Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!

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  16. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how you make out Ray. I bought two E-Bay keys for the 2014 from different sellers. Both were advertised as new. One was actually new and I got it programmed and cut by a locksmith and it is fine. The other had the emergency metal shaft cut for another vehicle so I was sure the electronics had already been programmed. I complained to E-Bay and immediately got a full refund. Then the seller contacted me and asked if I was going to send it back. I said yes if he paid the postage which he did and I sent it back.
     
  17. Ray Green

    Ray Green Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!

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    I'll keep you posted John. Email me the seller that you got the new key from in hopes that I don't make an error as well.

    What were the locksmith charges?
     
  18. John Wood

    John Wood Well-Known Member

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    New Original DODGE grand caravan smart key FOBIK keyless entry remote 56046705 !
    Item price $17.50
    Quantity 1
    Item number 331277745864
    Shipping service USPS Priority Mail USPS Priority Mail Buyer responsible for arranging with the seller
    The above ended up being a used key FOB and the shaft was already cut for another vehicle. I got my money back from E-Bay immediately. I find no current reference to the original seller.

    NEW 6 BUTTON DODGE GRAND CARAVAN FOBIK REMOTE KEY M3N5WY783X KEYLESS FOB ( item: 141276280176 transaction: 964481547004 )
    Paid on May-04-14 $25.99 Free 1 $25.99
    USPS First Class Package
    Estimated delivery: Wed. May. 7 - Sat. May. 10
    The above was a good FOB, new as advertised, and programmed up perfectly.

    The locksmith dinged me for $60 for less than 10 minutes of work (included full programming and cutting the emergency steel shaft), but it was still cheaper than a dealer.

    I see some sellers selling refurbished or remanufactured key FOBs. I don't know how well they will work.
     
  19. Ray Green

    Ray Green Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!

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    John, our van doesn't have all the bells & whistles. Our fob is only a 2 button. I guess a 6 button would work and the only buttons programmed would be lock & unlock. Panic of course.
     
  20. gusc

    gusc Member

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    I got one that worked fine, some just have new batts.

    I also got a couple of new ones that worked just fine.
     

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