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Thread: How do I know if I have "chip" ignition key?

  1. #1
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    Default How do I know if I have "chip" ignition key?

    Hi,
    I went to get a new key cut, and was not worried about spending 2 bucks then finding it was no good due to needing a chip-type key, I thought I would try it, then I would know.
    The hardware store guy said that he would not adise this, as a GM truck owner did it, and the inserting of the non-chip key caused deletion of access in the computer, and the truck had to be towed.
    What I need to know is:
    How do I tell if I have a chip type key?

    I want to avoid shopping at the dealer, if I can.
    The vehicle is a 2001 GC Laredo and has some kind of alarm fitted that flashes a light on the top of the dash when the thing is locked.

    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
    Registered winkosmosis's Avatar
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    I've tried a non chip key on mine and it started the engine for a second, then it turned off. It doesn't do anything to the computer. I think that if you have a black key, it's not chipped.
    1999 XJ / 2" OME coils, 2" light duty leafs

  3. #3

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    Some places have a device they use to tell if it has the chip or not. I took my girlfriends to Sears hardware and they told me it did. Might try Sears hardware if there are any around. If you have a 2001 I can almost promise that you have a chip. 1998 was the last year that they had the regular "$2.00 keys" You might call a couple locksmiths in the area. BUT you'll probably find that they may not be able to program it to the vehicle. I went through this with my girlfriends Pontiac Bonneville 2001. Thought I would be nice and buy her a new remote and key since she lost hers. Went to the dealer knowing it wasn't going to be cheap but DAMN! $75 for a .25 cent remote and $75 for a $1.00 key and over $150 to program it all! I told him that was insane even for a stealership:furious: Took my 98 to the jeep dealer, got a $35 remote and new keys and programed everything. No charge. Hummm
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  4. #4

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    Every WJ has the RFID passive transmitter system. It'll be a grey key end, that is about 1/4" thick. Other mopar vehicles I've seen that dont have it, the key is black, and it thinner, and gets thinner in the middle of the "handle" part of the key.

    If you have at least 2 keys, you can add more to your jeep. Just buy blanks off of ebay, have them cut, and go look on www.wjjeeps.com for adding a key to the security system.

    If you only have 1, go find a good dealer to reset the computer and start fresh. That's what I had to have done, but the good thing is that I'm sure that no other keys that may be floating around will start it.

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    Default Thanks Guys.

    Hi thanks.
    Darn it, I have the grey keys. But I have 2. Just wanted some backup, as it is a bit weird that if a key is lost, there is no way to get the vehicle to move. Well worth a few bucks, but not hundreds. Be interesting to see how I fare at the local six-bucks-for-a-silly-little-plastic-door-trim-clip stealership.
    Sounds like you might have a real good dealership, wjs. Might be that you never will want to move address! Hang on to that one!
    Thanks again,
    John

  6. #6
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    ALL WJs have transponder chip keys

    If you have 2 working keys you can buy a key blank on eBay, have your corner locksmith cut the key and you can program it yourself in less than 30 seconds (up to 8 keys)

    The procedure:
    Quick Steps:

    A. Purchase a blank key and have it cut
    B. Insert original key #1 into ignition and turn to On
    C. Wait 5 seconds and turn key to off
    D. Immediately insert original key # 2 into ignition and turn to on
    E. Wait 10 seconds for SKIS indicator in dash starts to flash
    F. Turn ignition off, insert new blank key and turn ignition back on
    G. Once SKIS light stops flashing and turns off, your new key is programmed
    http://www.wjjeeps.com/sentry.htm

    Buying a key blank at the dealership is $50 and another $50 to program it.

    I had only 1 key.

    I bought 2 Jeep Transponder key blanks from a locksmith on eBay for $11.99 each (free shipping!) and had my local professional locksmith (not the yabbo at Lowes or Home Depot) cut and program one key with their 'black box' for $24.99. I programmed the second key myself with the procedure above.
    Therefore I got 2 keys for less than the price of one from the dealership.

    Do it now!
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Ray
    ALL WJs have transponder chip keys

    If you have 2 working keys you can buy a key blank on eBay, have your corner locksmith cut the key and you can program it yourself in less than 30 seconds (up to 8 keys)

    The procedure:
    Quick Steps:

    A. Purchase a blank key and have it cut
    B. Insert original key #1 into ignition and turn to On
    C. Wait 5 seconds and turn key to off
    D. Immediately insert original key # 2 into ignition and turn to on
    E. Wait 10 seconds for SKIS indicator in dash starts to flash
    F. Turn ignition off, insert new blank key and turn ignition back on
    G. Once SKIS light stops flashing and turns off, your new key is programmed
    http://www.wjjeeps.com/sentry.htm

    Buying a key blank at the dealership is $50 and another $50 to program it.

    I had only 1 key.

    I bought 2 Jeep Transponder key blanks from a locksmith on eBay for $11.99 each (free shipping!) and had my local professional locksmith (not the yabbo at Lowes or Home Depot) cut and program one key with their 'black box' for $24.99. I programmed the second key myself with the procedure above.
    Therefore I got 2 keys for less than the price of one from the dealership.

    Do it now!
    Hi,
    Thanks for all the info. It is a cut and paste and save, for sure. Dunno how to buy stuff from Ebay, but there's (maybe!) always a first time. I have two keys right now. Just a question, what is a SKIS, and where is the indicator for it? And a second question, can I buy a blank key anywhere other than on Ebay?
    Appreciated,
    John

  8. #8
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    You can call your local locksmith, just be sure he knows you do not need it programmed, you just need the key blank. (the machine is expensive and most locksmiths don't have it)

    The SKIS indicator is on the dash, I think it is a key with a line through it, check tomorrow when you start the engine, it should glow for a second or two like the brake light.

    You do not need the SKIM (SKIS) number as long as you have 2 working keys. That is the 4 digit code number that you need to prove to the 'black box programmer" that you are the vehicle owner. You also get it at the PARTS counter but you need to bring the title or something that proves you own the vehicle in question.

    It is easy to register on eBay, most of the prople there use PayPal or some similar online payment but some vendors still accept money (and checks and money orders)
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
    http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n171/Billy_Ray_2006/

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    Years ago when I had the sentry key for my TJ I lost one of the keys. The dealer wanted my first born to program a new key.
    So, I went over to the depot and had them cut 2 new keys without the chip. I took the key with the chip, cut the "key" part off and siliconed it inside the lower plastic bezel.
    Basically, I bypassed the sentry key and personally I think it's a useless setup anyway. Not many thieves hotwire anymore......It's to easy to flatbed them.

  10. #10
    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    Thats what they do for remote start on vehicles with the transponder keys. They bury the key somewhere inside the column then you don't need to have a key with a chip. I had a non transponder key cut for my wj to keep in my wallet incase I lock my keys inside it. So I don't need it to start it, just a slim key.
    Kevin
    '84 CJ-7 Renegade- 258 GM TBI with spark control and HEI, t-5, d300, d30 w/aussie locker, amc20 w/ trac loc, 33" Swamper SSR's, 2.5" BDS, 1" BL, MORE shackles, Superwinch hubs, Superior shafts, tie-rod flip, Taurus Fan, YJ brake booster, Full cage, A to Z rocker guards, A to Z rear cage, lots of other stuff...
    '05 Tahoe LS 5.3 flex fuel, Z55, Cooper AT3's, K&N fipk, G80 locker, HD Hood, z71 fogs daily, driver/kid hauler
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepperTJ
    Thats what they do for remote start on vehicles with the transponder keys. They bury the key somewhere inside the column then you don't need to have a key with a chip. I had a non transponder key cut for my wj to keep in my wallet incase I lock my keys inside it. So I don't need it to start it, just a slim key.
    Kevin
    Hi,
    So are you saying that if I have a remote starter, the anti-theft feature is bypassed anyway, and that I can just use a regular key? I want the extra key, but more important is the remote starter! From what you say, it sounds like I am stuck with having the anti-theft disabled anyway.
    Cheers,
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Ray
    The SKIS indicator is on the dash, I think it is a key with a line through it, check tomorrow when you start the engine, it should glow for a second or two like the brake light.

    You do not need the SKIM (SKIS) number as long as you have 2 working keys. That is the 4 digit code number that you need to prove to the 'black box programmer" that you are the vehicle owner. You also get it at the PARTS counter but you need to bring the title or something that proves you own the vehicle in question.

    It is easy to register on eBay, most of the prople there use PayPal or some similar online payment but some vendors still accept money (and checks and money orders)
    Hi,
    OK that sounds great. I have no idea how you know all this stuff. Maybe my life has been too sheltered!
    Cheers,
    John

  13. #13
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    I learned the hard way... and I'm too cheap ... err... poor ... frugal ..... ahh ... careful with money to pay someone to do something I can do myself.

    Plus if I can help someone to avoid my mistakes then that makes me feel good too.... Win - Win


    Hi,
    OK that sounds great. I have no idea how you know all this stuff. Maybe my life has been too sheltered!
    Cheers,
    John
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
    http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n171/Billy_Ray_2006/

  14. #14
    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durian
    Hi,
    So are you saying that if I have a remote starter, the anti-theft feature is bypassed anyway, and that I can just use a regular key? I want the extra key, but more important is the remote starter! From what you say, it sounds like I am stuck with having the anti-theft disabled anyway.
    Cheers,
    John
    From what I have read the aftermarket remote starts have to hide a key in the column so that the sentry key system picks up the signal from the key in order to start. So if you want an extra key you have to get one that has the chip, or stuff one in the column. If you want the remote start you need to do the same thing (unless theres a dealer remote start, but I don't know if there is and if it needs the same thing w/ the key).
    Kevin
    '84 CJ-7 Renegade- 258 GM TBI with spark control and HEI, t-5, d300, d30 w/aussie locker, amc20 w/ trac loc, 33" Swamper SSR's, 2.5" BDS, 1" BL, MORE shackles, Superwinch hubs, Superior shafts, tie-rod flip, Taurus Fan, YJ brake booster, Full cage, A to Z rocker guards, A to Z rear cage, lots of other stuff...
    '05 Tahoe LS 5.3 flex fuel, Z55, Cooper AT3's, K&N fipk, G80 locker, HD Hood, z71 fogs daily, driver/kid hauler
    Sold: 98 TJ, 96 ZJ, 00 WJ, 02 WJ
    My Junkyard TBI writeup: http://www.viciouscustoms.com/TBI/junkyardtbi.asp.htm

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    just hide the chip part of a factory key in the column

    use a regular $3 cut key for your WJ
    WHEELeR
    XJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepperTJ
    From what I have read the aftermarket remote starts have to hide a key in the column so that the sentry key system picks up the signal from the key in order to start. So if you want an extra key you have to get one that has the chip, or stuff one in the column. If you want the remote start you need to do the same thing (unless theres a dealer remote start, but I don't know if there is and if it needs the same thing w/ the key).
    Kevin
    Hi,
    Yup, I will go ahead with what wheeler sez, and try the regular key first, seeing as it has already been said that it will not deprogram the ECU like it does on Chevies. Thanks for the info/suggestion. And I now have all the info to get set up with an extra key if it needs a chipkey after all. I might just look inside the steering column plastic stuff for any sign of a chip in there, too, no rush.
    Appreciated,
    John

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