Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 291 Posts

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Guts:


Sorry about the cell phone pics. Too lazy to connect the digital camera these days. :p

Givens:
LEFT KEY & FOB: MY05 Forester XS [highlight]*NO SECURITY SYSTEM & NO CHIPPED KEYS![/highlight]
RIGHT INTEGRATED KEY+FOB: MY09 Legacy Key PN 57497AG48A NON LASER CUT KEY [highlight]*According to Cars101.com, ALL 09 Subaru keys have immobilizer chips in them.[/highlight]. Thanks Ben (HodgesSubaru)! MSRP: $85.52 (can be had for much less [which is why I bought it]; inquire with Ben or your preferred vendor). The 08 Legacy/Tribeca key is supposedly the same internals, but costs WAY more and is quite large (BIG rectangle).

Programmed just fine :) Though, I didn't press the lock and unlock key at the same time.. instead I just pressed the lock key and got the 2-honk confirmation. You will have to test both ways to make sure.

For those of you with security systems or chipped keys, LGT.com reports that these 09 keys work with their 05 LGTs on up, and we share the same fobs as them in 05, so our frequencies are all the same.

[highlight]*sea-scooby says: "for XT owners it is really easy to hack apart your valet key and remove the chip. It should easily fit inside the LGT fob housing."[/highlight] [highlight]*CONFIRMED TO BE WORKING ON IMMOBILIZER XT BY SEA-SCOOBY!*[/highlight]
Forgive the crappy pix. My camera doesn't liek low light and the flash made it look even worse.

the keys




First I used a razor and sliced open the rubber coating on the key and removed it:



Then I pried apart the plastic around the key. The portion in the lower right contains the chip:



Next I trimmed away the gray plastic to get the to chip. Once I could see the chip I then I opened up the Legacy key and removed the chip from it, and compared it to the chip removed from the XT key. They were the same size and shape. (XT chip has gray plastic still on it)



After shaving most of the plastic off the XT chip, it slide right into the slot on the Legacy key:



With the XT chip securely inplace, I shaved the last remaining bits of gray plastic off it, and screwed the Legacy key back together. They I tested in my car and it started right up and ran perfect! No issues at all. I then programed the fob by following the user manual and was good to go.

Now my key chain consists of 1 car key/fob combo, and 1 house key. Can't get much better than that!



Now I need to order another 09 Legacy key for my wifes car. Atleast with her car I won't need to mess with the chip!


But for those of you WITHOUT security systems or chipped keys, this is a straight-forward standard programming (consult your owner's manual or cars101.com) and key cut at any dealer/locksmith/hardware store/any place that cuts keys. Ace Hardware also refused to cut my key because they were afraid they would screw up, but if they do it, it's probably $2 like my house key was. Home Depot and Lowes is about the same price. Walmart does it for around $6. Key cut costs $9.95 + tax at the dealer. Otherwise, it is recommended that you dice up your valet key for those of you with immobilizers OR go to the dealership and pay ~$100 for the programming.

This will probably be beneficial for those of you who are looking to replace keys and fobs or just want less keys in your pocket.

eBay sells flip key fob cases for Honda CRV/Accords that can be modified using the internals of this key. See this thread for ideas: Switchblade/Flip Key - Subaru Legacy Forums

Oh, I compared the range to the old fob. No difference. [highlight]*I do notice that I don't press unlock as much as I used to though.. the signal seems quite consistent. My old fob used to not work even if I was next to the car at times*[/highlight]

Panic button works. Hatch key, obviously, does not.

I've been reading around here and realized that dealers are actually charging people $100+ for a standard non-chipped key & fob + cutting + ~$100 for programming (which non-chipped owners can do easily in one minute from instructions in the manual...). Of course, it depends on your dealer... as I've run into <$100 for key+cut+programming together.

Supposedly, 2001+ uses the same frequency, so SF owners, this may be a viable alternative (and a better looking one too!).

FAQs/Useful Info:
jlbruno said:
So this won't work on the 09 Foresters??

No (well, the concept is the same but you will need to obtain the 2010 Legacy key, which is, unfortunately, ~$175).
^See here: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f77/flip-key-2009-immobilizer-chip-location-valet-key-56124/

sea-scooby said:
DOn't the 09 XTs have a laser cut key?

Yep. 2010 Legacy key is laser cut too, but about 3x more expensive!
Tuned200 said:
Nice find. Now to figure out if I have the immobilizer or not.

ALL XT models from 05 on have the Immobilizer chip.
How much did the dealer charge you to cut the key?

Dealer charged me $9.95 + tax. If you can trust your local Lowes/Home Depot/Ace Hardware enough, they can do the standard side cut keys too by tracing.
Any difference in range with the new key+fob vs. the old fob?

sea-scooby's response:range seems to be very similar so far. I plan on testing it out afterwork. My car is about 200ft from where I get off the train, and sometimes I could lock the car from the platform with the Fob. I'll see if the 09 key can do the same.

I tested the range today, and it is about the same as the tear drop fob, just like Neoshi reported. I also started my car on 6 different times today, and I had ZERO issues with the chip. None of the start then die type stuff you get if the chip is in the wrong place or missing.


neoshi's response:When I used the old and new fob side-by-side, range was identical.
If you don't have the code plate, they can still cut it the old school way. You should have recieved the ECU security code plate though. I guess it is an important thing to know.

For anyone looking to have a key cut, the key code is on the smaller of the two metal tags that starts with a 3. The other one is your ECU security access code.
neoshi said:
The dealer was able to cut my key from my VIN, as I did not have my code with me and they stated that they didn't trace, but used my code.
[highlight]Cost for immobilizer equipped cars:[/highlight]
I hate bulky key chains, so it was a must do! I could probably take my house key off the ring too since I have homelink and never use the key.

Total cost for everything was just under $80. It was $58 for the key and $18 to get it cut on the fancy machine. The key cut was expensive, but I'm willing to pay extra for a perfect key. I don't trust the $2 hardware store guy with a blank key that cost $58.

Overall time was about 1 hour to do it all, so it wasn't bad at all.
[highlight]Cost for non-immobilizer equipped cars:[/highlight]
neoshi said:
Key: $58 shipped
Programming: $0 - Read the manual or see cars101.com
Cutting: $10 - YMMV, depends on where you get it cut from.. Can be as low as $0 to $18+)
Total: $62-$70
Cost Tip:
well I just couldn't wait. Picked up my key today from Jackie for $62 OTD (including cut)!!! Such great CS at Annapolis Subaru. Gonna swap the transponder and program it.
Interesting info if your ebay bought key doesn't work:
Drop down to the bold "TL/DR" for the quick info/solution.

After more reading in this thread and wondering why this just isn't working for me, I thought that the transmitter I got is simply broken or incompatible. I looked at EBay and Amazon listings to see if someone had reviews or additional instructions that I had maybe missed.

I have no problem getting into programming mode or making my vehicle accept my current remote.

There is a disconnect between the fob that I bought and my keyless system. Being an electronics/techie type, I had to do more digging.

After a bit of searching online, I saw an EBay listing for a key/remote CWTWBU766 where in the notes, it says "Only works if your current board has black back". I looked further into this and found a thread on a Saab92x forum.
Saab 92 Forum : Saab92x.com / Legacy Key Fob?!?

User "ralphjjr" said that "what shipped was one with a white circuit shell. I contacted the seller and he understood immediately the difference between the white and the black. He says he has the black, so i shipped back the white one and am waiting for the exchange."

A day later, user "ralphjjr" posted:
"Alright, the new key worked!!"

The transmitter board I tried had a white shell. I ordered two that have black shells.

What I don't know is if this is a difference in manufacturer, a later revision, or if the first one I received was a cheap copy. I didn't buy it directly from Subaru, so that could certainly be part of the problem.

===========================================================================

Update: Absolutely.

This first picture is of everything I'm working with here. Original, and three newer transmitters.



Here we see the difference. The far right one has the white shell. This was the first one I received - the one which did not work.



This is a picture of the white case - I inverted the color to try and make it more legible
If you cannot read it, you just need to know that it reads identically to the one with the black case.



And here is one of the black cased transmitters, both which worked.



TLDR:
For my '04 XT, I needed regular keys (not high security / laser cut ones) and a transmitter with a black inner case. The circuit board is apparently different from the seemingly identical white cased transmitter. If you buy one of these keys online, remove the single tiny philips screw and pry the back off of the plastic casing which holds the key and transmitter. Once inside,
' If the "back" of the transmitter (the side without the buttons) is white plastic and it won't program for you? Try getting one with a black case.

 

Attachments

·
Registered
2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
Nice find neoshi, thanks for the info!
 

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Constantly updating the OP as I find more info.

Anyone know off the top of their head what dealers charge just to cut the keys? I was talking with some friends about Lowes, Home Depot, etc and they have had pretty bad experiences (key didn't work because the cuts were not right.. but I suppose even dealerships could do this too.. except I would ask them to pay for another 09 key).
 

·
The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
Joined
·
13,100 Posts
Looks like I got something else to order form Ben now! for XT owners it is really easy to hack apart your valet key and remove the chip. It should easily fit inside the LGT fob housing.
 

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Good idea! Added to the OP. If we have the numbers for the metal tag, maybe Ben could also have the key cut at a decent rate too before shipping?
 

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Got it cut from the metal tag code this morning. Parts guy was kind of trying to make sense of why I was cutting a 09 Legacy key on a Forester... wasted about an hour of my life! Should have just waited for the main parts guy Ferdie to show up. Oh well, I played around in the STI making vroom vroom sounds :p

Works 100% on 05 Forester XS, so this should not be a problem for 03-08 Foresters without immobilizer and those with should try sea-scooby's suggestion of hacking up the valet key to retrieve the chip and transplanting it to the 09 Legacy key fob.
 

·
The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
Joined
·
13,100 Posts
I'm ordering a key from Ben and I'm seeing if he can get it cut ahead of time for my XT. Once I get it and I know the key works I will remove the chip from my valet key and install it!

The only bad thing is my wife will want one for her X once she sees it.
 

·
Registered
2009 X Limited
Joined
·
141 Posts
Got it cut from the metal tag code this morning. Parts guy was kind of trying to make sense of why I was cutting a 09 Legacy key on a Forester... wasted about an hour of my life!
This is awesome. How much did the dealer charge you to cut the key (i think you had mentioned that you got the key from Ben?).

:icon_biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Dealer charged me $9.95 + tax. If you can trust your local Lowes/Home Depot/Ace Hardware enough, they can do the standard side cut keys too by tracing.

09+ Foresters need to use the 2010 Legacy key (laser cut), which is ~$175
 

·
Registered
2009 X Limited
Joined
·
141 Posts
Dealer charged me $9.95 + tax. If you can trust your local Lowes/Home Depot/Ace Hardware enough, they can do the standard side cut keys too by tracing. Laser cut is another story though, since 09 went laser cut. You would probably need the dealer to do that. Hmm I guess there isn't a laser cut version of the 09 key... that sucks.
Yeah, I wonder how much it is for the laser-cut keys.... I think the 2010 Legacy/Outback have the laser-cut key version of the integrated fob. BTW, thanks for the thread - it got me totally excited about making a flip key (I'm still deciding between the integrated key fob or the flip key). I've been brainstorming about it. :icon_biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
Joined
·
8,535 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hehe I noticed. Posted there as well. I was going to do the flipkey using the Honda CRV/Accord case on ebay, but decided that it's still too bulky and I'd just go for the cheapest and least time consuming option.
 

·
Registered
2006 FXT
Joined
·
106 Posts
So, has someone successfully used this on a 2005-2008 XT? If so, did you chop up the valet?
Can someone circle the piece(s) that are removed from the valet and placed into the new key?

I'd really love to do this on mine and this is an excuse to see Ben @ Hodges again. :biggrin:
 

·
The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
Joined
·
13,100 Posts
I get my key early next week and as long as the dealer cuts it properly, I will document how I swapped the chip.
 

·
The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
Joined
·
13,100 Posts
I talked to Ben about having the key cut ahead of time, but he said it would probably still require some filing after I get it.
 
1 - 20 of 291 Posts
Top