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Key and remote replacement/repair FAQ for mk5-mk6 VW
Smart Key FAQ for mk5 VW Jetta, Rabbit, and Golf remotes
This page shows how to program, take apart, and replace the battery in mk5 (mark 5 - 5th generation) VW Jetta smart key remote fobs. Also includes immobilizer info.
For mk3 or mk4 keys (1995-2005) Jetta, Beetle, Gold, and Passat TDI keyless entry programming, see 1000q: mk3 key FAQ and 1000q: mk4 key FAQ.
The remote/key is actually 3 different systems in 2 key halves. The metal key half holds the sidewinder side milled flip key and the immobilizer chip. The keyless entry and battery are in the remote half. Each must be correct to get the key/remote to work as intended. You must program the immobilizer (totally separate from programming the keyless entry) or else the immobilizer will shut off the engine after about 1 second. See 1000q: immobilizer FAQ for more details on the anti theft immobilizer.
Misc key info: The key fob operates at 315 mHz (I guarantee you that the signal cannot be transmitted over a cell phone). The replacement battery for the remote is CR2032. The immobilizer chip does not use a battery, it's a radio frequency id (RFID) chip activated by the antenna in the ignition key slot. The RFID chip range is about 1" through plastic.
NOTE: If you have a 2010 or newer key, see this thread in the forum: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/threads/new-mk6-key-fob.5742/ They changed the 2010 key and many electronics systems over to mk6 specs.
I recommend http://www.fixmyvw.com 's key cutting service. They sell new remotes and can even cut you a key from a clear photo of your key. They can cut your key with the VIN number but it's more expensive than doing it from a photo. They also rent the key programming tools and sell parts such as new circuit boards, covers, vw emblems, and immobilizer chips.
The first step in getting a new remote/key - MUST READ
-If you have an existing broken key (broken cover, key chain ring, or flip key), you can swap the key parts into a good key and it will work. If the remote half is broken, swap over only the key half (has chip inside). If the key half is broken, have a new flip key cut and swap your current immobilizer chip into the new key half. The chip is pictured below. Use some acetone or carefully cut around it to remove the chip and then swap it with new key's chip. Either way, you can program the keyless entry yourself and have a new key cut anywhere which does side mill "reverse cut" keys. You could tape the chip to the outside of the ignition cylinder but that defeats the point of the immobilizer anti-theft and assumes you have really secure tape.
-If you don't have an old key to salvage the chip out of, you must read the notes below about the SKC code and key variations.
The biggest change on mk5 keys is that you cannot reprogram immobilizer chips that have already been matched to a car. This has nothing to do with the remote half, only the immobilizer chip. The only way to get a used key off ebay to work is if you swap your immobilizer chip into the replacement key or buy a new immobilizer chip and program it. You can buy immoblizer chips from the banner link above.
The yellow car symbol pictured below on the instrument cluster is the immobilizer symbol. If you have MFD+ (full screen display) you'll also get the warning message that the immobilizer is active. Due to the immobilizer, you cannot swap keys, ECUs, or instrument clusters without further programming. All mk5 cars use immo-4. The SKC was never given to customers so you must go to the dealer to change the ECU, instrument cluster, or key, or find an aftermarket solution to getting the SKC. Because of this, refer to the immobilizer FAQ linked above for generation specific details and procedures.
NOTE: Some dealers will let you order keys online for cheap. You have to send them the car's registration, VIN, and a photo ID to their parts desk. The key half costs around $65 + about $80 for programming. Programming takes only about 10 minutes (about 5 minutes to set it up and about 1 minute per key) but expect up to 1 hour labor charge. Average price for programming is around $80-100. You can program up to 8 keys per car. When programming any new key to the immobilizer, you MUST have all keys present because it "resets" the immobilizer chip and any keys not present will no longer work with the immobilizer.
You can also order it from Fixmyvw.com and rent the key programming tools to DIY.
If you don't know your part number (split the key in half as shown below to check it first) then I suggest going to the dealer to make sure you have the correct key part number. The part numbers below are only a guide, double check the correct part number with your parts vendor because this website is not responsible if you order the wrong key! There may have been left over parts that were used on your car so the exact VIN number transition may be off. If you have an mk5 body car you have key style #2 shown below, immo4 and should be one of the part numbers below. FCC number or other misc identifying marks FCC ID: BG92596263
Metal key half part number:
VW# "1t0 837 246 inb" if car was built up to
1t0 837 246 a inb if car was built between 7/07-7/08
1t0 837 246 d inb if car was built between 7/08-12/09
Remote half part number:
VW# "1k0 959 753 h 9b9" if car was built up to 05/05
1k0 959 753 p 9b9 if car was built between 06/05-12/09 and has tire pressure monitor system
How to retrieve the Secret Key Code (SKC) number or disable the immobilizer on your VW Jetta
The SKC is a code to gain access to the immobilizer recode. This is required to program new instrument clusters and keys. The dealer does not have access to give you your SKC and they were never given out on mk5 cars. After 2005, VW started using something called the Geko system. When the dealer has to work with the immobilizer, the SKC goes directly from the Geko system into the scan tool. The tech never sees any code so he can't give you any SKC codes. The SKC is 4 or 7 digits, if your program asks for a 5 digit SKC code, simply input a "0" as the first digit.
The only way you get around programming your new remote's immo chip is to take apart the old remote and swap the old immo chip with the new immo chip. There is a way to retrieve the SKC number yourself but only on some cars up to 2006 (including the Jetta) and no cars after 2010. Vag-com software (VCDS) or the dealer cannot retrieve the SKC.
To view how to disable the immobilizer system completely or retrieve the SKC number, please join our community and upgrade to a premium account. The exclusive content can be viewed in this post in the premium members only forum. Then upgrade to a premium account here. There is no easy way to immediately bypass the immobilizer so don't bother asking. If there was, it wouldn't be very effective at theft prevention would it?
Keyless entry programming Remember, this only programs the keyless entry, it has nothing to do with the immobilizer. You still have to find someone who can program the immobilizer or take it to the dealer for them to program it. Older remotes could be programmed using 2 working switchblade keys. Mk5 cars can only be programmed using a VCDS or dealership tool. See the video below for instructions.
Why can't I clone the RFID chip inside the key?
Because the tools to do this cost thousands of dollars and are targeted at professional locksmiths. The really cheap ones that you may find on ebay or online won't work with the chips in these cars. The really expensive ones are updated to work with newer systems and can work with many different new car models. In some cases they both read and write to your car's computer to work. The megamos 48 chip is encrypted and single write only. These chips are cheap but the tools to write them are not. Your specific model may also use the megamos VW-CAN chip.
If you're an electronics expert, you could clone the RFID chip and put it into a new key. The car's computer wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the original and clone.
Battery replacement or disassembly
To replace the battery, keychain, or switchblade, you have to take the key apart. Here's a video showing battery replacement. If you want to replace a broken keychain, just buy the cheapest remote you can find on ebay and swap the battery housings.
Here's a video showing key disassembly, also see the pictures below.
To separate the key and remote section, just grab each half and pull hard. There's also a small notch on the side where you can insert a thin screwdriver.
Use a thin pry at the yellow dotted lines to split the keyless entry in half.
Here is the other side. Ignore the screw and disc, that's for replacing the switchblade.
Once the remote half is apart, put in a new CR 2032 battery. The negative side (in this pic the side without writing) should face you when you put the battery in. If your keychain is broken, you can just replace that half with a cheap key from ebay.
To replace the switchblade or remove the immobilizer chip, see the pic above with the screw. Use an exacto knife to get under and pry up the VW badge to get to the screw underneath. I suggest pointing it at the screw head because there's a little space between the screw head and badge. The switchblade will come apart.
The switchblade and button sit on top of a torsion, or twisted spring. This is what makes the switchblade open. The spring sits on a tab in the plastic, note the yellow arrow. Note the tabs when reassembling and twist the switchblade so that it opens correctly. If it's clamped closed then you twisted the spring in the wrong direction.
Procedure for matching the key to the immobilizer (mirrored from http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/Immobilizer_IV_Key_Matching) You must have a VCDS to do this procedure or take it to the dealer. Again, you must know the SKC code to do this and there is no way to get it than from a 3rd party ECU hacking device (see the above section). While the dealer can do this procedure they never see the SKC code and therefore cannot give it to you.
Determining IMMO-ID & VIN
[25 - Immobilizer]
[Meas. Blocks - 08]
Select Block 081.
The first 17-digit string is the VIN. The second 14-digit string in the Immo-ID..
[Done, Go Back]
[Close Controller, Go Back - 06]
All keys are either new or were adapted to this car (IMMO-ID) before.
You can match up to 8 keys.
While adapting each key, make sure to place the other keys away from the ignition lock (reader coil). The passenger seat is an adequate place.
Battery voltage at least 12.0 V.
[25 - Immobilizer]
[Meas. Blocks - 08]
Select Block 001.
The value in field 3 must be Yes. If value is No, the key is not capable of being adapted to Immobilizer.
You can check each key in this manner.
Select Block 003.
Make sure the shown lock times in field 1, 2 and 3 are 0 (each field represents a time in minutes).
If the lock times are NOT 0:
Do NOT switch off the ignition!
Allow the car to sit for AT LEAST the number of minutes that were indicated by the fields 1-3.
[Done, Go Back]
[Security Access - 16]
There are 2 possibilities how to enter a PIN, choose the one that applies for you.
Enter zero followed by the 4-digit PIN. For example, if your PIN is 1234, enter 01234.
[Use 7-digit PIN/SKC]
Enter the 7-digit PIN, Date on which the PIN was generated by the dealer, along with the Workshop Code (WSC) and the Importer number of the dealer that generated the code.
VAG-COM will validate the data you have entered and return you to the Login screen, where the Login Code will show as "XXXXX".
[Adaptation - 10]
Enter 001 in "Channel Number".
The "Stored Value" is the number of keys currently matched.
Enter a "new value" corresponding to the total number of keys to be matched, including any existing keys.
The old keys are automatically beeing cleared.
[Done, Go Back]
[Close Controller, Go Back - 06]
Repeat the following steps until all keys have been matched:
Switch ignition off and remove key.
Insert next key to ignition and switch ignition on again.
The warning light for the Immobilizer will light up for ~2 seconds, then go out Switch ignition off and remove key.
Note: The above steps after saving the adaptation, should not exceed 60 seconds!