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Discussion Starter #1
I am writing for suggestions on how to handle replacing or changing keys for 2008 VW rabbit.

While my daughter was exiting her car in our driveway a local homeless man asked for her empty soda bottles, she gave them to him, unaware that the car key/fob and our house key, fell into the bags while she was struggling to get it off her wrist. By the time she realized it, he was gone. Since he's usually on drugs/alcohol, I don't want to ask him for the keys in case he just didn't put it all together on where they might have came from. Unfortunately this occurred in our driveway-so for now I put the car in my sister's garage. And yes I live in the city with all of the diversity of rich, poor, homelessness and drugs. Despite warnings not to deal with the residents, my daughter chose to help him ou - this was all for 45 cents worth of bottles!

I called the dealer and inquired about changing the keys/entry system. I was quoted a price of approximately $800.00. Different dealers did not give me the same information, so I guess I'm looking for consensus on the best way to handle this one.

One dealer quoted $490.00 for parts $260.00 for labor + 90.00 reprogramming fees + taxes. This was for a new ignition cylinder and new door locks with 2 keys.

Can I just purchase a new key and reprogram the backup one that I have? One gentleman suggested I just purchase a new one -- but not to leave anything inside of cars cuz he can open it with keys.

Will the missing key always be able to have access to the car because of the metal part of the key? Or is that programmed along with the Fob? What about the key in the ignition? Do I have to change the cylinders of the doors and the ignition? Sorry, but this is very expensive and confusing since I really don't understand how the mechanisms work.

Any input would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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Careful, the homeless guy could be a member here :dunno Seriously though, he must have a lucid moment where he will realize where the key is from.

If you have new keys programmed but don't change the metal key the old metal key will still open the doors and start the ignition but the immobilizer will shut the engine off.

You can program new keys yourself but you need the secret code which you don't have. Look through the immobilizer FAQ on how to retreive it but I'm not sure if the 2008 is compatible with the retreival tools since it's so new.

$90 reprogramming fees isn't that bad. It's really easy to remove the door lock cylinders but the ignition wheel lock cylinder is more complicated. Look thorugh the mk5 Jetta FAQ and there's a writeup on removing the exterior door skin. Use that to remove the lock cylinder. The ignition wheel lock cylinder requires you to remove the steering wheel and trim. If you wish, I can give further advice via PM.

The cheapest way to not do it yourself is to buy the parts online and take it to the dealer.

The cheapest-cheapest way to DIY is to buy used keys and locks, put the locks in the car, take apart the used keys and swap the metal switchblade into your current key so that the key will work. Then reprogram the remote keyless entry. This way the remote keyless entry won't work and the metal key won't work. The homeless guy's immobilizer chip will still work but without the key he can't start the car or get entry with the old keys. The reason the used switchblade must be swapped is because you can't use old immobilier chips on a different car. They can only be set to one car for that style of immobilizer.

Also, what about the hatch lock cylinder? I'm not sure if the Rabbit had one in 2008.

Please post a follow up with what you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your quick response. I always wondered if the homelss have access to internet-- could be a good study for a college kid... anyway

Can you provide the name of a parts place for used and brand new to purchase the parts? Would I go to a junkyard?
I have to give this to husband to see if he can do this or if he wants to try and tackle this.
I don't see a lock on the trunk portion, only the flip VW emblem.

I have to read your response again. And I will post as soon as I get more info.
 

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car-part.com or your local junkyard. keys and locks aren't in demand so they should be relatively cheap. The problem is that they normally make you buy the entire steering column if you just want the ignition cylinder. It's possible they will sell you just the key set though.
 
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