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Old 03-01-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
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Location: I live on 12 acres in Cut and Shoot, Texas.
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Keys for "toad"

I read a tip somewhere that said to get a key made for your toad that didn't have the chip in it so that it could be used to unlock the steering when being towed and could also open doors if needed, but wouldn't start the vehicle. Well, I have a Jeep Liberty that I will be towing, so I went to a hardware store and had a key made out of a plain blank. It will only go into the door lock about half way.

Is there electronics in the door lock to prevent it being unlocked without a key with a chip? I am now a little hesitant about trying to stick that blank key into my ignition switch. It may get stuck or mess up the electronics. I just don't understand the new anti-theft systems.

Could any one out there explain it to me and let me know if this key I had made will unlock the steering while the Jeep is being towed?

I am discovering how ignorant I am about some things (grin).

Happy camping,
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #2
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The best thing to do is go to the dealer to get a key made when there is a chip in the key. The new key has to be programed to the on board computer. In some cases if you insert a programed key into a different car with a different security program you can damage the system. Now you said that the key will only go in half? it sounds like that they used the wrong blank, something close but not exact. Put both keys together and inspected them, the part of the key where the cuts are made is called the blade, you well notice that there may be one or two grooves on one or both sides of the blade, the grooves start at the tip of the key and end up where your fingers hold the key, this is called the bow. The grooves are also called the key way and there are approx 4 different designs, this is what's keeping the key from going in all the way, not the anti-theft system. The only other thing that could keep the key from going is if the person that made the key did not file the burrs off of the cuts. One way to tell is to slide the key between two fingers where the cuts were made, be careful!
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:10 PM   #3
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You got a bad copy. There are no electronics in the door lock. There is a pickup coil that "polls" the key chip when placed in the ignition. The mechanical properties have nothing to do with the chip, and vice-versa.

My 2004 Jeep Wrangler had a security chip in the key. Did just what you're trying to do. Worked great. It would unlock the door & ignition, but wouldn't start the ignition. I always pulled the key at rest stops if I wasn't going to be right next to the Jeep. Just to remove the temptation.

As mentioned, the keys are supposed to be wire brushed on key cutting tool (like a bench grinder with a wire wheel) to knock off the burs & flashing. Should be very smooth. Suggest taking it back, or getting one elsewhere. FWIW, I had mine made at Home Depot. It was so automated it took the skill portion out of the job... which made the average worker capable of making a decent key.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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I am sorry, I did not make my self clear, the key needs to be programed to start the vehicle, not to unlock it. My thoughts were on the issue of the key not going in all the way.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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I was mistaken

Thanks for your posts to my question. I have discovered that you are correct, the key was not a "perfect" match. That is why it didn't fit into the door lock.

Also, I went to the Jeep dealer to get an oil change and asked the service guy about the chip in the key. He said that there was no chip in my key!! I guess I am wrong on all points. He also said that I could remove the negative battery terminal, if I wanted to make it more difficult to start the vehicle.

That would work, only when I am not using the "toad" braking system. The compressor on the braking system gets it's energy from the cigerette lighter socket.

To stop and think about it, I was making too much of the situation. When stopped and away from the RV, I would remove the key anyway. That solves all the problems.

Thank you all and happy camping,
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