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Guys and not to be rude Ladies too!

My 03 MSC only came with one key. It was never an issue, until the day I went to work with the key in my pocked and left my significant other high and dry with out transport for work.

How easily and cheaply can a valid spare key obtained. It is possible to get a second hand key and get a new blade cut? I understand there is a coding procedure to follow, is this correct and will it unlock the doors and start the engine etc?

Thanks.

Ash
 

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Do not waste your money on a second hand key!

The only place to get a real key that will work (guaranteed) with your MINI is the MINI dealer, sorry to say. There are two types available for your car- the remote version and the "general, non-remote" key. The remote version is just what it sounds like- a key that is probably just like the one you have now, with a cut blade, and immobilizer chip inside that is paired with your car and a remote board which the dealer must "program" into the car's computer so it will recognize the button pushes from the remote. The key plus programming will cost you $2-300 USD.

The general, non-remote key looks a lot like your remote key but just has the cut blade and immobilizer chip. It will open the doors with the blade and start the car. The general, non-remote key is about $60 USD and arrives ready to go.

To order a key from the dealer you must provide them with your license and registration or title to prove ownership and pay for said key up front. They put the order in and it's shipped to them; they call you and you come and get it and make sure it works.

https://sites.google.com/site/miniandlandroverremotekeys/

In the interest of fairness, I have posted the above link which was written by another member of NAM. There is a way to code your car yourself to recognize a remote board from another vehicle (such as from a used key) but it is time consuming and involves much computer coding, etc. Even if you do get it to recognize the board, you still need the blade cut correctly and you still need the immobilizer chip for your vehicle. That site is worth a read, though, to gain a greater understanding of these keys.

If you just need to have a second key (I always recommend it) get the "general, non-remote" key.

Dr. Bruce Hart
MINI Key Hospital
 

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Here in the UK I recently bought an 02 Cooper (not yet on the road as I have a few more jobs to do yet) with only one key; tried a few auto locksmiths for a spare working key but none could do the BMW Mini.

You can get a new key cut around here no problem (Cornwall) at most locksmiths, but this will only open the door locks and turn the ignition on, however the engine won’t crank over as the key needs to have a programmed transponder in the keyfob for the EWS unit to allow the engine to run.

I went to the BMW Mini local dealer and with proof of ownership (V5c and drivers licence) they would order a key, cut and program into the car for £130 + vat for a basic key or £160 + vat for a 2 button key that will also do remote central locking, I would have to book the car in for the programming which takes about ½ an hour.

This was a bit too rich for me and hate being tied to the main dealer so I looked for other options and came across the AK90 key programmer on flea bay.

The bottom line for me was:
AK90 Programmer £58
Key/fob blank £3
Transponder PCF7935AS x 2 £5
Key Cutting £3.50

A bit of a learning curve installing the software and USB driver for the AK90 on the PC but got there in the end, also the removal of the EWS unit was a bit of a pain as the securing nuts were the tamperproof type (7/16” 12 sided socket with a bit of a pushing force did the job) and the final hurdle was to clean the circuit board lacquer off the pins on the chip of the AWS unit to get a good connection.

I read the EWS units program and it showed 3 keys registered, I read key that I have with the car and disabled the other 2 which I did not have, I then programmed the new transponders (I only needed one but bought a pack of two) into spare slots in the EWS units programme (you can have a max of 10 transponders registered) I fitted one of the programmed transponders into the new key and voila I now have a working spare key plus the kit to do more if ever needed as the AK90 will also do other BMW's with EWS, BMW with cas system, Rover 75, MG ZT and some variants of Land Rover/Range Rover.

Not for the faint hearted but a bit of fun and a little more of an understanding of the system.

Next job in progress is to fit a spare (skinny) wheel as I am not a fan of the run flat tyres, I am in the process of making the fittings at the moment and will post up when done.
 

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There is also the option of getting the plastic emergency wallet key. Obviously it's not meant to be used on a regular basis, but if you just need a back-up key for those once in the blue moon forgot/walked off/lost key moments that would seem to be a valid alternative. I think I've probably used the emergency wallet key more often than I've ever used the back-up non-remote key.
 

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Most locksmiths specially Oaklawn Locksmith who specialize in automotive keys can make a duplicate. You will need to bring the vehicle and your working key to them. They actually program your vehicle's computer to match the key's special transmitted security code and they can erase the broken key's code to remove it from the computer. Then they will cut the keyshaft to match your working key.
 

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Help. I've lost my remote key, and now only have the non remote key. The non remoye key unlocks and starts the car, but when i unlock the car, the alarm goes off until i put the ignition key in. 2 questions
Is there anyway of disarming the alarm with the non remote key, and how much is a new r/c key going to cost ?

Thanks in advance for any replies
 

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Help. I've lost my remote key, and now only have the non remote key. The non remoye key unlocks and starts the car, but when i unlock the car, the alarm goes off until i put the ignition key in. 2 questions
Is there anyway of disarming the alarm with the non remote key, and how much is a new r/c key going to cost ?

Thanks in advance for any replies
A new key costs $300: bimmernav.com/store/catalog/mini-cooper-replacement-key-p-322.html
As per deactivating your alarm: mini2.com/forum/first-generation-faults-fixes/147165-disabling-alarm-system-when-locking.html
 

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I never thought of the things you have shared here except doing the replacement, Thanks will surely discuss these things with an auto locksmith before doing key replacement.
 

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I also only got one key with my recent 2004 Mini One. In the UK. October 2019.
No locksmith wanted to know and key cutters needed time to call a man in.
I ended up at the local BMW and was offered a key next day at £137, and programmed on pick up.
I needed to show I am the registered keeper and my proof of ID.

To programme it....He got in the car and closed the doors.

(1) With my first key he switched the ignition on and off quickly and removed the key.
(2) Straight away whilst keeping the 'Unlock' button pressed he quickly pressed the 'lock' button three times and then released all.
(3) He waited until the doors locked and unlocked by themselves within about 15 seconds.
Which showed that the programming was ok in that key.
.(4) Then as soon as the first key was done, without using the new key in the ignition, it also got the continuous press on the 'Unlock' button, and the 'Lock' button got three quick presses and all released.
He waited until the doors locked and unlocked themselves and that was it.
Both keys programmed and working.

This way of programming the keys is well worth knowing especially if the supplier wants to charge for this.
 
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