There are rumors flying that programming new remote key fobs to a Volkswagen is very easy. In order to correct any misinformation or misunderstandings related to this topic, I am writing this post to explain the details of the whole key matching process.
Quick Overview of a Volkswagen Key
A complete Volkswagen remote key fob consists of 2 parts: 1) the transmitter for radio remote control central locking system, and 2) main key with variable code transponder. If you lose either of these 2 parts you will not be able to start your car. But this will not happen because these 2 parts are tightly attached and it is not easy to separate them. The part numbers of these 2 parts for my Golf MK5 are shown below:
- 1K0 959 753 G - The transmitter (the remote)
- 1T0 837 246 INB - Main key with variable code transponder
Main key is on the left, the transmitter is on the right. Picture is from http://www.riskin.org/vwkey/.
So how to program a new key to your car? Firstly, you will need to make sure that you get the right remote. There are literally hundreds of frequencies for the remotes, and it has to be the exact one for the central locking controller to pick it up. You can easily verify this by checking the part number. The part number of all the remotes for Volkswagen Golf MK5 starts with HLO 1K0 959 753 and has a suffix letter at the end. The suffix represents the model and the frequency of the receiver/controller being used on your car. For example, the part number of my remote is HLO 1K0 959 753 G. The suffix G represents a specific model of the controller on my car with the frequency of 434MHz. The following is a list of part numbers of the remotes for Golf MK5 I observed so far:
HLO 1K0 959 753 A - 434MHz for mobel PR-5D1
HLO 1K0 959 753 B - 315MHz for model "J..": PR-5D3
HLO 1K0 959 753 C - 315MHz for model "ROK": 5D5
HLO 1K0 959 753 D - 315MHz
HLO 1K0 959 753 G - 434MHz
Please be reminded that the above part numbers may not be suitable for your car. Please check with your dealer and don't buy the wrong remote.
Secondly, you need to find a locksmith who can cut the blade of a Volkwagen key. It shouldn't be too difficult to find one locally. Bring both of your keys (the existing and the blank key) to your locksmith and they will be able to replicate the key for you.
Finally, you will need to programme the new key to your car. There are 2 parts to programme the remote.
- One for the doors (such that you can open/close doors and set/unset alarm using the remote)
- One for the car immobilizer (such that you can start your car)
- Place your first key into the ignition and turn to the second notch (do not start the car)
- Now close the door and place your second key into the handle lock
- Turn the key to the lock position and let it spring back to the central position.
- Hold down the Lock button on your new remote, you may hear a bleep from the car
- Now unlock the car using the key in the barrel and remove, then take your first key out of the ignition
- Close the door
- Your remote should now be coded
Part 2 is the MOST difficult part. You will need the following to complete part 2:
- Volkswagen VAS 1551/5051/5052 or equivalent diagnostic equipment, OR
- A Windows-based computer with VAG-COM and the correct interface for your car, AND
- Secret Key Code (SKC)
Recently, VW/Audi dealerships have switched to the new GeKo system, whereby their factory scan tools dial up the factory while connected to a car. Under this system, the technician no longer sees the SKC at all and you will need to bring your vehicle into the dealer to have immobilizer work performed. Note: GeKo connectivity requires VAS 5052 and broadband connection.
If you lose your key, you don't have much choice. Firstly, you need to get a blank new key. You can simply find one on eBay. But make sure that you get the right remote for your controller. If you still have the 4-digit SKC, then you will be able to add new key yourself using VAG-COM. Otherwise, you will need to take your car back to the dealer and have them do it for you. If you are lazy (like me), just request a new key from your dealer and they will order the key and program it to your car for you. But it will be very expensive.
References and Acknowledgement
- Synchronise a new remote keyfobs: http://www.uk-mkivs.net/forums/451448/ShowPost.aspx
- Ross-Tech VAG-COM FAQ: http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/faq_4.html#skc
- Key Matching Process: http://www.steveslockshop.com/VW-hi-sec.htm
- Volkswagen Key Disassembly: http://www.riskin.org/vwkey/
- Mingfinity: he is so brave to disassemble his key and check the part number and the frequency of his remote
- golfer: for verifying the part number and the frequency of a specific remote
- Aric (uk-mkivs.net): for verifying some of the part numbers and the models of several controllers/receivers
- Official Volkswagen Service Manual
NOTE: I put FYI (for your information) in the subject line because it is not really possible to DIY (do it yourself). That's why.