The cost of replacing older car keys can be higher than new keys. The first generation of security systems was not serviceable as the new ones, where you can simply connect diagnostic tools and reset the car computer, but was more of a one time installation. These computers came with 2 or three keys, that would’ve last forever. But what if they didn’t? How can you get a new key?
The idea of the ECU reflash is to identify the chip that contains your key information. It is normally a 8 byte chip. Once identified, we simply erase all the information from that chip (Re-Flash) and the chip is now empty and has no content. It is ready to learn the next key that it will see.
Toyota / Lexus ECU Reflash
Toyota & Lexus computers can be re-flashed, then re-installed in the car and they are already in learning mode. There is no additional action required. However, once re-flashed, you will need to have 3 keys in order to close the programming cycle (2 Master keys, 1 Valet).
If you only have one key,your security light may keep blinking although your car may be still derivable. You can read our article What to do when security light comes on to learn more on how to reset it.
Honda/Acura ECU Reflash
After re-flashing an Acura or a Honda computer, you need to use diagnostic tools to re-program the keys. You will need to get one new red key (master key), two black keys (One master, one valet). Although all keys can be used to start the vehicle, it is recommended to keep the red car in a safe place. This key can be used to make more keys in the future and can save you money in the future.