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Certified Arcade Tech
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All I can say is "Wow".

Okay, doing things on a budget is always a pain in the rear end. But as many know we purchased our "Bubbles" (aka, 2001 VW Beetle) with only a valet key. The dingleberry brothers managed to lose both primary keys. Money is in uber tight supply, so I've had to kinda go in more cheap direction then I like.

That being said. I picked up a set of VW clone keys off eBay from a seller with one of the highest ratings I could find. $40 for a pair of flip keys. We already programmed them to work with the door locks/trunk/etc... (that was so easy!!)

A local firm did the key cutting. That kinda hurt. $70.00 for the pair. (And it took less then 5 minutes for them both) The tech then mentioned they can program the keys to work with the car for only $ 50.00. So I said what the heck, do it. Failed big time. They have a master lock programming hand held computer thing that looks like a scan tool from he&&. But even with all the bells and whistles? It refused to read the memory cell of the immob system. The tech said it happens on about every 1 in 10 VW's they work with--and that only a stealership can do it. (something about how VW encodes some systems causes their stuff not to work)

So I called the two VW shops. Both had the same price for the procedure. $98 per key. PER KEY!! I questioned the service writer for more info. She finally says "Well, we can do them both for $98 and it takes about an hour per key".

I've read up on the procedure. It takes a couple of minutes per key once the software is logged into the system.

I talked with an independent VW shop--they quoted me at $80 for the pair to program--and they have VW's software and computer system setup (They are one of a handful of VW approved independent shops in the area.)

Now if I need to? I can purchase the software and cable on eBay to program and pull the SKC. Or I can go to the Sidewinder key site and purchase the same disc/cable and at least get some tech support from the seller. That would be $59.99.

Is this something that I can make use of for other members in the upstate NY area? Is there any members with this setup already that I could pay to mate these keys to the system? Or should I suck it up and have the Stealership program the keys for us?

I just about fell out of my chair when the lady stated $98 per key. Then back pedal to $98 for the pair....

What would make more sense?

S-
 

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$80 and they guarantee it will work or your money back?

If so then that is the best option, $60 for the software/cable with no guarantee of it doing the job doesn't sound as good a choice.

I wouldn't go to the dealer just on principle after they went from 98 each to 98 for both that quickly. The 98 for both is still a rip off, and the fact that they tried to steal from you even further, they should be punished not rewarded with your business.
 

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keys

That's relatively cheap, try getting a key programmed at the Dealer for a Toyota Tacoma and you're looking at $170-180 for one key. YIKES, but I paid it cause I love my TACOMA :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
$80 and they guarantee it will work or your money back?

If so then that is the best option, $60 for the software/cable with no guarantee of it doing the job doesn't sound as good a choice.

I wouldn't go to the dealer just on principle after they went from 98 each to 98 for both that quickly. The 98 for both is still a rip off, and the fact that they tried to steal from you even further, they should be punished not rewarded with your business.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be $80 or no charge. The locksmiths did the same here. $50 for the pair of keys done, but their machine wouldn't interface with the 'memory cluster'.

I'm seriously considering contacting VW of America and filing complaints against both local dealerships. Thankfully the other shop may be further away---but they have a fantastic reputation from what I've heard so far.

The $60 one is actually one I would order in from the Sidewinder key place. Sure I can go with the 'cheapo' one from eBay. But this guy states clearly he is willing to offer support if something doesn't work out. I'm still a bit on the fence for what I'll actually do. Depends on how much $$ we have to work with in the coming few weeks.

S-
 

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I'm seriously considering contacting VW of America and filing complaints against both local dealerships.
Do not waste your time, dealers are independent and can charge what ever they want. Many times the Service Writer is TOTALLY clueless as to what is required for the older cars and quotes current model prices.

Also the way dealers are organized, they RARELY do anything for less than 1 hour of labor.

Good luck to you, but as I say you either have time or money.

If you have money, spend it, if you have time, use it.
 

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Sidewinder is good. We've ordered several keys from them before. We don't have VAG-TACHO ourselves, but we know someone who does and pulled the key PINs from our '02 Audi, '01 Jetta, and my '03 GTI. You'll need VAG-COM though to match the immobilzer using the PIN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sidewinder is good. We've ordered several keys from them before. We don't have VAG-TACHO ourselves, but we know someone who does and pulled the key PINs from our '02 Audi, '01 Jetta, and my '03 GTI. You'll need VAG-COM though to match the immobilzer using the PIN.

The software the gentleman from Sidewinder (he has an ebay store as well) Claims to be able to extract the PIN and program the system as well (for the immob)

The only hiccup I can see is the fact my lappy is a vista, and the software is setup for xp.

I've sent him an email to ask if it can be done on Vista. (I have my sisters laptop here waiting for a new hard drive--and her's is xp pro. So I can continue to 'borrow' it if needed)

The fact is, I have not the time or money to chase after the dealership(s) in this area. I know the one closest to me has a severe issue with 'walk in' parts customers (I did a rant/post about that a while ago). Maybe the bad reputation that VW has in regards to the repair aspect has more to do with how stuck-up most of their dealership service/parts dept act. I've been a tech for a number of years before I changed career paths. Working on this little car? Really is no different then other makes and models. Just a few odd details, but the basics are all the same.

I'll see what the gent from Sidewinder has to say about the software. Who knows? Maybe this is something I can do as a service to other VW beetle owners in my area--so they won't have to grab the ankles at a dealership.

S-
 
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