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Discussion Starter #1
Washed a key. Took it apart and dried it out for a week. New battery and it still does not work.

It is my understanding that the vehicle must be programmed to replace the key. My local Honda dealer said they would not be able to do it. I will need to travel 3 hours round trip to an Acura dealer which is not ideal in the current climate. Does anyone know if this is truly something that can be done only at an Acura dealer? I am wondering if I should try an automotive locksmith or another Honda dealer or if I would be wasting my time. I would appreciate any advice.
 

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I'd check with local locksmiths. Here there are multiple locksmiths that sell and program fobs and keys for acura, about $50-100 less than the acura dealer. Now the big question is if the key has already been programmed and now doesn't work it may mean a new key or fob. Here Locksmiths do need car to program the key or fob. Give some local locksmiths a call.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I ordered a new key fob from Curry Acura that should be here tomorrow. The led lights do not even work on the original fob, so I am pretty sure it is gone.
 

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did you need to show any proof of ownership? On my other current vehicles (GM and Mercedes) to get keys or fobs I have to go to the dealership with VIN Number, show proof of ownership, (registration or title) they took a photo of me, get a signature from me and a photo copy of drivers license. They also check their database to see if the info matchesI did not need to bring in the car. And I had to be the one pickup up the keys or fobs. Little bit of a PITA but I think it's a good idea.

The key shop I talked to about spare fobs for the MDX also stated they would require the vehicle, proof of ownership, and drivers license and signature as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I do not know what proof I might need to get it programmed. The way I understand it, the key fob is just a “part” and is not specific for my exact vehicle until linked to my MDX during the programming process. I think the programming is done through the control module of the MDX so you very much need the MDX there. I found on online reference to a few people that had an MDX key programmed at a Honda dealer but I do not know if it was older model or one without the remote start. The newer model years with OEM remote start seem to be most expensive. It may be that they do require an Acura dealer but I would like to know for sure before I spend an entire day on this during a Stay at Home mandate. I am particularly nervous about just having one key as it appears as if a loss/damage of that key might require a very long towing of the MDX to a dealer.
 

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for at least my 2019 MDX, yes, the car must be present for the key to be programmed to the car according to my dealer and conversations with a local locksmith.

On my Mercedes keys are programmed to a specific VIN number and "key slot" in the list of keys for the car. So, once you pick up a key, it's all ready to go and no need to do anything. It's old enough that it has a key and remote fob. Fob is also programmed to a specific VIN and there is a quick process to then sync the fob to the car.

For my GM truck keys are also programmed to a specific VIN number, but then you must go through a process to program a key for more specifics. Driver 1 or Driver 2 or Valet key. etc. Then there are a bunch of options, like the "teenage driver key" that lets you program the car to not start till seat belts are fastened, limit radio volume, and other options. To make a key work though you need to have TWO working keys to start the process, otherwise it is a trip to the dealer and some $$ to get a key that will start the car. Fobs are progammed to a specific VIN as driver 1 or driver 2 and ready to go once you pick them up from the dealer.

I'm still getting used to the "keyless go" system. I'm not sure what problem it really solves. Don't see that it saves any time, extra "keys aka remotes" are expensive vs. having a key with a chip and a seperate remote and hence a more inexpensive way to have a spare key(s). Easy to have a valet key that won't open the trunk, glovebox etc.
 

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I'm still getting used to the "keyless go" system. I'm not sure what problem it really solves. Don't see that it saves any time, extra "keys aka remotes" are expensive vs. having a key with a chip and a seperate remote and hence a more inexpensive way to have a spare key(s). Easy to have a valet key that won't open the trunk, glovebox etc.
It wasn’t really meant to solve a problem. Just Convenience. It certainly can be a time saver for someone who has a purse. You hit the nail on the head on cost. Instead of a $30 key you know have a $300 key. Plus the dealer can sell you an insurance policy to cover you if you lose your key.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Called a locksmith in the area that is one of the bigger/more professional businesses in the non metro area I live in. I am waiting to hear back. But I am not confident in the answer I am going to get. Even after providing full make, model, package, Acura Part description and even VIN, I was asked for a photo of the key fob.
 

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It wasn’t really meant to solve a problem. Just Convenience. It certainly can be a time saver for someone who has a purse. You hit the nail on the head on cost. Instead of a $30 key you know have a $300 key. Plus the dealer can sell you an insurance policy to cover you if you lose your key.
Really convenient when the car locks automatically while the FOB is in your pocket.
 

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Still have not decided how to proceed. Locksmith says the can try but they do not know whether or not it will work. And I will owe them $250 for the attempt. Second Honda dealer basically says the same thing- sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. I would think there would be a list of which models can be programmed by their equipment and which can not. If there is, I have not found the right person to ask.
 

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with so many places in the country that don't have an acura dealer within hundreds of miles or even in the entire state, but a Honda dealer down the street, it is strange that Honda dealers don't have the ability to do Acura service, including programming keys. I go to the chevy dealer for parts and keys for my non Chevy GM vehicles. And my folks never had any issues having their Lexus serviced by the local toyota dealer. The closest Lexus dealer was almost 400 miles away, Toyota dealer a few miles away.
 

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I am not sure if local locksmiths all have the same programming devices, but mobile guy didn't not have any problem with my used replacement fob (OEM, bought on Ebay, & with remote start) for my 2017 Advance. Everything works. Cost to program was $90 at my home.

15869619963084870737968502168821.jpg
 

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I am not sure if local locksmiths all have the same programming devices, but mobile guy didn't not have any problem with my used replacement fob (OEM, bought on Ebay, & with remote start) for my 2017 Advance. Everything works. Cost to program was $90 at my home.

View attachment 114660
Thank you so much. This is the key and the 2017 Advanced should be the same starting system that I have.
 

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I am not sure if local locksmiths all have the same programming devices, but mobile guy didn't not have any problem with my used replacement fob (OEM, bought on Ebay, & with remote start) for my 2017 Advance. Everything works. Cost to program was $90 at my home.

View attachment 114660
Just like a lot of other services you might use, quality and what is necessarily offered can vary. All locksmiths will not have the same capabilities in this regard, unfortunately :(


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I am a Honda tech, I program Acura keys all the time. Any Honda dealer has the capability to do it.
Correct, but they are not required to do so if that is their particular business model. The OP could however ask another Honda dealer what they could offer. YMMV


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