Spare Keys made from Original key with Transponder Inside

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I just bought a 2005 Grand Caravan but it came with only one fancy key with 5 buttons to open everything. I wanted a couple of spare keys made, just your ordinary $2 spare key. Imagine my surprise to find that an "ordinary" spare key for my "new" van is $85 minimum! I was informed that there's a transponder in the key and a chip in the ignition and the two must be programmed properly or the van won't run.

I did get a spare key made, but it only unlocks the door. It does start the van, but the van immediately dies when the computer realizes there's no transponder in the key. I'm told if I continually used this key, it would mess up the computer, so I can only use it to unlock the doors.

Now this is just crazy to me! $85 for an ignition key?? $200 if I want all the buttons like this original key has.

I looked at remote entry keys on Ebay and I can get one for about $65. I could program it myself IF I had TWO remote keys that worked, but since I only have this one, I'd still have to take the key to the dealer to be programmed and there's no telling what they'd charge. They'd probably find some reason this key wouldn't work and force me to buy the $200 key from them.

Do I have any other options?? This is just so bizarre! Highway robbery! If I lose or break this key, I can't drive my van. So I MUST have a spare. Is there any way to disable this chip? It's just nuts to lock a person out of their own vehicle! Any ideas?


Missouri City, TX

The van undoubtedly came with at least one primary key and a "valet" key. When you bought it, you should have receeived both. You might try the regional Chrysler office and see if they can provide another "factory key". It will probably cost at least $75, but would be the correct key for the ignition computer to recognize.

Just bought a new Subaru in October - owners manual says if you get a replacement key - have the dealership perform the synchronization procedure.

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