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Car key programming - To key or not to key?

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Hello all,


I'm not sure if this is the right place to find the info but if there is a better place, i'm not aware of it..


Its in connection with car keys.  I have an RW4 plus/mbox and a miracle a9 which has stood me in good stead in the first 2 and a half years of my business.  I'm now getting to the stage where i want to expand to the remotes.


I have Duncan from hickleys coming out to visit me next week and id imagine im probably going to get the mvp pro and the key diy kit.. and an auto locksmith course or two.


I'm based in Northern Ireland so i don't get to see many of these REP's very often and cant really get across to any of the shows.  So what im asking is, is there an alternative learning source for this?  I see some of you guys clued up on all the legit gear and the Chinese machines (some good, some bad) and im wondering how do you learn about this? I know a lot will be onthe job learning but where to start?


I just don't want to be sold a whole load of stuff that isnt going to work for me.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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when you first start out support and back up is important , you wont get this from china kit , even legit kit some suppliers support and back up is second to none whilst others is sadly lacking.


how do you find out about which china kit works , which legit kit works best etc , for most of us it has ben years of trial and error , getting stung on bad investments and making some good ones , its easier these days to get this info than it was , by joining plenty of relevent forums and reading them as full of this exact info you seek .


Duncan has many years experience and knowledge and is helpful and knowledgable , he is going to promote keydiy , mvp pro , ad100 pro and zedfull as these are the kits he knows inside out and sells , very few are as knowledgable as him on these machines, you can learn alot about these kits from duncan.


but even duncan isnt phsycic , it will be for you to choose between the kits as to which one fits your needs most , ie coverage you are likely to see and vehicles you are likely  to have the knowledge and skill to complete , so before your meeting research is king , work out the makes models and years of vehicle you believe to be most important to you and the needs of your business , then compare machines to see which fits your needs best , ie pointless looking at bmw and mercedes if your calls are for peugeot , citroen and ford for instance , by working out your needs you answer your questions on which suits you best as both are good machines , one has far wider model coverage by obd where as the other offers other options and some different up to date coverage , so pros and cons for both , thus which suits your needs most , only you can answer this.


The other thing to factor in , is both these machines are token based , or you can buy unlimited use packages , if you have the volume of jobs to do then unlimited use options will be more viable than tokens , if you dont have the volume of work then tokens can become more viable than unlimited use packages , again only you can work out which suits your needs most.

if working on tokens or unlimited use , you have to factor in your token costs , ie tokens can cost you between £7.50 and £25 per key you code , so is an additional cost to factor in when quoting per job , unlimited use , lets say this costs you £20 per day , if no jobs then you lose that £20 per day , if doing 1 job a day that job costs you £20 to be factored in so can be dearer than tokens , but if doing 3 to 4 jobs a day unlimited use can be far cheaper .


obviously if pockets are deep enough then token free is the way to go , this way you have no token or unlimited use fees to pay , you are not burning tokens when you make silly mistakes or use incorrect chip etc , and you dont have the token or unlimited use costs to factor into your quotes so can make you more competative , however the machine costs are far far higher of course.


will a token/unlimited use fee machine work for you , again only you can answer this , by researching your competition , the charges and there coverage capability , if say you know what your competition charge for say a vauxhall astra h flip key , you know what they charge , so look at what your costs for key with your token or unlimited use fee costs on top , can you compete with the price of your competitor who may well be using token free machines , if you can compete and earn great , if not its back to drawing board , but its important research as every area differs in price and has different competition levels , so again something only you can work out by research locally.


the best way of course is to have options that do give you token free coverage on the majority of what you want to cover and have a token machine for the not so common jobs as this helps you become more competative locally.


if just wanting to do clone keys with a remote , then keydiy and mvp pro are ideal as wide remote coverage and mostly token free to generate remote on keydiy and program remote part  with mvp pro token free for many  . the token costs creep in when programming chips by obd or integrated remotes that can only be done with obd chip and remote coding  .


plenty of local research so you know what price range you need to work in to get the work , research the token free options within your budget as token savers , ie truecode for ford , nissan , renault etc , good value token free programmer thats legit and has uk support , duncan sells this so can advise on this too , but plenty of local research to know your market and your competition , and join as many relevent forums as you can and read and research fully.


then you can look at your budget , market and competitors and decide what suits your needs and works for you best . wrong investments can become expensive dust catching white elephants , where as good investments suited to your exact needs bring home the bacon.


so essential knowledge is ;


your needs and coverage requirements 

your local market and competition

your budget and what fits into it

your ability level to do what you want to do , thus get a realistic idea of what you will be confident on after training if you choose to train 


armed with this knowledge you give duncan the relevent info to look at what best suits you , and your in a better position to decide what training you require , whether it fits your needs and if it works for you , then an idea of what it will cost for what you want and ultimately if its a viable investment now or not.


it is impossible to advise what is best to buy until you know this info , how many beer boys and price cutters in area , local rates for the jobs you do , and exactly what you wish to cover and have the ability to cover confidently. the level , ability , rates and coverage of your competitors and if possible how low they will go to beat you to the job.

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Thanks rapidlocks foir such a detailed explanation.  Appreciate the time it took to write this.


I think i will be staying away from the Mercs and BMW's of this world for a while.  Most of the phonecalls i get are for Peugeot's, Vauxhall's etc.


To begin with, i wouldn't be expecting a large volume so the token based system on the MVP would be what im thinking of.  Once i am comfortable that i can do this competently, i would perhaps be looking to buy the licence.  Over here there's not too many cowboys doing the car keys so i think there would be a decent return on the investment.


My worst fear is doing a key and really screwing up someones car so top notch support  & training is my number 1 priority to begin with.


Is there a good resource to learn about this online?  Any of the forums ive seen don't seem very lively.

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Despite the myths training leaves you a long way from competent and confident , competence and confidence takes years to achieve and isnt gained from a short training course . training will show you how to do the basics and about your equipments capability , from there it is a shed load of practice and then more practice , issues on cars and communication issues will throw you many curve balls , all of which help improve you as you learn from these , training is a first step on the ladder but doesnt make you competent .


If you buy an MVP pro or AD100 pro you will get access to their forum which is an excellent source of info if you take the time out to read it , and gives you specific help to problems on their kit , so will be invaluable to you as the best support forum for their kit but only accessed if you have their equipment of course..


forums like digital kaos are an excellent learning resource , but again if you put in the reading time followed by practice time and sift the good info from the chaff as a busy forum.


some of the best forums are very private and the only way on them is by invite .


some of the best who help many are on this forum and ad forum and digital kaos , the likes of terry whose knowledge is huge and he helps those that help themselves.


i know a very busy auto locksmith in NI , he is very busy and sadly very very cheap , too cheap for his skill level and coverage level , but very busy and very skilled, hes based in newton ards , he despairs at a few of the new set ups offering prices even lower than his already cheap prices , so if hes correct you have a few beer boys there . he has huge coverage as excellent at eeprom and on makes most cant do , but is also very cheap. his well equipped with all main kit and all token free and a good friend to make especially if it hits the fan on a job as if anyone locally can fix it then he can.


But the harsh reality is that once you have done your training , thats when the learning curve really begins , you will be baffled by issues that crop up , upset at the walk aways unpaid , gutted when you burn needless tokens on mistakes , wasted time on jobs you cant do , but you learn from these as all part of the learning curve that leads you to asking the right questions and overcomming such issues as they arise. Training is just the begining , the learning curve is a steep one and the need for dedicated reading , research and practice in the early years is all consuming , but in my opinion its also the fun and interesting time.


the need for practice and research never stops as the industry evolves and changes often and quickly , todays must have kit becomes obsolete and new investment is needed , new systems need learning and new issues crop up , this keeps it interesting and expensive .


if you use the machine properly , read and know your kit , it is difficult to screw up a car , it does happen but normally down to corner cutting , lack of knowledge or lapse of concentration , mvp pro is probably one of the safest systems to use and is well supported on their forum , and duncan is a font of knowledge and help with this kit as knows it inside out.


Theres no easy way to learn it , this is done by experience , head scratching and those moments when you realise adrenalin is brown and runny , doing it and overcomming issues is the only real way .


its a lonely existence as on the whole , after you train you are very much on your own , with just basic knowledge , how competent you become and how quickly is solely down to you and the practice and research you put into it , you will get next to no help locally for obvious reasons , and it will sometimes frustrate you , but put the practice and research in and it happens , dont and you get left behind .


good luck and enjoy

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Stay away from the DIY remotes, i have found them too much trouble to find the proper

setup, ie no European Fords and other none info. Stick to remotes supplied by specialist

Companies who will give advice and supply correct remote and not a maybe will do remote.

They are dearer but your clients pay for them, and you don't have the hassle of uncertainty.

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keydiy ford remotes work well , including the models to operate windows with the remote , i have done a good number of these with no comebacks , lost count how many boy racers i have running around with bentley style flip keys . but key diy really comes into its on on vag and mazda , ive done very well out of these . even the nb remotes , some are hit and miss but for can models the psa remotes are better quality than oem and reliable on whole. its also helped me complete odd jobs on those odd jobs you dont see often. Mazda ive done very well on .


keydiy info is poor , and coverage lists non existent , but on the whole they work well and have an impressive coverage .


i always offer oem and keydiy when its within their coverage , some prefer oem , most want the cheaper keydiy , offering both works for me , and the boy racers love to choose the flash flip keys .


some kd coverage still has bugs , though most work flawlessly , i have confidently given a full 12 month warranty the same as an oem on what i use of these for years now , ive done hundreds and been back to one that had a siezed button, certainly one of the better investments for a while.


and with so many distributors of keydiy now theres always a deal to be had as on special with at least 1 supplier or the next almost monthly.

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