Recently a few of us have bought the MVCI cable and Techstream software
from Ebay. Among other things, it allows you to program a lot of functions on the RAV4 that previously would have required an expensive visit to the dealership. Adding a new ignition key is one example. With Techstream anyone can program the remote lock/unlock functions as well as the ignition immobiliser chip.
A while back I ordered a nice flip key
from an Ebay seller, and I really like it:
So much so, that I just ordered another one (for less than $12) to keep as a spare in case that design gets discontinued. It always bothered me that I had to cannibalize one of my original keys for the remote module and immobiliser chip. The empty shell was sadly sitting in my drawer with only the mechanical key blade left. So I searched on Ebay for a used key with the FCC ID of HYQ12BBY that I could cannibalize and put the guts back into my empty shell. I found one with the immobiliser chip, placed a bid and won it for a grand total of $9.49 including shipping. This one had a trunk button, so it probably came from a Camry, but that doesn't matter. As long as it has the HYQ12BBY code, it's compatible:
It arrived in the mail today, and in perfect shape. After prying open the donor key shell I removed the remote module and started digging out the immobiliser chip. This chip was glued in so well that I ended up destroying the front of the key shell, but I finally got it out. I transplanted the immobiliser chip and remote module into my original key and snapped it shut. So now I had my original mechanical key that fit into the door lock and ignition switch, but without programming, it would not unlock the doors
remotely nor start the engine.
At this point I fired up the Techstream software on my laptop and headed out to the RAV. Plugged the MVCI cable into the OBDII port and the other end into a USB port on the laptop. Inserted my master key and turned
the ignition to ON. Clicked on "Connect to Vehicle" and waited while it negotiated the connection. After a few moments, a window popped up showing that it had connected to a 2008 RAV4 with 2GR-FE engine and the only thing I had to choose was 2WD or 4WD. At this point I ran a "Health Check" so that the software could communicate with all the ECM's for the various systems. I figured I would start by programming the remote keyless door lock functions so from the "System Selection Menu" I chose "Main Body"
and then "Utility" and "Wireless Code Registration."
At this point the "Wireless Code Registration Wizard" popped up:
I followed the prompts, and the programming was complete. At this point I could click "Next" for another key or "Exit" if finished. Took all of 2 minutes.
Now I went on to program the immobiliser chip so the key would actually start the engine. From the "System Selection Menu" I chose "Immobiliser"
and shortly the "Immobiliser Live" tab appeared. From there I clicked
on "Utility" and "Key Registration":
Another wizard popped up and asked me to turn the ignition off, then back on and click next. Then it asked me to turn it back off, remove the master key, insert the new key (but don't turn it!) and click next. At this point the "Security" light started flashing, as a timer on the screen counted down from about 90 seconds while the ECU learned the new key code. Once the counter got down to zero, it said "Programming Complete" and showed a "Next" and "Exit" button as before. I then tested the key, started the engine, locked/unlocked the doors and it all worked perfectly!
So how many keys can you program into the RAV4? You can have 5 master keys (with remote locking) and 3 sub keys (valet keys) at the same time. You cannot do the immobiliser programming with a sub key, you must have
a master in the ignition.
The whole procedure is so simple, it took much longer to type this up than to program the key. If your RAV only came with one key, or you lost one, a new uncut remote key can be bought from Ebay for around $40. Get it cut by any locksmith and program it, and you're good to go. Or if you're cheap like me, you can get a flip key for $11.88 and a used key for $9.49, put the parts together for less than 22 bucks! Add the $30 Techstream software and cable and you're only out a little over 50 bucks which is probably what the dealer charges for a half hour of labor!