What is it – do you need it?
Not too technical and using some generalizations, here is an explanation of re-flashing, as it relates to getting your car keys made.
Basically, very basically, some of the early transponder key equipped vehicles required you to have at least one working programmed master key to open the programming sequence which would add or program additional transponder keys for your car. If you lose all your keys to one of these vehicles there is no way to program more keys because you don’t have a way to tell the cars computer that you want to do this. You could have new keys made, but you could not program them, so the car would not start.
The Dealers fix for this problem is to replace the cars computer and the estimates for this range between $1,500.00 to $4,500.00 depending on the year, make, and model.
Re-Flashing is much cheaper than replacing your computer. It requires the computer to be removed from the car and opened. Then we locate the chip that controls key programming, attach our laptop or other device to it and Re-Flash or “Flash Program” it into what is called learn mode and this allows us to program new keys after it is reinstalled.
Only a few cars require this procedure. They are 1997-2001 models of Acura, Honda, Toyota, and Lexus but not all of them require this procedure if you lose all of your keys just a few of them.
Before we purchased our own re-flashing equipment we provided this service just like the other guys in town and that was to overnight mail your cars computer off to California where it would be re-flashed and then overnight mailed back to us.
Overnight mailing your cars computer is risky business. Packages get lost and damaged, as you well know. This process if everything goes smoothly takes 3-4 days to complete.
Besides the risk involved in mailing your cars computer the guys in California don’t always get it right the first time which means that the job is now going to take 7-8 days to complete. God forbid it gets lost or damaged then you may be without your car for over a month!
We are not going to overnight mail your cars computer off to California where any thing could happen. We perform our Re-Flash service on site right at the vehicle. You will be back on the road within 3-4 hours from the time we arrive to do the work.