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Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:17 pm
by Nords
We just bought a 2017 Leaf S, and the seller only had one key fob left.

What’s the best way to get two more fobs for our 2017 model and have all three programmed to that Leaf?

Do I buy a specific type of fob (new or used?) from eBay or a dealer?

Can I program the fobs myself (using the car’s electronics or LeafSpy) or do I need to give my fobs (wherever I bought them) to our local dealer for their special equipment?


Once we solve the immediate key problem for the 2017, I'm also interested in buying a third intelligent key for our 2015 Leaf S.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:21 am
by Stanton
A certified locksmith (with proper programmer) can provide/program keys/fobs. They should require you to demonstrate proof of ownership.
I just did this with a (non-Leaf) existing fob.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:59 pm
by Nords
Thanks, Stanton, I didn't realize that locksmiths could do that too. I’ve read that the dealers are the only ones who can program intelligent keys to work with the vehicle, but I'll work with either one.

I’m still confused about whether an intelligent key has to be OEM, or whether it can be refurbished/used. Since at least one of the keys in each car is already used when it’s reprogrammed to match the newer keys, it would seem that I can just buy used keys off eBay. But I don’t know enough about the system to know whether that logic is applicable.

While we could afford to pay full retail for two more keys in our 2017 Leaf and another one in our 2015 Leaf, I’d prefer to keep old keys out of the e-waste landfill.

Other than price, is there any difference among buying:

OEM,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-2017-Nissan-Leaf-Keyless-Remote-Smart-Key-Fob-Entry-Transmitter-Genuine-OEM/233284087198

or refurbished,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NISSAN-LEAF-HYBRID-SMART-KEY-INTELLIGENT-PROXIMITY-KEYLESS-REMOTE-FOB-CWTWB1U840/122547381803

or used?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-2013-2017-NISSAN-LEAF-SMART-KEY-KEYLESS-REMOTE-ENTRY-FOB-CWTWB1U840/292861329556

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:15 pm
by LeftieBiker
It's luck of the draw, as usual. The only real advantage to buying new is you can usually get some sort of warranty with it. Also it likely wasn't abused. OTOH a proven used or refurbished unit is guaranteed to not be dead out of the box.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:24 am
by Nords
LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:15 pm
It's luck of the draw, as usual. The only real advantage to buying new is you can usually get some sort of warranty with it. Also it likely wasn't abused. OTOH a proven used or refurbished unit is guaranteed to not be dead out of the box.
Thanks, no worries then.

I was concerned that there'd be some glitch about "under these conditions with this Leaf, only a brand-new intelligent key will work" or "that works great on a 2017 but not a 2015".

I'll buy three of the refurbished fobs (assuming their definition of "refurbished" includes a warranty) and talk to our local locksmiths & dealers. I should also talk to our local dealer about the tech service bulletin for greasing the "click" on the spline of the front axle of our 2015 Leaf.

I'm now proficient at replacing intelligent key batteries. (That's a lot easier than our old Prius fobs.) When we used to power up our 2017 Leaf we'd get the alert about the key's battery level on the dashboard display, but after replacing the key's battery the Leaf doesn't seem to show the key's battery percentage anymore at startup. I'll watch for that during the next couple trips.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:54 pm
by LeftieBiker
The low key warning icon doesn't actually show the remaining battery power - it's just a fixed icon that always looks the same, IIRC.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:00 pm
by Calaveras
I was in the same predicament as you.
I went to a local locksmith; I had him order the aftermarket fob.
He had a handheld OBD machine that programmed it. Bring all copies of your key and do not forget to have him cut the manual MATEO key hidden in the FOb.
Mine cost $140 for key and programming. After a few weeks I cannot tell which was the original

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:13 pm
by Nords
LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:54 pm
The low key warning icon doesn't actually show the remaining battery power - it's just a fixed icon that always looks the same, IIRC.
Good to know. I couldn't tell whether the "remaining key battery power" was the black part of the bar or the white part, but I was pretty sure that neither of the previous owners had bothered to replace the battery. I'm happy as long as it stays above the low-level alert.
Calaveras wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:00 pm
I was in the same predicament as you.
I went to a local locksmith; I had him order the aftermarket fob.
He had a handheld OBD machine that programmed it. Bring all copies of your key and do not forget to have him cut the manual MATEO key hidden in the FOb.
Mine cost $140 for key and programming. After a few weeks I cannot tell which was the original
Thanks, that OBD machine sounds like it's a lot easier than the Toyota Prius Smart Key System process.

I'll talk with one of our local locksmiths and see what I can do. As much as I enjoy visiting car dealerships, I'd rather support a locksmith who can help with more than just vehicle keys.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:15 pm
by Nords
Thanks for everyone's advice!

I bought three OEM refurbished intelligent keys:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NISSAN-LEAF-HYBRID-SMART-KEY-INTELLIGENT-PROXIMITY-KEYLESS-REMOTE-FOB-CWTWB1U840/122547381803
They all had dead batteries inside but the eBay seller included a package of fresh batteries with them.

Three of them cost a total of $194.85, and the Kalihi locksmith was another $293.19. I didn't even bother checking a dealer's prices or wait times.

Now each of our Leafs has two intelligent keys (one of each Leaf for my spouse and me) and a spare fob from each for my desk drawer or houseguests.

Our local locksmith used an RF detector that could tell if the fob was putting out enough signal when its buttons were pushed. He also has the tablet, connector cables, and Nissan software to program the new (and old) fobs to each of our Leafs. He did it through the OBD-II port and each fob took about five minutes. He also cut the door keys inside the fobs for the driver's door lock. Both cars were finished in less than an hour, while we waited and tested the fobs.

I think I'm finally getting those cars squared away. We still have to take the 2015 to the dealer for its service bulletin on its clicking front axle. We still have to take the 2017 to the dealer for its service bulletin on the Battery Management System software. But now that we have enough key fobs, both of those TSBs can wait until we get through the next few weeks of travel & houseguests.

Re: Buying & programming two more intelligent keys

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:45 pm
by LeftieBiker
We still have to take the 2017 to the dealer for its service bulletin on the Battery Management System software.
If you haven't lost any capacity bars, don't make that a priority. All it does is re-calibrate the BMS to either read the pack more accurately, or more optimistically, depending on who you ask. ;)