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Thread: Stolen keys fiasco: inept locksmith wiped my computer and now it needs dealer service

  1. #11
    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    Sounds like the software needed to reprogram is likely only available at a dealer.
    That may be true...being a Mitsubishi isn't helping things. At least you know that if you go to the dealer they will get your car going.

    The fobs are authentic Mitsubishi ones...
    That's good.

    I'm not sure why they are quoting you 3 hours. Maybe it's a worst-case scenario...or everyone's repair ticket is getting inflated right now due to slow sales? My Mitsubishi dealer's labor rate is $120/hr.

    • VIN look up to find your key pattern and cut 2 keys. (2 hours?!?)
    • Program 2 fobs. (1 hour?!?)



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    Senior Member Fummins's Avatar
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    I recall for our Nissan, the dealer charged extra to cut a key via vin number or even using the number off the original key tag. They wanted $200 for just the key blank without a fob or case. Just the blank. I ordered a key from amazon that came with the fob, had the dealer cut it then I programmed it myself.
    I was gonna do the same for a Mitsubishi but the car was written off before I had a chance to try it. I'd be curious how you'd go about programming a key for a keyless car? Usually you need the ignition on to use a scan tool, how do you do that when you don't have a programmed fob?
    Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post
    This is free internet advice…so take it for what it’s worth.

    Do you have a 2015 ES (push-button start) or do you have physical cut keys? I'm not sure it matters since you have 0 working keys.

    If you are programming keys to a vehicle (when you are starting out with 0/1 original keys), then Step 1 (in some vehicles) is to completely erase the existing key coding in the car’s computer. Then you can begin the process of programming the new keys (Step 2).

    The risk in this process is that if your locksmith doesn’t have good/updated software OR you are trying to use unproven/generic/eBay keys that don’t work with your car, then Step 2 may not work!

    A local locksmith described this exact scenario to me. A guy came in with 1 working key and wanted a new one programmed to his Nissan. In this situation, the locksmith’s software required him to wipe out the existing code in the computer and begin the process of coding the keys. He got the existing code wiped out, but then he couldn’t get his software to begin the process of learning the keys! So this customer drove in with 1 working key…and now the car was a brick. The customer’s key no longer started the car. The car had to be towed to the dealer to complete the programming process.

    I would call some more locksmiths and explain your situation. See if anyone is confident that their software will work in this scenario.

    I purchased used fobs for a push-button start Nissan on eBay and had them successfully programmed by a dealer. But if you buy used fobs you need to make sure that the part numbers, FCC IDs, etc. match the OEM fobs for your car. And buy them from a reputable seller.

    I went to a Nissan dealer with 1 working fob and 2 extra eBay fobs (but these were OEM fobs that matched the original in every way). The dealer charged me 1 hour ($120) to program all 3. It worked fine, but they warned me that if my eBay fobs didn’t work, they were still going to charge me 1 hour of labor. They said that people were bringing in all kinds of aftermarket keys/fobs and many times these wouldn’t work.
    every time you add or re-register a key the system will always erase the old programmed key, mitsubishi MUT also works like that, but if you lost all your key they need to download something on your ECU its a security file then from that security file they can generate an approval file to register the new key, locksmith can only duplicate an existing key, there is an other buy a sets of ECU from a working unit and transfer it all to your car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    It sounds like you're stuck going to the dealer for a reflash unless you can find an independent shop that might have a subscription to mitsu software? If that's even a thing. Or maybe it doesn't need a reflash. Who knows...
    We can't fix your car and don't know what the locksmith did to it. You could always try to source out some cheapo fobs, tow it to the dealer and have them attempt to get the cheapo fobs to work. Or try some used ebay ones?

    Either way, end up with 2 keys for next time.

    I haven't programmed a mitsu key but have done a newer Nissan key with just an Autel scan tool.
    sad to say you cant register a used key the system will detect that the key is already registered to another vehicle they programmed it for one time use only. are they gonna still charge you with labor if you just order a key with cut?

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    Quote Originally Posted by allrock View Post
    sad to say you cant register a used key the system will detect that the key is already registered to another vehicle they programmed it for one time use only. are they gonna still charge you with labor if you just order a key with cut?
    Not sure what exactly the process the second locksmith did with my new Mitsubishi keys but he was sitting in my car with a tablet like device hooked into the OBDii port when I arrived when he claimed the ECU was ‘zeroed out’ and he couldn’t see anything. He said the 2014/2105 model Mirage was different than most any other car he knew of and needed a different order of operations to key the car. So not sure if he wrote something to the new keys first (like the first guy did a with a generic key), and then when he went to pair to the car he got stuck? Are you saying these new keys I just bought for $460 might be useless as well? The 2nd locksmith said I can use them when I head to the dealer but he’s not a true Mitsubishi expert although he did have close to years experience and was licensed by the state (unlike the other guy most likely with a much lesser mobile setup).
    I just want to be prepared to counter any BS a dealership might try to pass off on me, especially as the first one quoted me $350 for just one key. I’m already struggling with all these expense, and the getting new keys might push me over a grand for the various tows and keys related expenses.

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allrock View Post
    ...you cant register a used key

    ...the system will detect that the key is already registered to another vehicle
    If you look at Mirage key fobs on eBay, item descriptions seem to be implying this.

    This seller says their keys have been previously programmed and need to be "unlocked"...

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    While this one is saying their keys have "virgin electronics" and are "ready to program"...

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    Maybe you can email one of these eBay sellers (especially the second one above one) who seem to have some experience with these fobs.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 52.1 mpg (US) ... 22.2 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.6 mpg (Imp)


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    So after spending most of this afternoon reading around this forum and other Mitsubishi forums I think I've deduced how the F.A.S.T. key works and what the two locksmiths may have done and encountered.

    It appears the KOS (Keyless Operating System) ID is set from the manufacturer sort of like a VIN, serial number, or MAC address. It cannot be changed. The car's ECU has programmable memory to store these unique ID codes and THIS is what is programmed. These codes are also kept in a database on Mitsubishi servers and you cannot program a used set of keys to a new vehicle unless they have been unlinked/unpaired/removed from Mitsubishi's system (via the MUT 3 tool hooked up to the car and with access to the Mitsubishi database which I assume is online).

    In my case, Locksmith #1 with his generic keys programmed or attempted to program something or was perhaps reading the keyfob and storing that information in his tool to then upload to the car ECU. He then headed to the vehicle and plugging his tool into the OBDii port. He mistakenly or unknowingly wiped the car's ECU of the existing key and due to the nature of the F.A.S.T. fob, could not program it or upload anything to the ECU to get my vehicle going.

    Locksmith #2 (who I had called first but he wasn't super responsive) comes to the rescue and says he figured this fly-by-night LS#1 didn't know what he was doing and hoped he didn't hose anything on my car. He claimed that my Mitsubishi (manufactuered in March 2014 but appears as a 2015 when running the VIN) has a 'unique' key fob system that isn't interchangeable with other model years or even other models from Mitsubishi. He claimed that basically all other cars he's ever worked on in his 16 years use a different system and will at least work with keys from the same manufacturer even if it's another model. He ends up mail ordering some authentic Mitsubishi keys from a distributor in Washington via overnight delivery. He arrives at my car before I do and he's already plugged into my OBDii port and says things aren't looking good as his system is showing him 'nothing/zeroes' and says LS#1 wiped the system as he didn't know what he was doing. LS#2 says he can't do anything and I'll likely need to bring it to the dealer to reflash the ECU.

    My new interpretation is that yes, LS#1 probably wiped the ECU of my original, stolen key (and the 2nd factory key that came with the car new but I never had as the previous owner never had it either). LS#2 though would have been unable to program the car either way as he didn't have the MUT 3 software to check to see if my newly acquired keys were indeed 'virgin' keys unlinked to another Mitsubishi.

    So I'm speculating/hoping this is as easy as bringing the car to a dealer with access to the MUT 3 software (should be pretty much any dealer) who can reprogram the car's ECU with the key codes to the two new keys that I now own. I had called a bunch of dealers earlier today and explained a rough situation with the two locksmiths, but armed with this new knowledge which I believe is correct I'm going to call some of them back tomorrow and hopefully speak with an actual tech/mechanic to double check before I spend even more money towing it around. Everyone I spoke with today I feel like were just the managers of the service departments who probably aren't at the same level of experience and knowledge with regards to the workings of the keyfobs and ECU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    So after spending most of this afternoon reading around this forum and other Mitsubishi forums I think I've deduced how the F.A.S.T. key works and what the two locksmiths may have done and encountered.

    It appears the KOS (Keyless Operating System) ID is set from the manufacturer sort of like a VIN, serial number, or MAC address. It cannot be changed. The car's ECU has programmable memory to store these unique ID codes and THIS is what is programmed. These codes are also kept in a database on Mitsubishi servers and you cannot program a used set of keys to a new vehicle unless they have been unlinked/unpaired/removed from Mitsubishi's system (via the MUT 3 tool hooked up to the car and with access to the Mitsubishi database which I assume is online).

    In my case, Locksmith #1 with his generic keys programmed or attempted to program something or was perhaps reading the keyfob and storing that information in his tool to then upload to the car ECU. He then headed to the vehicle and plugging his tool into the OBDii port. He mistakenly or unknowingly wiped the car's ECU of the existing key and due to the nature of the F.A.S.T. fob, could not program it or upload anything to the ECU to get my vehicle going.

    Locksmith #2 (who I had called first but he wasn't super responsive) comes to the rescue and says he figured this fly-by-night LS#1 didn't know what he was doing and hoped he didn't hose anything on my car. He claimed that my Mitsubishi (manufactuered in March 2014 but appears as a 2015 when running the VIN) has a 'unique' key fob system that isn't interchangeable with other model years or even other models from Mitsubishi. He claimed that basically all other cars he's ever worked on in his 16 years use a different system and will at least work with keys from the same manufacturer even if it's another model. He ends up mail ordering some authentic Mitsubishi keys from a distributor in Washington via overnight delivery. He arrives at my car before I do and he's already plugged into my OBDii port and says things aren't looking good as his system is showing him 'nothing/zeroes' and says LS#1 wiped the system as he didn't know what he was doing. LS#2 says he can't do anything and I'll likely need to bring it to the dealer to reflash the ECU.

    My new interpretation is that yes, LS#1 probably wiped the ECU of my original, stolen key (and the 2nd factory key that came with the car new but I never had as the previous owner never had it either). LS#2 though would have been unable to program the car either way as he didn't have the MUT 3 software to check to see if my newly acquired keys were indeed 'virgin' keys unlinked to another Mitsubishi.

    So I'm speculating/hoping this is as easy as bringing the car to a dealer with access to the MUT 3 software (should be pretty much any dealer) who can reprogram the car's ECU with the key codes to the two new keys that I now own. I had called a bunch of dealers earlier today and explained a rough situation with the two locksmiths, but armed with this new knowledge which I believe is correct I'm going to call some of them back tomorrow and hopefully speak with an actual tech/mechanic to double check before I spend even more money towing it around. Everyone I spoke with today I feel like were just the managers of the service departments who probably aren't at the same level of experience and knowledge with regards to the workings of the keyfobs and ECU.
    im not saying that im an expert but as i said before only a dealer can make a key from scratch unless you still have a duplicate maybe locksmits can duplicate it. the whole process of registering a key if you lost it all is to buy a key from the dealer and tell them that you lost all your key in order for them to cut the metal key based on your keycode assuming that your vehicle is locked from the inside you need the metal key to open the door, then if the fob key is already available they will hook the MUT on your vehicle then insert the blank key on the slot to generate a "security file" that security file will be downloaded and sent to the distributor (japan in some case)sometimes it takes time and from that file they can generate a "approval file" when they already have that approval file they will load that to the mut then hook it again to your car then thats the time the key will be register to your car, the locksmith 1 did not wipe the saved key by accident he attempted to register a new key that is why the ecu reset to zero because thats what the ecu is supposed to do when registering a new key, but it will not work because the system cant detect your original key, you cant add a key if you dont have atleast 1 registered key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allrock View Post
    im not saying that im an expert but as i said before only a dealer can make a key from scratch unless you still have a duplicate maybe locksmits can duplicate it. the whole process of registering a key if you lost it all is to buy a key from the dealer and tell them that you lost all your key in order for them to cut the metal key based on your keycode assuming that your vehicle is locked from the inside you need the metal key to open the door, then if the fob key is already available they will hook the MUT on your vehicle then insert the blank key on the slot to generate a "security file" that security file will be downloaded and sent to the distributor (japan in some case)sometimes it takes time and from that file they can generate a "approval file" when they already have that approval file they will load that to the mut then hook it again to your car then thats the time the key will be register to your car, the locksmith 1 did not wipe the saved key by accident he attempted to register a new key that is why the ecu reset to zero because thats what the ecu is supposed to do when registering a new key, but it will not work because the system cant detect your original key, you cant add a key if you dont have atleast 1 registered key.
    I would recommend having a third key made for anyone who doesn't have the push button start feature in the States. The key costs $10.70 with free shipping. Any local hardware store will cut it for you (approximately $2-3). If you have two working keys, you can program your new third key without any tools. Just follow the instructions in your owner's manual.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Replace...75.c101224.m-1

    It takes two working keys to program an extra one. For less than $15, you will still have two working keys should you lose one. Since you would still have two keys, you could reprogram another key replacement if you like.

    I realize this doesn't apply to push button start owners. I just know extra keys for a Mirage can be made for under $15 each.

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    The question is...will the dealer be able to program those 2 fobs you bought?

    Be sure to double-check the part numbers and the FCC ID's on them to be sure they will work with your car before you go to the dealer. You will have to open them up like you are replacing the battery to see this info. If you bring them transmitters that don't work, they are still going to charge you.

    The worst case scenario is that your fobs ("transmitters" in Mitsubishi-speak) won't work for some reason and you have to buy a new one from the dealer. That would be a nightmare based on the list price of these things...

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        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 52.1 mpg (US) ... 22.2 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.6 mpg (Imp)


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