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Old 04-24-2004, 04:52 PM   #1
raitchison
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

As you may know, the Mazda3 has a built in security system that utilizes a key with an embedded transponder chip that is read by the car's ECU when you start the car. The ECU is programmed to accept only certain transponder codes. If a key's transponder is not registered with the ECU it will not allow the car to be started.

This is a system that Ford has developed and has so far proven very effective at reducing auto theft, while there is nothing that will prevent a determined, prepared car thief from stealing a car system like this make it nearly impossible to start a car by hotwiring or breaking the ignition.

Mazda North American Operations seems to think that their customers are complete idiots and are incapable of wiping their own nose. They don't include instructions in the owners manual for programming additional keys yourself, instead they instruct you to go to your dealer to have new keys made & programmed. As some forum members have experienced some dealers have wanted over $100 to make & program new keys.

Luckily my last car was a Ford Focus with the same transponder key system, Ford I guess has a slightly better opinion of their customers so they provide instructions for key programming in the owners manual (which I retained in PDF format). I decided to take the risk and attempt to use the Focus key programming instructions to program new keys for the 3.

First I needed a compatible transponder key blank cut physically to match my car's ignition & door locks. My local locksmith doesn't carry the blanks so I had to go to the dealer. The guy at the parts desk warned me that they needed to be programmed but when I told him I was going to program it myself he was like "ok". 5 minutes and $23.38 later I had a new key physically cut to match my existing keys. I tested the key in the ignition and verified that while it would turn the ignition cylinder it would not engage the starter, it also unlocked & locked the drivers door so I know it's cut correctly.

Now to program the transponder, I have the Focus manual page in hand, here is the basic how-to.

Items needed:
1. 2 pre-programmed transponder keys.
2. 1 new transponder key

The timing is critical to this procedure, please read through the entire procedure before attempting.
Procedure:
1. Insert one of the pre-programmed transponder keys and turn the ignition to "on", leave on for at least one second (I wait until the red key symbol in the instrument cluster extiinguishes), remove the key from the ignition.
2. Within 5 seconds insert the second pre-programmed key and urn the ignition to "on" for at least one second but no more than 5 seconds (use the key symbol for this as well) then remove the second key.
3. within 10 seconds insert the new key in the ignition and turn the ignition to "on", if you are successful the red key symbol will illuminate then extinguish after about a second.

If you are not successful the red key symbol will flash repeatedly to indicate that you have inserted an invalid key. Remove the key, wait a minute and try it again, it took me a few times to get it perfect and I had done it before.

To see the applicable pages from the Focus owners manual see
this page

The new key cost me less than $25, the dealer even physically cut the new key for free.

I STRONGLY suggest that EVERYONE go out and get at least one spare key made & prorgammed for their 3. If you lose one of your two original keys and don't have a spare you won't be able to make any new keys (as you need to prorgammend keys to program more) and will need to go to the dealer and have them re-program the ECU.

EDIT: This deserves a STICKY!!! (Dinu)

Edit: We now have reports that this procedure also works with the Mazda6.

Edit 2: Now we have reports that this procedure also works for both 2005 and 2006 Mazda3s


Edit 3: Now we have reports that this procedure also works for the Mazdaspeed3 as well as the 2007 Mazda3.

Edit 4: Youtube video for programming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyzWguejp2o#ws
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Old 04-24-2004, 05:32 PM   #2
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

Awesome discovery! I wonder if Mazda uses that procedure to "program" the new key? If so, what a rip off!

Do you think the procedure would work with only one programmed key? I had to give one up for the remote start install...
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Old 04-24-2004, 05:51 PM   #3
raitchison
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

No it definitely won't work with only a single key, you need to have two as a security precaution, so your valet can't make a copy of your key while you are eating dinner or whatever.

By "give up" a key, what did they do? Did they somehow embed the key, or the transponder part of it in the car so the remote start would work? If so you could probably get any trnsponderless key cut corrently to work.
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Old 04-25-2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

Yeah, they embedded the key in the dash for the remote start. I don't know if they used the whole key or just part of it, but I'm out 1 key. I bet if I got an unprogrammed key from the dealer, I could use it in conjuction with the remote start b/c I don't have to actually engage the engine with the remote start (i.e. I just have to turn it to "on&quot
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:01 PM   #5
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

I'm pretty sure that they embedded the whole key in a imobilizer bypass module. What you would have to do is get a new key made at the dealership, AND find out where in your car the installer put the bypass module, because the module itself contains inside your key. Hopefully this makes sense. The only reason I know is because I am getting an alarm installed in my 3 in a few days, and am hoping I will have enough time to head down to my mazda dealership to get a third key before they bury my key into the dash.

Question for everyone...

Has anyone else tried this method of programming a key yet? Just wanted to be sure it works for more than just one person before I buy a new key.

Thanks
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Old 04-30-2004, 02:12 AM   #6
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

Provided this programming method works for our cars, does anyone know how many programmed keys we can have functional at one time?
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Old 04-30-2004, 10:40 AM   #7
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

IIRC it was 8 or so on the Focus.
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

Well, I just got back from the Mazda dealership, and wanted to let everyone know that the key programming method worked for me.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

Maybe i'm asking for too much, this is great info, but any idea about programming the remotes?
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:37 PM   #10
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Default Spare Key Self-Programming - How To Guide

No idea here, I would (and am plannning on) replacing the factory alarm with an aftermarket.
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