Mazda3 Forums banner
381 - 391 of 391 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
can I program transponder for 2012 Mazda 3 myself?

I'm confused.

I have a new to me 2012 Mazda 3 iGT hatch. Two working fobs with embedded keys.

Can I buy a transponder key, and program it myself? That way I'd have a 3rd spare.

But if I have to bring it to the dealer to program, there'd be no point in getting it.

Also where is a good inexpensive place to get a transponder? Looks like there's plenty on ebay.

Third question - my fobs with new batteries don't read until maybe 8 feet from the car. That seems short. Is it? It possible to improve (new fobs, or replace the control unit myself)?

Thank you!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Get basic transponder key from eBay. I paid $10 for the black basic key an $25 for a 3rd flip key w/remote. Use the guide on self programing since you have 2 original keys that are required to self program.

As far as distance for the flip key fob my 2011 can work lock/unlock from a line of sight 30 ft. Try cleaning the internal contacts with the battery removed with 90 proof rubbing alcohol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #383 ·
Am I the only one for whom this key programming thing doesn't work?

I have 2 working keys for my 2004 Mazda 3: an original Mazda one and a generic one; both start the car.
...
I'm stumped. Any idea why this isn't working for me?

Thanks.
Your second working key, the "generic" one, how was it programmed?

Some locksmiths will simply clone a working key, this does get the cloned key to start the car but it won't work for this process because the car seed both keys as the same (the car thinks you're inserting the same key twice).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Just bought a used 2012 Mazda 3i that came with only one key.

If I want to add an aftermarket (Compustar) alarm with remote start, I assume that the remote start module will need one additional programmed key? Is this correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Yes. You'll need to go to a bonded locksmith or the dealership for a second key. Whatever you do, DO NOT LET THEM CLONE YOUR CURRENT KEY!!!! It needs to be a NEW key!

It is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Yes. You'll need to go to a bonded locksmith or the dealership for a second key. Whatever you do, DO NOT LET THEM CLONE YOUR CURRENT KEY!!!! It needs to be a NEW key!

It is what it is.
Follow-up questions: what's a bonded locksmith? How can I know if they clone my key rather than making a new one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Any legit locksmith is licensed and bonded. They'll have their license number on any paperwork or receipt that they give you.

To make sure they don't clone your key, don't give them your key! Have them make a brand new one, as if none exists at all. They can do this by the VIN.

The reason a cloned key doesn't work for what you need is, the PCM sees a clone key and the original key as exactly the same key. So, as far as the PCM is concerned, you still only have one key. Therefore, you can't make a third key by yourself, and you also can't program a remote start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
One last question: after they make a new key, will I need my old key to be reprogrammed? Just wondering if the creation of a new key wipes out previously programmed keys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
No, it doesn't wipe out the old key.

What you may want to do is, buy two keys from the locksmith, let them cut both of them for you, but DO NOT let them program the third key. Program that one yourself by doing the hokey pokey with the lock and doors. There's instructions on here on the process.

For the hokey pokey to work, you have to have two different keys. Your original, and the one the locksmith programmed with their computer.

Now, do the hokey pokey with the locksmith key and your key. Then program the third yourself, right there in the parking lot of the locksmith. If the key won't program, and you get a red flashing light on your dash instead of the key actually working, they did something wrong, and you'll never get the remote start to work. Have them fix the glitch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
If the key won't program, and you get a red flashing light on your dash instead of the key actually working, they did something wrong, and you'll never get the remote start to work. Have them fix the glitch.
Dumb question incoming: if I get one locksmith to cut the key for me and I get another locksmith to program the cut key (without giving him my original), then I'll know he did it correctly if the second key is able to start the car right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
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 extinguishes), remove the key from the ignition.
2. Within 5 seconds insert the second pre-programmed key and turn 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 & programmed 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 programmed 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.

You only need one working key to program a new key. I just did it.

1. Open car door and leave open. Lock and unlock with key fob. Leave door open.

2. Insert old key. Switch to on pause, switch to off and pause. Repeat this 2x for a total 3x. Leave key in ignition I'm off position.

3. Door will lock and unlock on its own.

4. With new key fob lock and unlock doors. For good measure lock and unlock on old key too. Done!

Sometimes it takes a few tried
But it works. Got new key for $40 total with locksmith cutting it. Now I have a spare.
 
381 - 391 of 391 Posts
Top