"Hacking" My Car
April 1, 2006

Last month when Dayna's insurance ran out, we decided not to reinsure her car, as we rarely drive anymore, and when we do it's usually together. The only issue with this is that I only have one key for my car, and so I started looking into getting a new key made for her. VW wanted $260 for a new 'switchblade' key. I guess because of the immobilizer and the electronic locks they aren't cheap. I was able to find a used, blank key on Ebay for $15, which leaves the problem of reprogramming the immobilizer. After a little bit of research I came across a program called VAG-COM. It allows you to interface with your car, much in the same way the dealer does. So now rather than spending $80 everytime my Check Engine light comes on, I can just plug my laptop in and see what the problem is. The other advantage that it gives me is that I can reprogram my car to accept the new key that I bought. Ebay again came to the rescue, and I was able to find a USB --> VW adapter for $25. So far I've spent $40, and I have a new key, and diagnostic software for my car, a slightly better deal. Now I just need to contact my dealer and get the "Secret Key Code" for my car, so that I can reprogram the immobilizer. Apparently Ewan knows some guys who own a VW shop so I'm hoping it goes smoothly.


nice work, any idea of you can buy these things for bmws?

Posted by: tom at April 4, 2006 10:46 AM
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