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Old 06-10-2020, 09:08 AM   #1
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Pickle with a lost key

So I got a Boxster S, but I'm already in a bit of a situation

The car came with two keys. Both had RFID pills that match the car.

But the ignition cylinder, and door lock cylinder, were from different sets of locks.

So one key could open the door and use the remote but not start the car (pill matches, but key doesn't match ignition cylinder)

The other key could only start the car (valet key and doesn't match door lock)

I was driving down the road when I got a low oil pressure warning, it's a long story for another post, but the car ended up getting towed to a shop.

But somewhere between the place it broke down, and the place it was dropped off, the key that starts the car went missing

Now I'm churning through options here:
  • One is to replace the ECU, CLU, locks, all with a new replacement. That'll cost about $1000 dollars. Which is really $1,000 I'd rather spend elsewhere but more importantly, it really doesn't solve the issue of only having one key. All the ones I found only come with a single key. If it was 1,000$ to fix this and get a spare I might be more open to it, but it feels like a colossal waste otherwise.

  • Another is to replace the ignition cylinder lock and door lock only, then transfer my RFID pill into the key that comes with those.

    Is this possible? The ECU Immobilizer combo is expensive and hard to come by since the ECU needs to match my 3.2 Manual down to the transmission type.

    I see a ton of sets of just door lock, ignition cylinder, and a key (no electronics), should that have the same result as option 1 assuming the existing boxes are in good condition?

  • The third option that I'm thinking about is getting rid of the ignition cylinder completely and relying on the door lock for security...

    The idea is I would stick the RFID pill in the dash, and wire up a button directly to where the ignition switch is.

    Besides the obvious security drawbacks, would this work? I'm partial to this solution because I can order a switch today and have it tomorrow and wire it up.

    That will let me get the car on the road and not have to explain to a shop why I saddled them with an immovable car for any longer than I have to...

    Also from what I understand, getting spare keys cut for the door is easy, it's the RFID pill that ends up making things complicated

Am I crazy here or is the 3rd option workable, at least temporarily?

Last edited by selaliadobor; 06-10-2020 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 06-10-2020, 09:23 AM   #2
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If I were in your shoes, and didnít have $1500 to blow, I would go with a push button start if it was garaged nightly, and would add a remote kill switch hidden somewhere to flip before you can start it as another layer of safety?

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Old 06-10-2020, 10:27 AM   #3
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Option 2.

You have a working transponder (pill), ECU, and CLU. No reason to spend money on those components.

Replace the ignition lock and the door locks with a matching key and transfer the pill into that new key.

Option 1 is more expensive than Option 2 and achieves the same result.
Option 3 is a security risk and doesn't really solve the root problem, though it might be a temporary fix to get the car back on the road to give you time to execute Option 2.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:35 AM   #4
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I did some more research and I think I actually end up with something slick while keeping some semblance of safety

It kind of looks like what you described, but instead of the kill switch being physical, it'd be electronic

There are tons of RFID sets that essentially turn a relay on when you get close enough (and making my own with some smarts to prevent accidentally running down the battery would be pretty straight forward)

I did some more research and I can wire the immobilizer coil to check for the RFID pill without putting my key into the cylinder


So what I would do is wire the immobilizer coil to turn on when the tag is in range, then wire a "push to start" switch as normal.

That way the RFID setup becomes the "immobilizer" and as an added bonus, I can make as many "keys" as I want


Of course, someone clever could always tear open the dash and hot wire it at this point, but I feel like if someone is able to tear open my dash, get at the ignition switch, wire it all together, they're also probably smart enough to figure out the immobilizer bypass that exists for the stock immobilizer (if anything, they might case the car expecting that to work and be in for an unpleasant surprise )


My main concern is the extra keys. I could stop being a tightwad and just spring for extra keys with Option 2 since you confirmed that does do what option 1 would, but the tinkerer in me would love to work on this and get to cut the dealer out of the process of getting new keys

Last edited by selaliadobor; 06-10-2020 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by selaliadobor View Post
So what I would do is wire the immobilizer coil to turn on when the tag is in range, then wire a "push to start" switch as normal.
I'd be interested in that setup. Pushbutton start. Remote kill. I'd do it.

Keep us posted as you get that ironed out. Would be a great DIY or, in the alternative... you could sell a kit. I could be in.

1998 Porsche Boxster

Last edited by Starter986; 06-10-2020 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Typo
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