A new car key. Dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

key fob
This is the replacement key fob for our Equinox

Recently the Unlock button on my key fob for our Equinox got pushed too hard and the rubber cover got depressed inside and broken out. I was able to slightly rearrange the broken cover to be able to use the unlock function, but I figured it was only a matter of time before it broke out completely and I would not be able to use my key fob to unlock the doors. I have heard that dealers charge from $150-300 to make a new key fob for you so I did some research online and found I could avoid going that route. I bought a pair of blank key fobs on Amazon for less than $29 for the pair.

The replacement key fob has all the functions of the original – it just doesn’t have the Chevrolet logo embedded in the case.

My next step was to get the keys cut and the fob programmed to work with our vehicle. I stopped by Dunlap Auto today and asked Joe Rangel, the owner, if he knew of a locksmith who could do that. He gave me a phone number and that locksmith referred me to another locksmith closer to where we live. So I went to G Locksmith at 1817 W Indian School Rd (602-430-4307) here in Phoenix this afternoon to get the job done.

key cutting machine
Cutting the keys on the laser cutting machine

It took that locksmith about 30 minutes to cut two keys and to then program the new ones to work like the old ones. I took both Elaine’s key fob and mine to be matched, since each key can be set to arrange the driver’s seat and mirrors to match that driver’s settings. He had to cut the keys first and do the programming after. The keys are laser-cut and the key has to be removed from the case to be cut and then replaced. These keys are cut on both sides so they can be inserted either way.

old and new keys
The old key on top and the uncut blank on the bottom.
new and old keys
The cut key (bottom) and the original key (top)

He cut the keys and then tested them to be sure they worked before doing the programming. Once checked and working, he then used a device into which he put each old key fob so the device could read the programming and then inserted the new fob to program it.

It cost me $40 each to have the new key fobs done, so each cost me $55 – far less than the $150-300 each expected at a dealer.

gang at Outback
Dave, Bill Russell, Wayne Moderson, Vaneddie Jones, Elaine at Outback Steakhouse

While in the pool this afternoon Elaine remembered that she had not taken anything out for dinner. Donna suggested that I should take her out to dinner in that case; I replied that since Elaine forgot to take something out she should take ME out to dinner! Bill Russell and Wayne Moderson were making plans to go to Outback Steakhouse tonight so we asked if we could join them. Vaneddie Jones also came, too, and the five of us had a great dinner with great company. I had the Bacon Bourbon Salmon (delicious) and Elaine had the Alice Springs Chicken (it was a little spicy for her). We brought lots of leftovers home as usual.

I contacted Geek Squad for help on Elaine’s computer today. Suddenly the Windows button on the keyboard and several icons in the toolbar did nothing. I got a remote tech session going with instructions to work on those items and then had to leave. His report? He spent his time looking for other problems and did not fix what I asked for. So we are no closer to getting it fixed. At least she can use her computer, but just can’t use those keys or buttons. Grrrr!!!


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