Introduction: Make a Replacement Key for 2006 Toyota Camry Solara

Recently purchased a 'new' 2006 Toyota Camry Solara (officially that's it's name - so most Camry instructions will probably work on the Camry Solara), but unfortunately it only came with one key. Since we have lost keys to cars in the past, I didn't want to be stuck with a car without a key, so we needed some backup.

Dealers will cut and program a key for you, but you're clearly going to spend more than $100 per key based on what I've learned from reading on the interwebs. I'm too cheap for that.

So here is the step by step instructions (that I followed) to get a replacement key.

Step 1: Buy a Transponder Key

You'll need the key that fits the Solara (Solara is essentially a convertible Camry, so keep that in mind when looking up parts, etc). Make sure you're buying a TRANSPONDER key - I saw some listings for what would essentially be a door key, but wouldn't work in the ignition.

I bought two on e-bay for less than $13. They showed up fast. The key's code is "4D-67" so probably just looking for that would be sufficient.

Step 2: Get the Keys Cut for You

Cutting car keys is apparently much more difficult than cutting house keys. I went to ACE hardware and they were reluctant to do it. Once I promised I wouldn't hold them accountable if the key didn't work, they were willing to do it.

They cut four keys for me - three worked. Luckily both for my car worked. My wife will have to be careful with the one backup key I made for her minivan.

You should check the key in both the door and the ignition. It should turn and sound like it's starting the car, but it won't really start.

Step 3: Looks Pretty Close to Me

Step 4: Programming Instructions

Following these rules worked for me, but I did not create them. If it doesn't work the first time, try it again.

Sit in the car with the doors closed and locked.

Put the Master key in and out the ignition five times (without turning it), leaving it in the ignition on the fifth time.

Open and close driver's side door six times.

Pull the Master key out of the ignition

Put the new key into ignition (without turning it).

Wait at least one minute -- you'll see the security light blinking on and off and eventually turn completely off.

Take the newly programmed key out of the ignition and open close the door.

You should now be able to start the car with the newly programmed key.

Step 5: Final Notes

Getting a key cut at a locksmith is supposedly less of a hassle than I thought but probably more expensive than ACE charged me. Still, it was cheaper to have them ruin a $7 key than it was to pay a locksmith to do the other three that worked.

The key supplier I used has a store here:

There are other sellers of the same item, and there is no specific reason I used this seller.

I ordered some key fobs and I'll post another instructable if I get them successfully programmed.