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  #1  
Old 18th January 2012
jgab jgab is offline
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Default Mechanic lost my only key!

I had some problems with the DIC and throttle body so i send it off to the mechanic to do the manual work (I know, easy jobs, should have done it myself).

A day after dropping off the parts to be installed, the mechanic calls with bad news and explains that someone foolishly lost my keys and they would take care of everything.

Well, its been over 2.5 months and i still haven't gotten the car back. They had trouble obtaining the module and the cut keys, which took about 2 months to get. Now they are having a hard time marrying/programming the keys to the modules.

My questions are: What parts exactly are needed to get new keys working in this case? What they showed me was a module (black box) a fresh cut key, and a small micro chip that seemed to fit inside the black piece in the key. Another question i have is, should it be this difficult? I've been riding the bus (dont get me wrong, i know its a good thing to do) for 2.5 months in freezing kansas weather, and im starting to lose my temper. Should i open up a small claims lawsuit? i mean, I asked them for a loaner vehicle and they dismissed my request twice.

What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 19th January 2012
firehawk618 firehawk618 is offline
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Requires a new or freshly re-flashed "virgin" TWICE module. It's a black box that mounts under the left seat.

New keys and requires a Tech 2 or equivalent to marry it all to your car.
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  #3  
Old 19th January 2012
vhayduk vhayduk is offline
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Just to clarify (don't ask me how I know this) It's can be confusing; read carefully. I've tried to word it as articulately as possible, but it is still a lot to wrap your head around.

You can not add a key (new or used) to your car without the a working key. The way the system is designed is that keys can only be added if you have at least one existing key to put the system into the programming mode where other keys can be added.. This rules out simply cutting a new key to the key-code/VIN and adding it. The process is a PITAAW (pain in the *** and wallet); there isn't a DIY way around it.

TWICE -> Theft Warning Integrated Control Electonics (black box under the drivers seat carpet)

There are two options:

a) There is at least one vendor out there that claims to be able to reprogram your TWICE. You take your TWICE out and send it to them along with your VIN. They reprogram your TWICE and send it back with new keys cut to the code. Put the TWICE back in your car and you're good-to-go. Because it is your original TWICE, it's already married to the ECU (engine computer). I can't vouch for this service either way; I just know it is out there.

b) This is the "traditional" (which many, including myself, have done)

#1) You need to find a new (very expensive) or used (somewhat expensive) TWICE with a married key. Typically, this is from a vehicle being parted out. You don't need the key blade; just the transponder (round black part) of the key. Some used TWICE modules come with the remote-control style fob. That is fine too as the transponder in in the remote control module.

#2) The key that you are getting with the TWICE with either have no blade (some scrappers cut off the key blade portion of the key) or a blade that doesn't match your car. Now you have to get (at least 2!) new keys cut from your key-code/VIN. Someone with access to the SAAB internal systems can look up a key code from the VIN after you show them proof of ownership of the vehicle. Supposedly the key code can also appear in the owners manual (wasn't the case for me). I paid $30 to my unfriendly GM stealership to do it for me.

#3) Now all the parts come together. You install the new TWICE into the car and marry the TWICE to the ECU (engine computer) using the TECH-II scantool. Once that is complete, the key that came with the TWICE is then used to put the system into programming mode where the freshly cut keys can be added.

Using either method, you should now have two (or however many you ordered) keys that work will all your original locks (doors/trunk/ignition) and are also programmed into the TWICE to allow the car to start.

jgab: In your case, the mechanic should be doing all of this leg work and replacement. The only part they might now be able to do is get the key-code as typically you have to go in-person and present proof of ownership and ID etc. Feel free to print this off and take it to your mechanic or point him to this thread. Next time they will be more careful with SAAB keys

Vince
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  #4  
Old 19th January 2012
jgab jgab is offline
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I see, that's what i also thought. I just don't know why they are running into so many problems. I called them today and the issue persists.
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  #5  
Old 20th January 2012
Jssaab Jssaab is offline
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Originally Posted by jgab View Post
I see, that's what i also thought. I just don't know why they are running into so many problems. I called them today and the issue persists.
www.lostsaabkeys.com or the saabsite.com
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  #6  
Old 23rd January 2012
logostitch logostitch is offline
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Since no one else is weighing in on the question of what you should do. Certainly you have already been extremely patient with these folks, who apparently have no regard for causing hardship in your life. I would definitely escalate verbally and nicely let them know they have hours to resolve the problem or you are taking you're car elsewhere and they will shoulder the responsibility of paying for this, service and damages. Good Luck Man, and you can only be a good guy for so long.
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  #7  
Old 23rd January 2012
logostitch logostitch is offline
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Since no one else is weighing in on the question of what you should do. Certainly you have already been extremely patient with these folks, who apparently have no regard for causing hardship in your life. I would definitely escalate verbally and nicely let them know they have hours to resolve the problem or you are taking you're car elsewhere and they will shoulder the responsibility of paying for this, service and damages. Good Luck Man, and you can only be a good guy for so long.
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  #8  
Old 23rd January 2012
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Tell those b*st*rds to get their hineys on SaabCentral so they can figure out how to make things work!
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  #9  
Old 24th January 2012
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What kind of a loser mechanic loses a customers key? The mechanic should have given you one of their personal cars to drive around while they sort through the problem they created for you...You should have had two keys, did they lose both of them?
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  #10  
Old 24th January 2012
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The Auto Whisperer The Auto Whisperer is offline
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Maybe I have misunderstood how this is set up, but I thought a TWICE unit from another car of the same model WITH the matching keys could just be installed to run the car. Now the door locks wouldn't match, so you should swap those over too. But if they've had it for that long they could have rebuilt your entire drivetrain (you know as a bonus for having it that long) or swapped over an entire wiring harness with all the electronics from a donor car, so tell them to get their asses in gear!
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  #11  
Old 24th January 2012
toml toml is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Auto Whisperer View Post
Maybe I have misunderstood how this is set up, but I thought a TWICE unit from another car of the same model WITH the matching keys could just be installed to run the car. Now the door locks wouldn't match, so you should swap those over too. But if they've had it for that long they could have rebuilt your entire drivetrain (you know as a bonus for having it that long) or swapped over an entire wiring harness with all the electronics from a donor car, so tell them to get their asses in gear!
You can take the chip out of the donor key and put it in the key that fits the cars existing locks, then you don't have to switch all the locks out.
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  #12  
Old 24th January 2012
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The Auto Whisperer The Auto Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toml View Post
You can take the chip out of the donor key and put it in the key that fits the cars existing locks, then you don't have to switch all the locks out.
Okay, except if that were the case, then he would already have a key and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Maybe some Saabs (I would think older) have a door key and an ignition key? Doesn't seem like an old style like that would have a chip though. Even "valet" keys let you start the car. I know you don't need the little electronic collar around the ignition switch to match the keys because I swapped one from another car to mine.

To the OP, can they even open the car? Did they finish the initial work? Do they still expect you to pay for that? What kind of tone do you get with your discussions with them? Basically that you're not being a squeaky wheel, so they don't care?

Here's what I think your absolute best approach should be. First, I was a commercial auto/garage insurance underwriter for over 10 years. Their garage insurance policy has a general liability clause for this type of issue when damage and/or loss occurs to a vehicle while under their "care, custody and control". (One of the main reasons I am a mobile mechanic, I don't have that liability). So, you call the local Saab dealer, get a firm estimate for towing the vehicle to their shop and getting new keys, TWICE unit and so on installed and coded. Then call the shop, tell them the cost and then insist that they give you their Garage Liability policy number and their agents name and number so you can file a claim. At that point, they will probably become VERY helpful since a claim like that will cost them much more in a rate increase and their deductible than taking care of you themselves. If they tell you they don't have insurance, then call city hall to see if they are in compliance with all requirements mandated by the city to retain their business license.

Play hardball and you'll get taken care of fast. And you don't even have to be a jerk about it, just the fact that you know these things and can easily cause them lots of grief with a couple of telephone calls will move you to the top of their priority list. If it's a chain like Midas or something, a quick call to the corporate offices will produce great results too.

I also would expect all of your labor for the repairs to be waived as well as a complete wash, wax and detail of the vehicle thrown in. When I ran a Midas out in Indiana that is how we handled any screw up on our end of this magnitude.
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  #13  
Old 24th January 2012
toml toml is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Auto Whisperer View Post
Okay, except if that were the case, then he would already have a key and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Maybe some Saabs (I would think older) have a door key and an ignition key? Doesn't seem like an old style like that would have a chip though. Even "valet" keys let you start the car. I know you don't need the little electronic collar around the ignition switch to match the keys because I swapped one from another car to mine.

To the OP, can they even open the car? Did they finish the initial work? Do they still expect you to pay for that? What kind of tone do you get with your discussions with them? Basically that you're not being a squeaky wheel, so they don't care?

Here's what I think your absolute best approach should be. First, I was a commercial auto/garage insurance underwriter for over 10 years. Their garage insurance policy has a general liability clause for this type of issue when damage and/or loss occurs to a vehicle while under their "care, custody and control". (One of the main reasons I am a mobile mechanic, I don't have that liability). So, you call the local Saab dealer, get a firm estimate for towing the vehicle to their shop and getting new keys, TWICE unit and so on installed and coded. Then call the shop, tell them the cost and then insist that they give you their Garage Liability policy number and their agents name and number so you can file a claim. At that point, they will probably become VERY helpful since a claim like that will cost them much more in a rate increase and their deductible than taking care of you themselves. If they tell you they don't have insurance, then call city hall to see if they are in compliance with all requirements mandated by the city to retain their business license.

Play hardball and you'll get taken care of fast. And you don't even have to be a jerk about it, just the fact that you know these things and can easily cause them lots of grief with a couple of telephone calls will move you to the top of their priority list. If it's a chain like Midas or something, a quick call to the corporate offices will produce great results too.

I also would expect all of your labor for the repairs to be waived as well as a complete wash, wax and detail of the vehicle thrown in. When I ran a Midas out in Indiana that is how we handled any screw up on our end of this magnitude.
If you take the brain and chip from a different car you can put the brain in your car and the chip in your key. The cut key and the chip are independent. The chip is in the black top part and is removable. This hold true for all years; I don't see what the problem is?
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  #14  
Old 24th January 2012
gbest gbest is online now
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The twice module has to be married to the car with tech2, it's not plug and play.
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  #15  
Old 24th January 2012
saabtwin saabtwin is offline
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Use the car's VIN to order a new key from a dealer, then install a replacement TWICE with at least one key. Transfer the electronics over to your new dealer key and then use TECH2 to marry the TWICE to the car.

You will then not have to change the locks (which is a real PITA). The dealer key will work and of course operate the locks.

Get a second key from the dealer married at the same time and keep that safe.

Get the shop to pay for it all.
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  #16  
Old 24th January 2012
toml toml is offline
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Originally Posted by gbest View Post
The twice module has to be married to the car with tech2, it's not plug and play.
True, I skipped that step, but the point is that the twice and the chip are independent from the cut key. Any chip can be put inside any cut key so long as the twice goes with it.
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  #17  
Old 24th January 2012
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The Auto Whisperer The Auto Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toml View Post
You can take the chip out of the donor key and put it in the key that fits the cars existing locks, then you don't have to switch all the locks out.
I follow that about the TWICE, the key chip and the cut key being different.
The problem here is that the title is "Mechanic lost my only key!".
So he doesn't even have a cut key.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saabtwin View Post
Use the car's VIN to order a new key from a dealer, then install a replacement TWICE with at least one key. Transfer the electronics over to your new dealer key and then use TECH2 to marry the TWICE to the car.

You will then not have to change the locks (which is a real PITA). The dealer key will work and of course operate the locks.

Get a second key from the dealer married at the same time and keep that safe.

Get the shop to pay for it all.
So as saabtwin says above, the only way to get a new key that matches the current door locks is using the VIN through the dealer. Then the new TWICE unit and TECH2 follow from there. And I agree, as I said before, the shop should be paying for all of this, PLUS waive their labor costs on all the original work. That's my .02
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  #18  
Old 24th January 2012
Jssaab Jssaab is offline
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www.lostsaabkeys.com or the saabsite.com
both of these guys do al that for you
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  #19  
Old 24th January 2012
LOOPS246 LOOPS246 is offline
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just reading this post makes me wanna go do something illegal to those mechanics. but i have two 99 9-5. i have a keys and a remote fobs for each. ordered blank keys off ebay and had them cut at dealer.(no chip). just in case i lose my chipped key i can use the unchipped one for getting around. using the key then pressing any button on remote fob can start the car. at least until i get another chip ordered. im almost certain on these older model keys the dealer said they can cut them based on my VIN. so all i need is a blank key and they order the chip to be placed in the key for programming.
i know the newer keys which have the remote built in are not nearly as easy if u loose them.
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  #20  
Old 25th January 2012
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Get a used matched twice and key and at least one new key cut to your cars vin. Uninstall old twice and install used one, then program the used parts to car (twice and key), then add the new key to that twice and your all set. Try english swedish car spares in Ga. ask for Lee or Mac.
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