VW Key Fob Programming Guide

VW Key Fob Programming Guide


 Awesome VW Keys cut cheap

DIY Guides and Info for Cutting, Repairing, or Programming a VW Key Fob


- Need to buy a key?  Click Here

-Need to buy parts to fix a key?  Click Here

-Need to program the immobilizer?  Here is the tool





  1. Purchasing a key

  2. Ways keys are made

  3. How to choose your key

  4. How do I get keys made

  5. I finally have my new key, now what do I do?

  6. Pogramming doesn’t work for me

  7. System improvements

  8. Key repair info


Frequently Asked Questions

-How are VW Keys Cut?  Are they really "laser" cut keys?

-I have a newly-cut VW key... Now how do I get it programmed?

-Using Vagtacho

-So what is an RFID Chip, anyway?

-And what is the "Secret Pin Number"?

-My key will not wirelessly unlock the car when I push the button.

-My car starts for 2 seconds and then it shuts off, and it has a blinking "key" symbol on the dash

-How can I defeat or delete the immobilizer? (Required for many project cars)

-My Key FOB only works at close range


-How are VW Keys Cut?  Are they really "laser" cut keys?

Lasers have absolutely nothing to do with cutting VW "sidewinder" keys.  These keys are cut on a specialized milling machine. Some are automatic tracing machines. Others are manually operated machines which use a tracer to follow the original cut and replicate that onto a new key blade. Finally, the most reliable type can cut the key by "code cutting".  This is the method we use when we make a key by picture or by V.I.N. Each original key has a code that relates to the "sidewinder" pattern, and by entering this code into our machine, we can ensure a perfect match with little to no room for error.



-I have a newly cut VW key... Now how do I get it programmed?

There are 2 portions of programming VW keys; Immobilizer Programming and Wireless Entry Programming

 -Immobilizer Programming-

 VW cars made prior to 2000 did not have an RFID chip in them and they do not need programming.

If the key is cut, it will start the car and you will be able to drive it.

 VW cars made from 2000 - 2001 have an Immobilizer 2 system built into the dash cluster and the ECU.  

Immo 2 RFID chips are not "programmed", they are read only devices, to program a key in a 2000 - 2001, the car is actually programmed to recognize the RFID chip and the key is not programmed at all.  If you had a used Immo 2 RFID chip you could recycle it and program it onto another car with an Immobilizer 2 system.

VW cars made from 2002 - 2005 have an Immobilizer 3 system built into the dash and the ECU.

Immo 3 RFID chips are read/write devices but they can only be written one time.  When this is programmed, the sensor RFID sensor ring on the steering column sends out a signal and writes information onto that RFID chip AND the car stores the identity of that RFID chip in the cluster.  Used Immo 3 RFID chips cannot be used on multiple cars.


-Ways to get a VW Immobilizer programmed

    1. Pay a VW dealer to program it. They will typically charge $50-$120, but every dealer is different. Some will not do it if you don't buy the key from them.
    2. Some locksmiths own the equipment to program VW keys. Normal charge is $25 - $50
    3. If you have your secret pin number, you can easily use VCDS to program the key (more info here)
    4. Use VagTacho for 2000-2005 VW Golf/Jetta/New Beetle and 2010+ Golf/Jetta/New Beetle

Programming a Key with VagTacho

The wireless entry cannot be programmed using VagTacho, only the immobilizer portion.


-VagTacho is a great tool, designed and manufactured by  A genuine Vagtacho is expensive. If you find an inexpensive version (less than $500) it is a Chinese knock off. Most older V2.5 and new Chinese knock offs will work, but they are often fraught with problems. Issues may include inoperable drivers or spyware included in the software.  If you try to download VagTacho from the internet, you will probably get a virus.  That having been said, many people have been successful in using the Chinese knock-offs.  Bottom line: Don't buy the cheapest version, and purchase from a reputable seller.

-Using a knock-off VagTacho to program the key may not be safe.  If a software glitch occurs while programming, the instrument cluster will be ruined and you will not be able to start your car until the instrument cluster is replaced or the immobilizer is deleted from the ECU. (It is not common, but it absolutely does happen.)

-Advice for people using a Chinese VagTacho: Use the tool to retrieve the secret pin number, but do not program the key with the Chinese Vagtacho.  It is safe to retrieve the pin number, nothing bad can happen to the car, damage can only occur when programming.  If you have retrieved the pin number I sugguest you write it down on something like your car's Title and then use VCDS to program the immoblizer.  This is a very safe and easy option.


 -Wireless Entry Programming-

Programming can be done with VCDS or a manual method that requires at least 2 keys.

VCDS Programming 

You can find the procedure here and here

It's very important that you do the factory reset option before trying to save an alternative number of keys!

Manual Programming 

1) Unlock the door to your car using the key blade 
2) Insert your old key blade into the ignition and turn it to the "on" position, but do not start the car.

3) Roll down your driver's side window

4) Step out of the car and insert your new key into the driver's door lock, now turn the key to the left and hold it in that position for 10 seconds.

5) Now press the lock button on the FOB

6) Now press the unlock button on the FOB

 The car should blink its flashers or beep, letting you know that programming is now complete.  I have seen 2001 and older cars that this did not work on.  If the microswitch in the driver's door lock is broken, this method will not work.


So what is an RFID Chip, anyway?

Below is an example of an RFID chip, more info about them can be found here

DIY for changing an RFID chip 

 VW key immo RFID chip


What is the "Secret Pin Number"?  

This information is specifically written in regards to VW MK4 Golf, Jetta, New Beetle, and B5 and B5.5 Passat.

The secret pin number is a 5 digit code that must be entered into the car, via a programming tool, to allow you to change how many keys are programmed to the car, and to get the car to recognize/program the RFID chip inside of the key.  Although the secret pin number is 5 digits long, it will always start with a "0".  So if you use a tool like Vagtacho to retrieve the pin number, it will give you a 4 digit code like "9835".  If you were going to program the key with VCDS, you would enter the code as "09835".


My key will not wirelessly unlock the car when I push the button.

Possible problems listed in order of how common they are:

-Dead batteries inside the FOB - Video here for taking a key apart

-Ruined wireless entry board - Replacements available here

-Car needs to be programmed to recognize the signal from your key

-Comfort Control Module (CCM) needs to be replaced

-Damaged antenna on the car for the wireless entry

-The car is cursed   


My car starts for 2 seconds and then it shuts off, and it has a blinking "key" symbol on the dash.

If this has happened to you either your car has not accepted the immobilizer programming for the key that you are trying to use or the key you are using is damaged.  2000-2006 key RFID chips shouldn't be affected by water if an unfortunate event occurs such as swimming with it.  RFID chips are surrounded by glass.  If you break the glass, you break the chip.  

How can I defeat or delete the immobilizer (Required for many project cars)? 

Many of our customers drive TDI cars and many have transplanted the engines from VW cars into Jeeps, boats, etc.  If you wanted to do something like this then you would most likely not be keeping the instrument cluster.  If you do not keep the instrument cluster the immobilizer must be deleted on the ECU.  We can provide this service for most VW cars made from 2000 - 2014.  Charges vary, please email us for a quote.

My Key Fob only works at very close range

For an excellent DIY for extending your VW Key FOB remote range, Click Here 


DIY video for replacing the battery or the circuit board