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I got a backup key fob for my 2018 Mazda 3 off of ebay for $30. Do I have to take it to a locksmith for programming, or is there a cheaper way to do it, perhaps with FORscan?
 

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I found a locksmith to program a used fob for $45. Around here there's only one locksmith who has the computer equipment to do the job. My locksmith friend told me he doesn't do keyless fobs because because he can't justify the cost of the tools. I'm not familiar with FORscan, and I'm not confident enough to try it. I'm afraid I'd end up with no working keys at all. YMMV.
 

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Further research has led me to believe that FORscan doesn't program the newer Advanced Keyless Mazda keys. Although it looks like a neat program and I may use it for other things. I did find a local Batteries Plus that says they can program my key for $50, I have an appointment Tuesday.
 

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Just to be clear, you need to present all the key fobs when doing this, just in case. Its possible that when pairing the new fob the existing fobs will be cleared from the system. Try the search function if you can get it to work. There are plenty of posts and some instructions on how to do it.
 

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Followup: the Ebay key didn't work, and Batteries Plus won't program a key unless you buy it from them. I ended up having to buy a key from a locksmith for $130 but that included programming.
 

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Followup: the Ebay key didn't work, and Batteries Plus won't program a key unless you buy it from them. I ended up having to buy a key from a locksmith for $130 but that included programming.
The $130 including programming is a good price except you have another unprogrammed key fob. Keep trying to find a place who will program the other fob. It is actually recommended you have 3 fobs just for the reason arathol mentions. The fobs are code specific to each car but easy to confirm within the battery compartment when you check on the internet if it is the proper fob. I bought a new OEM fob online from a specific fob and alarm company soon after I picked up my 2017 in late 2016. No issues with the fob. Unfortunately, the locksmith could not program then because Mazda was unable to provide the updated programming codes as the car was so new. The locksmith even had Mazda on the phone trying to get it to work. I still have the fob and haven't got around to programming it...but I keep the 2nd one very close by in my car, with the battery removed...should I ever lose the first one. Worse case scenario....you lose your fob on a road trip in the middle of nowhere...the mobile locksmith can't provide and program a new one and you have to have your car towed to a dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The $130 including programming is a good price except you have another unprogrammed key fob. Keep trying to find a place who will program the other fob. It is actually recommended you have 3 fobs just for the reason arathol mentions. The fobs are code specific to each car but easy to confirm within the battery compartment when you check on the internet if it is the proper fob. I bought a new OEM fob online from a specific fob and alarm company soon after I picked up my 2017 in late 2016. No issues with the fob. Unfortunately, the locksmith could not program then because Mazda was unable to provide the updated programming codes as the car was so new. The locksmith even had Mazda on the phone trying to get it to work. I still have the fob and haven't got around to programming it...but I keep the 2nd one very close by in my car, with the battery removed...should I ever lose the first one. Worse case scenario....you lose your fob on a road trip in the middle of nowhere...the mobile locksmith can't provide and program a new one and you have to have your car towed to a dealership.
That's good advice to be sure. The ebay fob was the correct one, but I think something was wrong with it. It was the same locksmith, so I don't think that was the problem. The fob would start the car if you pressed it to the start button, but remote would not work at all. Good enough to be my secondary backup I should think.
 

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That's good advice to be sure. The ebay fob was the correct one, but I think something was wrong with it. It was the same locksmith, so I don't think that was the problem. The fob would start the car if you pressed it to the start button, but remote would not work at all. Good enough to be my secondary backup I should think.
That works...keep the funky fob hidden in the car with the battery removed and then get a key cut and hide that outside...Again my suggestion, if one uses a magnetic key holder, absolutely tape it securely to the car as well. In this scenario, the worst case is you snag your pantyhose or get the back of your blouse dirty getting on the ground.
 
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