Fixing a Scion key the Schumaker way

Projects, Stuff and Things

My Scion key exploded one day.

If this is like my other experiences with my Scion tC there’s probably a bunch of other people out there that this has happened to. The problem is that the Scion TC key fob from 2005 has a one piece rubber gasket/buttons that covers the insides of the fob. After a few years of pressing on it with your long fingernails (that you really should cut you dirty animal). The rubber breaks down and comes off in chunks. Which leaves you digging into the plastic housing to press the buttons.  Eventually one day you’ll notice a small crack in the side of the key fob, but you’ll ignore it because you have better things to do and can’t be bothered to do any kind of fixing. Then you’ll turn the key for the 10000th time and the fob will turn but the key will not and the metal part will break off in the ignition. FYL.

So the first thing you should try is JB Weld, big ole gob in there and press the whole thing back together like a double stuffed oreo. This will work for a while, probably about 2 years. So you’re good… for a while.

Then it will break again in some slightly different way that you can glue back together. Then you will forget about it because you’re not going to shell out $65 for a new key when you have another, perfectly good key… You’re not made of money!

What I am made of is the ability to fix things. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, grab the key parts and lets go.



The first thing to do is grab the Dremel and the smallest grinder bit you can find. There’s a little rectangular thing that’s epoxied into the body of the key. That’s the rfid tag that identifies the key. Just blast that thing with the grinder, but try do to chew away too much of the plastic. Also watch out for little flying bits of metal, they can make for a very bad day. You have to get pretty much all of it out of there because you have to cut the other one from your dismantled key and glue it in there.  Getting the key part our of the ‘good’ key is actually a little tricky, they must have molded the key around the metal part of the key, because there is no seam to break. So my solution was to cut along the top of the metal key with an xacto knife so that you leave the outside wall of the plastic intact, but still removing the key. It’s tricky, and at some point you’ll think… this will never work, I should just get a key. But push through, this just might work. Then just take the key part and fit it into the hole that you’ve made.

It’s really not that hard, you’re just basically replacing the plastic part. So get to work, crafty disgruntled Scion owners.

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