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Genchi Genbutsu
Genchi Genbutsu, Toyota Master Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4395
Experience:  Toyota Certified Master Diagnostic Technician, ASE Master Technician with L1 Advanced Engine
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I have a 2013 Toyota Corolla LE. The key with the entry

Customer Question

I have a 2013 Toyota Corolla LE. The key with the entry remote is not working. I took it to the dealer who said it will cost $500 to fix it, because it is the receiver inside the car that is broken. This seems like an extremely costly fix for small problem. Is this correct? Or is there some other solution that is more reasonable?
JA: Is the key stripped or worn?
Customer: No, the key is fine.
JA: What is the model of your '13 Toyota?
Customer: Corolla LE
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I changed the battery and reprogrammed the remote.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: The locks cycle through when I reprogram the remote, but it still won't lock/unlock the doors or open the trunk.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with this concern today and am sorry to hear that this is happening. I will have to ask you a few questions so that I can get a better understanding as to what may be going on with your Corolla.

Just from what you are describing, the problem sounds like either the key remote or the receiver itself. Do you know for sure that the keyless signal is being generated by the keyfob? Did the Dealer show you that it was?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, the dealer did not show me. I was charged $100 for diagnosis, which indicated that it must be the receiver that was not working. As far as I understand, the keyfob is working.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When I push any of the four buttons on the keyfob, the red LED light blinks, but nothing happens with the car.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 9 months ago.

I think this will come down to if your trust the Dealer.

Just because the red keyfob light blinks when a button is pressed doesn't mean that a signal is being output. Does that make sense?

If the keyfob is indeed good then a receiver will be needed. The cost for these can be high if bought new but from Ebay or a local junk yard os where you will want to search. Here is a listing that, even though it doesn't fit your year Corolla, you can see the cost savings. Does this help?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If I trusted the dealer, I wouldn't have contacted this service. I wasn't shown whether the keyfob was working. I was just told they diagnosed the problem (for $100) and found the problem required $500 more to fix. At this point, I've now spent $120 to know the keyfob is not working, which was obvious. I'd prefer not to go on trust, but with as much information as possible.
Is there anyway for me to tell if the keyfob is bad? Or do you recommend any Toyota mechanics in my area?
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 9 months ago.

Is there anyway for me to tell if the keyfob is bad?

Sure! What we use at the Dealer is a RF/IR tester (ours looks different) like this one, you could just stop in and have them test it for you. In front of you, just because the red light comes on when you press the button doesn't mean that a signal is being output. If the RF/IR tester beeps and confirms that the remote is outputting a signal, then it's time to but the $500 part.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 9 months ago.

My pleasure and I hope this gets fixed for you. If you have more questions, please ask as I strive to give Excellent service. Also please take the time to rate my help (1-5 stars), as it helps me as I have just helped you.