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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Another Way To Steal Cars?

I got a email about this today and was hoping to get some clarification from anyone that works at a dealership or knows the rules.

It said that a thief can just walk by your car, write down the vin number in your front windshield, call the dealership and say they lost their keys, and the dealership will make a new key from the vin number. They can also get the keyless entry if they want. Is this an urban legend, or is it really that easy? If so, they could just open up your car and drive away like it was theirs!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 11:47 AM
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when i locked the keys in my car years ago, the car was under moms name, she went to a ford dealership, gave them the vin and her ssn, and got the key. Although, think about it, i dont think a dealership would just give the key out that easily.....i think the person writing the email has seen gone in 60 seconds too many times. Seems like quite an effort, thieves like to be simple.....

BTW, the tow truck driver who towed the Harley Edition F150 parked in my spot saturday night slim jimmed the truck and got in faster that I could count to 5....


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 12:19 PM
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It appears to be true:

http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/vin.asp

But from what I've heard, the dealerships are now very hesitant to do that without really, really good proof. (But that's just what I've heard).

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 12:22 PM
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i work for a ford dealer. yes from 1996 on you can get a key code by the vin number. but we require proof of ownership and verification of the owner. dont forget on alot of vehicles you have to get the key programmed to work which requires the car be at the dealer.....

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 01:29 PM
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So even if they were successful, there would be records and witnesses at the dealer, might be eaiser to catch them!




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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information guys, just wanted to see if this was true and to pass it along to everyone here if it is. Someone suggested, just in case, to put a piece of electrical tape over the VIN to prevent it from being seen without you there. Im sure the dealerships are cracking down like 94 Daily Driven 4.6L said, and I know anyone with talent could use a slim jim and start the car probably as fast as I could unlock and start it with a key, I was just thinking if the dealership didn't keep very good records or if they had some screw ups working there (which has been known to happen), someone could get a key and not have to worry about being seen with a slim jim or anything else.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BADMN12
i work for a ford dealer. yes from 1996 on you can get a key code by the vin number. but we require proof of ownership and verification of the owner. dont forget on alot of vehicles you have to get the key programmed to work which requires the car be at the dealer.....
what he said. plus only half of 96's can you get a code

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 09:27 PM
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Here in florida, Several years ago I called the Tag Office w/VIN and gave them my DL# (Which i could of made up) and got the register owner's name and address to the car parked at a local gas station.. (it was broke down) I wanted to see if he want to sell it.. Turns out, the car was stolen, and he was bewildered that I was calling him, and not the police.. he thanked me, and said the car isn't for sale....

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 11:59 AM
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Just had to get a new key for my 98 CV. I called the dealer and set everything up, but he would NOT give me the key without the title and a picture ID. So, I think it would be like in Gone in 60 secs; you would have to find a shady dealership.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 03:40 PM
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Sounds like what was happening in Toronto a few years back except they would use the plate and VIN to get the owners info and steal the keys from the house and drive the car right out of the garage.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 05:41 PM
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man thats a scary thought.... (car theft is something to think about here alot since we are so close to mexaco, once it's there you'll never see it again.....)

course then again a scary thought it that there are no background checks for a lock smith I had a key made for my trunk and they just walked out there with a blank key and boom were in... it took like oh 30 sec... and he was training at the time....

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 07:14 PM
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Yes it WAS true. Now, its been at least a year, dealerships require proof of ownership. The process basically goes like this ... You get the vin # and proof of ownership, someone with managerial clearance will log onto qcdealer and get your code, Next parts person has a book they will use to decode your key code into 8 different numbered tumblers. They have a cutter with dail type selections for each # and cut your decoded key number. If you have pats .... well it will only be good to open the door. But pats keys usually run $50 plus programming, if you have locked keys in, just buy a regular non-pats type key. If you have 2 pats keys programmed into vehicle already, you can buy a 3rd and program in w/o having to goto the dealer. You will need all 3 keys, process is to cycle first key 8 times, immediately insert 2nd programmed key and cycle 8 times, now insert 3rd unprogrammed key cycle 8 times and leave in run position. Once light stops flashing in cluster ... start your vehicle.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 10:09 PM
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Dealers usually only keep the key codes for 5-7 years. So it'd only work on some newer cars. even then, most dealerships know this and some have taken measures to prevent it.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 11:55 PM
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funny, my car doesnt have the original key, it has some aftermarket logo on it, it says ilco on it instead of ford.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 11:59 PM
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You can get a key copy, but good luck getting a new key from the dealer. they just don't keep the codes that long.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 01:14 AM
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mine didn't come with original keys either i just found a blank mercury key on ebay and then had it made onto that....

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 504 Bird
I was just thinking if the dealership didn't keep very good records or if they had some screw ups working there (which has been known to happen), someone could get a key and not have to worry about being seen with a slim jim or anything else.

hey, i resemble that remark.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 10:55 AM
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we require a dl and some sort of proof of ownership . like i said prevoiusly you can only get codes for 96+ cars and trucks, and 96 is a 50/50 chance. if your car has a pats key, it has to be towed to a dealership if you loose them all together. the individual dealerships do not keep those records anymore becasue they are available online thru ford and you have to have manager status to look at them.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk89cat
and you have to have manager status to look at them.

...or know the manager's logon and password!

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 12:46 AM
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do 97s have PATS keys?


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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
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do 97s have PATS keys?
Not Thunderbirds & Cougars...the only MN12 realated vehicle to ever have PATS keys, was the mark, and I don't think that even happened untill like 98...I know that the Mustang & probably some others had PATS back in the late 90s, but it probably wasn't untill like 1998 or so--and even then it was an OPTION on a lot of Ford/Merc/Lincoln vehicles...my mom had a 98 Mercury Mystaque and it had normal keys that where the size of PATS but with no chip, and I remember looking in the manual, and it said that PATS was an option at the time.

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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 09:36 AM
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all the mark8 from around 96+ had pats. and your right none of the tbird /cats had pats. the mustang, 96-97 they started using it too

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 09:43 AM
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I have a 2002 Explorer and it uses SPATS and, if you don't have at least two keys, the dealership must have the vehicle to create the replacement key. From what I was told about the process, the dealership requires access to the EEC and is able to make the key from that. One variable I hadn't thought of is that I had at least one key and they were able to cut a new one from that key and the chip in the key was done via the EEC. Without any keys I imagine this process would be even more difficult.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 01:43 PM
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I have a 2002 Explorer and it uses SPATS and, if you don't have at least two keys, the dealership must have the vehicle to create the replacement key. From what I was told about the process, the dealership requires access to the EEC and is able to make the key from that. One variable I hadn't thought of is that I had at least one key and they were able to cut a new one from that key and the chip in the key was done via the EEC. Without any keys I imagine this process would be even more difficult.
Process with no keys or just one key is the same. You hook up the WDS, goto program key, wait 10 mins for security access, cycle keys a few times each. Rather are not one key was programmed ... new keys and old keys need to be reprogrammed into the system. For instance: If you would have 2 pats keys and would want a 3rd. You would have 2 options, come in and have one pats key cut to match and then using both previously programmed keys; program the 3rd. If you would only have 1 key but maybe misplaced 2nd. The WDS will rewrite the pats keys that are present at time. If misplaced 2nd key is later found it will not start the vehicle unless manual entry is used ***see operators manual.

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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 04:09 PM
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one thing that i have always worried about is giving my real address to places i leave my car at for installs. Such as stereo, exhaust or anything else like that (when i was young and clueless-now i do it all). I've heard of ppl taking the keys up to get them copied while you left your car in their shop for a few hours or even days. Then they just look up your record and BINGO--know exactly where the car will be at 4 am and have a key to open it.

So i always just make up one on the spot b/c they don't need an address for anything anyways....Just a heads up..
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyneff
one thing that i have always worried about is giving my real address to places i leave my car at for installs. Such as stereo, exhaust or anything else like that (when i was young and clueless-now i do it all). I've heard of ppl taking the keys up to get them copied while you left your car in their shop for a few hours or even days. Then they just look up your record and BINGO--know exactly where the car will be at 4 am and have a key to open it.

So i always just make up one on the spot b/c they don't need an address for anything anyways....Just a heads up..
I've heard of that too from a certain audio and alarm installer. I suppose if they install your alarm, they program an extra clicker to your alarm as well...
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 10:09 AM
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Most of our keys are laser cut, but I will not even let my guys order keys until the customer shows us proof of ownership.

There was a Land Rover dealer not that far from me that would just cut keys for anyone who had a VIN. At one point there was about 10 Land rovers stolen in one week and they traced all the keys back to them. That was alot of fun.

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