Best Car Key Programmers in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

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Car key programmers are necessary for most people who have a car. They can help you if your keys get locked away in the trunk of your vehicle or if you lose them altogether. But how do you know which one is best?

This article will discuss the best car key programmers on the market and what makes them stand out from the competition. So whether you're a first-time buyer or just looking for an upgrade, read on for our recommendations!

Comparison of the Best Car Key Programmers

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Supports all OBD2-compliant vehicles
  • Effectively programs key fobs
  • Performs bi-directional tests
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  • IMMO functions
  • Duplicates lost key and make spares
  • Supports full systems diagnostics and 23+ reset functions
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  • Supports all system diagnostics
  • Read PIN/CS
  • Supports ABS auto bleed, oil reset, and DPF regeneration
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Autel MaxiPro MP808K

PROS

  • Supports all OBD2-compliant vehicles
  • Effectively programs key fobs for a wide range of vehicles
  • Performs bi-directional tests of components
  • Supports regeneration

CONS

  • Not comprehensive IMMO functions
  • Key programming not compatible with other vehicle models

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the buyers said that this tool works well in programming keys. Another buyer raves it is a good scanner as well.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The Autel MP808K is the best diagnostic scanner with key programming features, but it isn't a dedicated key maker. As a result, it lacks some of the capabilities of other expert key programmers. However, this is best known for its extensive diagnostic capabilities, making it versatile.

Since the Autel MP808K has both key programming and OBD2 interfaces, you can use it to upgrade your current car scanner or use it as part of a new purchase. And when it comes to compatibility, it works with multiple vehicle models and car manufacturers.

Furthermore, the Autel MaxiPro MP808K auto scan tool comes with 1-year free software updates, ensuring customers get what they paid for. You may also contact the entire team of Autel engineers on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with Data Manager and Remote Assistance capabilities!

Who Will Use This Most

The MP808K car key programmer is ideal for professionals and auto mechanics. It is not, however, limited to professionals. This tool is also helpful for hobbyists or persons who want to program their car keys daily.

Autool Xtool X100 PAD Plus Tablet

PROS

  • IMMO functions
  • Duplicates lost key and make spares
  • Supports full system diagnostics and 23+ reset functions
  • Works with most vehicles in the markets

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Lacks instructions

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the buyers is impressed by how easy to use and update this programmer. The other one likes its size and case as well. However, the one noted that you need some experience using automotive scan tools to operate this to its fullest extent.

Why It Stands Out To Us

Autool Xtool X100 PAD Tablet is the newest automotive programming tool to combine key programming and full system diagnostics. In addition, it may also perform some of the IMMO functions, including reading pin code, generating a key, making dealer key, all-key-lost (read PIN/CS), Immobilizer data reading, writing, and more.

Another advantage of this car key programmer is the comprehensive vehicle coverage. As mentioned above, it is not just a key programmer but a diagnostic tool, which means it may read/erase DTCs, view data stream, freeze frame, and ECU info. 

It may also access and diagnose all available modules on a wide range of vehicles, including PCM, ECM, ABS Fuel System, Light System, A/C system, and more with comprehensive regional vehicle coverage.

Who Will Use This Most 

Autool Xtool X100 PAD Tablet is best for customers using it as a diagnostic tool. Professionals can also use this to read/erase DTCs, view data stream, freeze frame, and access all available modules on various vehicles.

Autel MaxilM IM508

PROS

  • Supports all system diagnostics
  • Reads PIN/CS
  • Supports ABS autobleed, oil reset, and DPF regeneration
  • Diagnoses modules for the US, Asian and European vehicles

CONS

  • Expensive
  • No built-in diagnostic camera

What Recent Buyers Report

A recent buyer said his tool is excellent if you program your keys. If you want to clear codes, reset sensors and program new keys, this is the cheapest/best option.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The Autel MaxilM IM508 is also one of the best tools that are not only used as a key programmer but also a scanner. Aside from making spare keys, it can read and erase fault codes. It supports oil reset, EPB service, SAS calibration, DPF regeneration, and BMS.

Furthermore, this program may access and analyze OE-level diagnosis on all vehicle modules, including PCM, ECM, EPS, PDM, BCM, TPM, SCCM, etc. Autel MaxilM IM508 supports major electronic systems like ABS, SRS (airbag), Engine (transmission), and Brake System.

Who Will Use This Most

Mechanics and DIY'ers looking for a professional key programmer and a scanner at the same time will benefit from this.

XTOOL EZ400 Pro

PROS

  • Retrieve ECU Information
  • Actuation Test
  • Touch screen
  • Reads pin code from the vehicle IMMO system

CONS

  • Unreliable tech support
  • Not seamless user interface

What Recent Buyers Report

One recent purchaser seemed thrilled about not having any problem using this car key programmer. Meanwhile, another satisfied customer mentioned that this is a good replacement for Bluedriver as it manages to scan most of the modules his blue driver couldn't.

Why It Stands Out To Us

It stands out because this tool supports ECU coding and bidirectional control. These features command systems and components to test their working status without using vehicle controls. In addition, this professional tool performs OE-level diagnosis like an OEM diagnostic tool. 

It performs the most functions of an old scanner, such as read/erase codes, ECU information, live data, freeze frame, actuation test, and ECU coding for all available car systems.

XTOOL EZ400 Pro supports most reset functions such as key programming, ABS bleeding, injector coding, oil light reset, TPMS reset, and many more. You may select the real-time data you need, save it as a diagnostic record, and play it back without rechecking the vehicle. However, these functions are not compatible with all cars. 

Who Will Use This Most

XTOOL EZ400 Pro is perfect for DIY’ers and professional mechanics that need to re-code repair/replace modules. Also, this is ideal for private car owners who need to make a spare key for their cars.

Auto Key Programmer Ikey820 OBD2

PROS

  • Plug and play via OBD2 port
  • Easy to read pin code
  • Programming only takes one minute
  • Can program all lost key

CONS

  • Lacks instructions

What recent Buyers Report

A recent buyer expressed his satisfaction with this simple but functional car key programmer. The buyer mentioned how he could program remote start on OEM keys and program in about a minute from start to finish.

Why It Stands Out To Us

We like this key programmer because it is a plug-and-play device. You don't have to break a sweat when using this tool as it is straightforward to operate. This primary function is reading pin code, programming lost keys, adding keys, and erasing keys.

In addition, it supports comprehensive and deep coverage for all European, Asian and American vehicles. Autek Key Programmer Ikey820 covers over 60 carmakers, and no ticket is needed. This means you can program as many cars as you can.

The reviews have shown that this key programmer tool is reliable and does its job! It is proven to work with car models like Lexus GX470, Cadillac Escalade, and Kia.

Who Will Use This Most

This car key programmer is best for professional locksmiths, car mechanics, and people looking to program a new key. If you have misplaced your key or just need an extra one programmed, then this tool is perfect for you!

Autel MaxilM IM608 Upgraded XP400

PROS

  • Can make exclusive keys
  • With programming and coding functions for IMMO related systems
  • Immobilizer feature
  • Bluetooth range up to 210 ft.

CONS

  • Pricey among others
  • US charger not included

What Recent Buyers Report

A customer says everything about the product is excellent. The customer service quickly responds for help, and the item is shipped in good factory conditions.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The Autel MaxiIM IM608 is enhanced with XP400 Key Programmer to upgrade its functionality. The upgraded version added features such as reading infrared smart keys, making exclusive keys, and reading/writing EEPROM data.

Aside from performing a key programming function, this gadget also extensively uses the scanner's capabilities. ABS autobleed, Oil Reset, SRS, SAS, DPF, BMS, EPB, Injector Coding Learning & Throttle are just a few of the features it includes.

Furthermore, it has an immobilizer, an IMMO box, a vehicle part that recognizes the key directly. MaxiFlash is created to deliver quick PC communication on any contemporary car. 

Who Will Use This Most

Because the tool is created specifically for Benz infrared smart keys, this will benefit Benz drivers.

LAUNCH X431 Diagun V

PROS

  • Fast vehicle troubleshooting
  • Works for all car systems
  • Long battery life
  • Supports 32GB of RAM

CONS

  • Bit pricey
  • Small screen

What Recent Buyers Report

The recent buyer was looking for a great scan tool that can check every module on cars and got tired until this scan tool arrived. This helped the buyer check every car truck module and read every code.

Why It Stands Out To Us

This programmer tool stands out not just because of its lower price but also its combined functions. This is an excellent car key programmer as it reads ECU version for 150 brands or more than 100,000 cars.

LAUNCH X431 Diagun V comes with more than 30 service functions and can generate and share vehicle reports in just one click! In addition, the LAUNCH X431 Diagun V is a bidirectional scan tool that may be used to request information or give orders for different tests and procedures. 

It can activate relays, injectors, coils and perform system checks, among other things. For key programming features, it supports key fob programming, which is primarily used to disable the lost vehicle keys and program a new replacement key fob for special vehicles. However, please note that the key programming function is not universally compatible.

Who Will Use This Most

LAUNCH X431 Diagun V is ideal for people who work with automobiles regularly. This tool will benefit professionals and private automobile owners since it has more valuable features for tasks and even DIY repairs.

TOPDON T-Ninja1000

PROS

  • Comes with a step-by-step guide
  • Online database of over 5,000 vehicles
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Support most vehicles in North America, Asia, and Europe

CONS

  • Need a laptop to install

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the recent buyers mentioned that this product is excellent and easy to use. Another buyer used this tool several times over the last couple of months, and it still worked flawlessly.

Why It Stands Out To Us

This car key programmer is less expensive than others but has a better performance. It supports Locksmith level functions for blade and smart keys, which may read pin code. It may also make all keys lost, add keys and erase keys.

It is also suited for beginners since the step-by-step operation instructions guide you through every stage of the crucial programming procedures, with all required key information supplied for your comfort. And for compatibility, it covers all major manufacturers in the US, including Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Japanese manufacturers.

Who Will Use This Most

Professional locksmiths, car enthusiasts, and general drivers can use this car key programmer. The best about this tool is that beginners can program their car keys without hassle.

Simple Key Programmer

PROS

  • Programs up to 4 keys
  • Affordable
  • Compact design
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS

  • No added features
  • Need one working key to work

What Recent Buyers Report

The recent buyer of this car key programmer is delighted as this product worked as described. The buyer also liked it because it took only 11 minutes to program each key on the 2014 F150.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The Simple Key programmer makes it easy to program your car key with remote fob buttons for different Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles. This kit enables you the option of programming up to 8 keys per single vehicle - making "do-it-yourself" automotive repairs a breeze!

In addition, it is very straightforward to use, just connect the programmer to your vehicle and follow the step-by-step instructions to program the new key in about 15 minutes. The great thing about this product is that it comes with a user-friendly instructions guide. And if something doesn't work for your vehicle, there's always their full money-back guarantee! 

Who Will Use This Most

This key programmer is best suited for DIY'ers. Whether you are a beginner or a professional mechanic, this tool will be helpful for you.

JR Tool for Toyota G and H Chip Key

PROS

  • Easy to carry
  • Plug and play
  • Compatible with Toyota G chip vehicle
  • Transponder and remote control keys compatible with Toyota

CONS

  • Only support a few special H chips
  • Need to have one working key to make this work

What Recent Buyers Report

The recent buyer had trouble programming the keys and almost gave up. But after buckling the seatbelt, it worked!

Why It Stands Out To Us

The JR Tool for Toyota G and H Chip Key is an excellent choice because it is easy to carry and use and compatible with various vehicles. However, there are a few downsides: it only supports a limited number of H chips, and you need to have one working key that comes with the vehicle to make it work.

The reviews have shown that this device is reliable and still worth the money despite its drawback. With its low price tag, you may save a lot of money because you don't need to pay anyone to make a spare key for you. Moreover, you may carry it anywhere with a compact size and won't take up much space in your toolbox.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who owns a Toyota Techstream vehicle with a 4d67/68/72(G) chip will benefit from this car key programmer.

Match Tool AK90+ Key Programmer

PROS

  • Fit for BMW EWS CAS from 1995-2009
  • Can renew lock or unlock keys
  • EML 10030A programming chips
  • Programs original chips
  • Supports change VIN

CONS

  • Lacks instructions

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the recent buyers said that this tool could get over the learning curve. Another buyer mentioned that this is a great champ programmer.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The Match Tool AK90+ utilizes the latest updated software version. With this software, you may change VIN, Mileage, and renew, lock or unlock keys. In addition, it may directly read data dumps from MCU without removing MCU from the circuit board. 

Programming by yourself is easy. Connect the device's power and USB cable after installing the software package. The computer will prompt you to install the device driver. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Match Tool AK90+ is a must-have for any car enthusiast who wants to make their keys.

XTOOL D7 Automotive

PROS

  • One-click auto-detect process
  • Comes with 28+ service functions
  • Displays live data stream in text or graphs
  • Key matching and learning feature
  • 36 Months free software updates

CONS

  • AuoVIN do not work in some cases
  • Limited coverage of special functions

What Recent Buyers Report

The recent buyers of this automotive tool had no problem with their purchase. Most of them mentioned that this is fast, easy to use, and worked great in programming remote and keys.

Why It Stands Out To Us

The XTOOL D7 Automotive is the newest all-in-one service tool. It supports special functions such as active tests, oil reset, EPB, SAS, DPF, BMS, Throttle, and many more. 

In addition to those functionalities, TOOL D7 can send commands to components to test the functional status without using vehicle controls. When it comes to key programming, the XTOOL D7 can handle a wide range of IMMO tasks, including creating a dealer key and programming a new fob key. 

This device's finest features include adding an extra key, remote learning, key matching/learning, and smart key reading for certain vehicles. However, this function varies across vehicles and may not work with VW/BMW/BENZ or Toyota smart keys. 

Who Will Use This Most

This tool is perfect for different users. Professional mechanics will find it incredibly useful in their line of work, while those who are simply looking to add an extra key to their set or program a new one will also find it helpful.

Car Key Programmer Buying Guide

Price

The best car key programmer doesn't always have to be the most expensive one on the market. However, you must not settle for cheap ones and end up with a subpar product. Choose something affordable without sacrificing quality.

Compatibility

The best car key programmer compatible with various makes and models will be the best choice to make if you own many different vehicles or plan on purchasing any in the future.

Additional Functions

Some best car key programmers come with additional functions such as clone remote keys, program smart keys, programming remotes, transponders, and more. If these functions are essential to you, make sure to look for a unit that has them.

Car Key Programmer FAQ

1. What is a car key programmer?

A car key programmer is a gadget that allows you to program new automobile keys or remotes. You may also use it to update your vehicle's computer settings, such as the immobilizer.

2. How long does programming a car key take?

The key-fob programming generally takes 15-30 minutes, and the entire procedure, including making the spare mechanical key, rarely lasts more than an hour.

3. Can you bypass the transponder key?

It is not advised to bypass your automobile's immobilizer because it will render your vehicle insecure. Because this critical feature will no longer be operational, your car will be more vulnerable to theft and abuse.

4. Is it possible to create a key from a VIN?

A car key can be manufactured with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) number as long as you show ownership of your vehicle.

5. Can you program your key to your car?

Even if you don't have a key that works, certain manufacturers allow you to program a single key. Keep in mind that you'll need to have the key cut to fit the ignition, which implies you'll need to produce proof of ownership to a locksmith.

Conclusion

For the best car key programmer of 2022, there's no doubt that the best choice is Autel MaxiPro MP808K. Its strong features and capabilities will be a valuable addition to any professional or amateur mechanics' toolbox. 

The fact that car key programming is not its primary function means that it is best suited for those who need to do more than just a program or clone keys, making it the best option. We hope this article has helped you in your search for the best car key programmer and that you find the perfect tool for your needs!