What's the Point of a 'Valet Key' That Won't Start the Car? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's the Point of a 'Valet Key' That Won't Start the Car?

When I had to get new (reprogrammed) keys at the dealer for my wife's 2007 Subaru Outback, they sold me a 'valet key' (without a chip inside, I think). I thought a valet key would start the car but not open the glovebox or trunk (though the Outback has no trunk). But this one will open the doors, turn the ignition on, but will not start the car.

The only point I can see is to carry it with you in case you lock the real key inside. But my wife says she always uses the pushbutton remote fob to lock the car, and the key's with that, so she can't lock herself out.

What am I missing?

/Mr Lynn
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I can drive my car with my Valet Key.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrlynn View Post
When I had to get new (reprogrammed) keys at the dealer for my wife's 2007 Subaru Outback, they sold me a 'valet key' (without a chip inside, I think). I thought a valet key would start the car but not open the glovebox or trunk (though the Outback has no trunk). But this one will open the doors, turn the ignition on, but will not start the car.

The only point I can see is to carry it with you in case you lock the real key inside. But my wife says she always uses the pushbutton remote fob to lock the car, and the key's with that, so she can't lock herself out.

What am I missing?

/Mr Lynn
The valet still contains a RFID chip, same as the other keys, but is cut differently to prevent access to the glovebox. If it will turn the car on but won't start it and the other keys work just fine, they never programmed it to the car. Take it back and have them make sure all of the keys work properly with the car.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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OK, I finally broke down and called the Parts Dept at our local Subaru dealer, where I had the new keys made.

The parts guy said that they can't make 'valet keys' for 2007 Outbacks. What they sold me was a 'door key', which has no chip, and cannot start the car. It will open the doors and turn on the ignition—so you can listen to the radio, I guess. I forgot to ask if it will open the glovebox. It cost $10. Don't ask me why I bought it.

I'll give it to my wife to keep in her purse, in case she ever accidentally locks herself out. She claims that's impossible, but. . .

Thanks for the responses. False alarm, I guess.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They sold you a $1 key for $10 is what they did. If it were my, I'd return it. Obviously they didn't explain what the key does very well at the point of sale. If they can't create a valet key then they shouldn't have told you it was a valet key.

And if I remember correctly, the alarm will go off if you unlock the car manually, after locking it with a remote, and turn the ignition on. Rendering the key pretty useless.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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isn't there still a 'valet mode' you place the security system in? wouldn't the key work then?
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vr4Legacy View Post
They sold you a $1 key for $10 is what they did. If it were my, I'd return it. Obviously they didn't explain what the key does very well at the point of sale. If they can't create a valet key then they shouldn't have told you it was a valet key.
Well, it was several months ago, so I'll have to chalk it up to customer stupidity.

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And if I remember correctly, the alarm will go off if you unlock the car manually, after locking it with a remote, and turn the ignition on. Rendering the key pretty useless.
I don't think so. I've unlocked the car manually many times, as I don't carry the remote with me (I don't usually drive the car), and no alarm has gone off. Then, I don't know if this one actually has an alarm. Does have a red blinking security-system light, but no sign of what it does.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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isn't there still a 'valet mode' you place the security system in? wouldn't the key work then?
Good question; I'll have to check the owner's manual. Although the parts guy told me that a true valet key will have a chip in it; he says this one doesn't.

/Mr Lynn
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