How to Program a Switchblade Key on a Volkswagen Passat

Written by paul dohrman
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How to Program a Switchblade Key on a Volkswagen Passat
Keyless entry fob (keyless remote image by Ray Kasprzak from

If you get a new switchblade keyless entry remote for your Passat, you will need to program your car's computer to recognise it and obey the remote's signal. Being able to do it yourself can save you the money you would spend by having a dealership do it for you.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Turn the ignition key to "On," but not so far as to turn the engine.

  2. 2

    Lock the driver's door from the outside with a second key. Use an actual key; don't resort to locking it with the wireless remote. The door can be open or closed. You can stay outside to complete the programming or have a seat leaving the door open, since you don't need to access the ignition key until after the programming for the remote is complete.

  3. 3

    Press the remote's "Open" button once. The car horn will sound to confirm that you have entered programming mode. Wait six seconds and then press "Open" again.

  4. 4

    Remove the ignition key. If you locked the driver's door, you can get back in through the passenger side to remove the ignition key. The programming is now completed for that specific key.

  5. 5

    Repeat Steps 1 through 4 to program each successive remote. However, in Step 3, start off by pressing the "Open" button twice. For the third remote, press it three times and so on. You must perform Step 4 and switch off the ignition between programming of different remotes.

Tips and warnings

  • These directions are for a 2004 Passat. They might not work for all model years. If you can't get them to work, try calling around to different dealerships. Someone may tell you the instructions for free over the phone. The farther away the dealership, the less incentive they have to sidestep your request and steer you into an expensive on-site programming.

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