Ilco Update: Keys & Key Management

May 3, 2021
Two apps are aimed at helping locksmiths, while two new releases add to the company’s Look-Alike line of remotes.

It should come as no surprise that with respect to new products, Ilco has keys on its mind.

The automotive arm of dormakaba not only continues to release new aftermarket remotes by the dozen in regular installments, but it also now has two mobile apps aimed at helping locksmiths and customers keep track of their keys. Both apps, available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices, should benefit locksmiths, says Todd Adams, product manager of automotive for North America at Kaba Ilco.

The MYKEYS Pro app, which is under the auspices of Kaba Ilco brands Silca and Advanced Diagnostics as well as Ilco, is geared toward locksmiths, and Adams calls it “the backbone of everything Smart Pro,” referring to the company’s well-known automotive key programmer that uses MYKEYS Pro as its database. The database of key-programming information for more than 5,000 vehicles has been a free part of the MYKEYS Pro app for registered users since the app’s release. However, by the time you read this, it also should include access to Ilco’s catalog of informational videos for a nominal subscription fee. Adams says a subscriber should be able to access about 1,000 videos by the time the subscription goes live.

The second app, MYKEYS Safe, is meant for consumers, but locksmiths could benefit from it by participating in the Safe program. How it works: Consumers use the app to find a participating locksmith and have the locksmith scan their key information, where it’s stored in Ilco’s cloud server. Then, if the consumer were to lose their keys, the app would connect them with a nearby participating locksmith. (It doesn’t have to be the same locksmith who scanned the keys.) The locksmith would receive a code to the key information, which allows them to cut and program a new key without having to have the original in their possession.

“It’s like a referral service,” Adams says, adding that mechanical as well as electronic information can be included. The locksmith never sees the key data; instead, it goes straight to an Ilco Futura Pro key machine.

Remotes Lineup Expands

As for the keys themselves, Ilco has added 109 aftermarket models in the past year, nearly all for their Look-Alike line of remotes that are meant to resemble the original equipment. The latest releases, in January and March 2021, included:

  • Twenty-nine models for Chrysler (three-, four-, five-, six- and seven-button versions), covering several Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brand vehicles, including the 2011–2018 Chrysler 300, the 2017–2020 Chrysler Pacifica, the 2015–2018 Dodge Challenger and the 2014–2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Among the new models are 17 so-called pod remotes that cover a range of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles and even 2009–2012 Volkswagen Routans.
  • Nine models for Nissan (three-, four- and five-button versions), including a four-button model and a five-button model that cover the 2019-2020 Infiniti QX60. Other remotes cover several 2019-2020 Nissan makes, including the Altima, Rogue, Sentra and Versa.
  • Eight four-button models for General Motors, which cover a range of vehicles from 1998 to 2009 for all current GM brands and a few no longer in use, such as Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn.
  • One four-button model for Acura, covering the 1997–1999 CL and 1996–2001 Integra.
  • One four-button model for Mazda, covering the 2004–2008 RX-8.
  • One three-button model for Toyota, covering the 2018–2020 C-HR.

Only one of the new remotes is a remote headed key — a three-button model for the Nissan Rogue has a flip key head — and it doesn’t require the use of a laser-key cutter, as do some Ilco Look-Alike models.

All of the new Chrysler and Nissan remotes have a transponder. Also, seven of the GM models allow for on-board programming (OBP), although not for every vehicle covered by the particular remote. This is worth noting, because vehicles that can use OBP-capable remotes don’t require an expensive programming tool to service. The new remotes for Acura and Mazda also allow for OBP.

More remotes were expected to be released during the spring, Adams says. He says Ilco’s Look-Alike line now has more than 300 SKUs, and all can be viewed at

“It’s been helpful in helping locksmiths to ID remotes,” he says of the website, which was launched November 2019. “There are so many variations now that selecting the right key really depends on the trim [level] of the vehicle.” He says the website allows locksmiths to cross-reference original-equipment manufacturer information with the proper SKU and look up Federal Communications Commission transmission data.

New Programming

As for fellow automotive brand Advanced Diagnostics, Adams says 2021 should include a number of software releases for the Smart Pro programmer, although he couldn’t be more specific about arrival times. That’s because of the complexity of the work, which can result in varied releases, he says.

As this issue went to press, the most recent release was an update for the company’s Toyota 2020 software and for Hyundai/Kia for 2019–2021 models in September 2020, but Adams says locksmiths can expect several new releases. Software that covers Mazda vehicles might be out by the time you read this, with Mercedes-Benz possible in the early summer and perhaps even a release for the 2021 Ford F-150.

“That’s a big one,” he says of the F-150, “because that’s the biggest selling vehicle in America every year.”

For more information, go to and