Type Three Tuning Page -- Ignition switch
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Jim Adney writes about key blanks:
Just a quick primer: Each VW lock and key has a key code. The key codes have the
form NN L NNN where the Ns are numerals and the L is a letter. The letter is the
designator for the particular blank that that series of locks takes.
For example, my old 68 had the key code 48 K 020. This meant that it used a "K"
blank. Later VWs used an "M" blank. K and M are VW's designations for the
blanks, but if you go to a locksmith they will use a different designation that
attempts to cover ALL the world's locks.
The original keys had the key code stamped on them and the locks themselves also
have the code stamped on them. If you want to have a key made to the correct
profile, the best way is to remove the passenger door handle and get the code
from that lock. I suggest the passenger door because the driver's door has
occasionally been replaced and will have a different code on it, even if the old
cylinder has been used to keep the keying the same.
To be really sure you can take both door handles off or even the ignition lock,
too. The rear hatch lock on the squareback also has the code stamped on it.
A real locksmith can take your key code and look up the profile that your key
should be cut to. They can then make a good key without an original. This is
sometimes useful if the key you have been given is a copy of a copy of a copy of
If you are lucky enough to actually have one of your baby's original keys (each
car came with 2), I suggest that you put it aside and use a copy for daily use,
but always have duplicates made from the original.