I have a 2014 Honda Pilot. It has two kinds of keys, one has buttons on the key itself the other does not have buttons, the one without buttons is a valet key.

When I went to the Honda dealer to get a spare valet key, they had to program it. There are no obvious electronics. It looks like a metal key with a plastic cover over the handle (bow). I have always assumed it was safe to submerge in water, so I use it when I go boating. But I got wondering if they have to program it does that mean it needs to stay dry?


It probably has an RFID chip inside that's read by the car in order to deactivate the immobiliser. I wouldn't have thought it would be affected by water, but I'd not take it too deep...

I'm guessing from this and your other recent question that you are taking part in an activity that involves getting yourself wet, and you want to keep your keys dry? I'd suggest getting hold of a small waterproof container for the keys - a quick search online for "waterproof key case" brings up a variety of types designed for both keys and phones, and suitable for everything up to scuba diving...

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    After posting the question I found this PDF on honda.com and a couple of blog posts suggesting that after a couple of times going swimming with the valet key it will no longer start the car, but will still open the door. I have not had time to research more, you are welcome to leverage on this to expand your answer. Jul 18 '16 at 15:34

If you get the valet key wet it will eventually not start the car, but will unlock the doors. I read a few blog posts suggesting on accidental dip in the water did not kill them but prolonged (a couple times) exposure did.

The valet key works only in the ignition and the door locks

These keys contain electronic circuits that are activated by the Immobilizer System. They will not work to start the engine if the circuits are damaged.

Keep the keys away from liquids. If they get wet, dry them immediately with a soft cloth.

The keys do not contain batteries. Do not try to take them apart. Source(PDF)

The best solution is one that keeps your electronic/Immobilizer keys completely dry.

Related sister site post How can I take keys with me while swimming?

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