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How to Site Read a VAG Laser Key

The HU66 Standard 8 Cut VAG Laser Key

A very common VAG laser key for the locksmith as it’s fitted to almost the entire range of VAG vehicles, from 1998 models right through to 2014. There are 3 generations of this lock but the site reading remains the same for each.

The HU66, 8 cut lock has 4 key heights and 8 key positions.

The Genuine Lishi 3in1 tool picks and decodes the lock, as a key, from bow to tip as: 13213241.

vag laser key

You always read the same side of the HU66 key – the top track if the bow is to the left and the tip to the right. The cuts are easily read as all 4 heights are easily identifiable.  But, if you are unsure, you can use Callipers/Vernier’s to measure the heights using the below table:


  • 1 cut = 380
  • 2 cut = 320
  • 3 cut = 260
  • 4 cut = 200

Use Vernier’s to measure the cut as shown below:

vag 2

This is a very straight forward key to read and decode by eye.

The HU66, 9 Cut VAG Laser Key (Generic Additional Cut)

The Kessy System is used for models fitted with the generic first cut on a 9 cut VAG laser key.

This 9th cut is only used in the ignition lock and is not used in the door lock, so Lishi will still pick and decode the door lock as normal. Enter the cuts into your cut to code machine selecting the correct key series and the machine will automatically cut the generic extra cut for you, in the correct position.

The generic extra cut is always the first cut nearest the bow of the key.

Lishi picked the door lock and gave a reading, from bow to tip of: 13134224.

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You can clearly identify the generic cut in the photo; the machine cuts this for you after you’ve entered the 8 key cuts. The 8 key cuts are read in the exact same way as the traditional HU66 key, using either site read, by eye or Vernier’s.

Each cut has a different height – again with the bow to the left and the tip to the right, you site read the top track of the key.

It is still, in effect, exactly the same as the standard HU66 key, the generic cut operates a switch in the ignition so it is not a key cut as such, but is a generic cut on all models fitted with the Kessy system.

VAG 2015, 8 Cut Key: The New HU162 Profile                                  

The new key profile throws up some new challenges; with no key rules and no key information having yet been released, it’s very difficult to be 100% accurate with details given on this key.

Based on what information we have managed to gather, it seems that VAG have now gone for the use of inverted wafers similar to the PSA and Renault VA2/VA6 keyway used on the Clio 3 models.

If there are inverted wafers in such a narrow keyway there may be decode issues, as ideally you would want a 4 lift tool – but 4 lifters won’t work smoothly in such a narrow keyway!

We do not know if the inverted wafers are in fixed positions or if they are random like with the VA2/VA6.  If they are in fixed positions they are easily dealt with, but if random it’s much harder.

The Lishi Tool decodes the key in the same direction as it was picked, so from bow to tip as: 24321223.

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We can see that because of the inverted wafers, the Lishi tool is reading the positions differently.

The lock is a 2 up, 2 down configuration; so, when reading the key the same way as it was picked, each position is being read as follows:

Positions 1 and 2 down on the bottom track – positions 3 and 4 on top track – positions 5 and 6 on the bottom track – positions 7 and 8 on the top track.

It read as 24321223; so, it has read positions 2, 3, 5 and 8 correct, but has read the opposite cut in positions 1, 4, 6 and 7. This suggests positions 1, 4, 6 and 7 are inverted wafers.

If this is to be fixed in all locks then all we would need to do is reverse the cuts in these positions. So, instead of a decode of 24321223, we would reverse cuts in positions 1, 4, 6 and 7 which would leave us with a decode of 34331333.

NOTE: It is an impossible key to give an accurate decode and site read on until the key rules and series information is available.

VAG 2015, 9 Cut Key: The New HU162 Profile

And it’s all changed again with the 9 cut lock, which uses 3 side cuts in position 1 to 3, with corresponding conventional cuts.

NOTE: The door lock uses side cuts in these positions but the ignition does not use side cuts and instead uses the 9 conventional cuts.

Site reading the conventional cuts is simple; the lock has 9 cuts, 3 side cuts and 6 conventional cuts in the door and 9 conventional cuts in the ignition, with the conventional cuts being simple enough to site read.

For the rest of the ‘How to Site Read a VAG Laser Key’ guide, please go to CKL edition 2.