key fob reprogramming

How to Reprogram Key Fobs Yourself at Home

In Electric by Magnus Sellén22 Comments

reprogram key fobElectronic car keys also called key fobs are extremely useful in controlling your car’s doors, trunk, alarm and can even remote start your car from a distance.

Like any other electronic device, these key fobs can malfunction after some time typically due to signal loss. However, in such a case, you can easily reprogram the remote yourself and use it.

In this article, we will explain you step-by-step how you can reprogram your car key remote so that you don’t have to take it to an auto-dealer and spend your precious money.

Key Fob Reprogramming in General

Different cars have different ways to reprogram the key fobs. The process mentioned down below is the simplest way to reprogram any remote in general. This guide works with the most cars on the market, but sometimes you need to find information for your exact car model. You can find more specific information about your car’s remote from the owner’s manual.

1. Replace the batteries inside the key fobs

Before you are doing anything, replace the battery in the key fob/s if you haven’t done so for a while. A bad key fob battery can give you a real headache while you are trying to reprogram it. The batteries are often cheap and easy to replace also. Check your owner’s manual if you do not know how to replace them.

2. Get Inside the Car

Get in the driver’s seat with your car keys and the remote and close all the doors. Closing the doors is very important, as it may disturb the process if you are not doing it.

3. Turn on the Ignition

Once seated, insert the keys into the ignition and turn to ‘On’ position so that the electrical systems are powered. Make sure that the ignition is not in the radio mode, and do not start the engine.

4. Press the Lock Button on Remote

With the key in ‘On’ position, press the lock button on the fob and turn the key back to ‘Off’ position. Repeat this process at least three times ending the cycle with the key in ‘On’ position. This sends an indicator to your electronic control units that it’s your key in the ignition, that’s sending out the signal, and it does save the data afterward.

5. Listen for a Lock Sound

Once you have repeated the above process, you will hear the lock sound. This indicates that you have entered the programming mode. Once this is done, press the lock button again within five seconds, and the programming will be successful.

6. Programming Additional Remotes

If there are additional remotes, press the ‘Lock’ button within 10 seconds after you enter the programming mode to program those remotes as well successfully.

7. Turn Off the Ignition

Once the above steps are performed, turn the ignition back to ‘Off’ position to terminate the programming procedure.

8. Step out from your car and test the result

Take your key fobs with your and leave the vehicle and close all doors. Test to both unlocks with all your keyfobs that got programmed to verify the function.

Specialist Hardware Required to Reprogram Key Fobs

For some cars, reprogramming key fobs may not be easy, and in that car, specialist hardware may be required. Typically, we would suggest that you call your authorized car dealer to take care of the situation, but this can be expensive.

You can have your car remote key re-encoded from any other auto locksmith company or a mechanic workshop for a comparatively lower price and have a separate master key made as well.

Creating a new master key may require a code card which can be found in your car’s manual.

Understanding Vehicle Security

key fob reprogrammingThe car security can be divided into two categories – Car entry and Starting the car.

In most of the modern cars, you are not required to insert keys to open the doors since they come equipped with remote locking/unlocking. The older car remote entry systems used RF systems which were not fully secure as their signal could be easily captured and played back to unlock and enter the vehicle.

The modern entry locks use a more sophisticated rolling code system which generates a new code every single time. The receiver on the vehicle also produces the same code, so both the electronic devices are perfectly synchronized. Infrared systems were also used previously by some European manufacturers who required pointing the remote towards the car to unlock, but most of them have been replaced with RF technology now.

Talking about starting the vehicle, traditional cars had a simple key lock system which could be unlocked from any similar key. This was convenient for thieves as it allowed them to drive away with any car easily. However, new cars are equipped with ECU technology as well as a transponder for added security.

Luxury vehicles, on the other hand, can be coded according to the driver’s specification. For instance, vehicles such as Rolls-Royce have a memory function, and as on as the driver inserts the key, the seats, headrest, mirrors, and steering wheel are adjusted according to the driver’s settings.

Manufacturers are now working towards removing the need for the key altogether and adding a fingerprint recognition system.

What is a Transponder?

The Transponder technology is apparent in many areas now that require security access and is now popular in modern automobiles as well. New vehicle keys now feature a transponder chip, and as the key is inserted into the ignition, the chip triggers by the radio frequency signal sent from the ignition barrel.

The chip then transmits a signal to the car’s ECU which when found to be correct disables the immobilizer and starts the engine.

If you want information regarding the key remote of any specific vehicle or if you are unable to reprogram your key fob, comment below and one of our trained technician will get back to you.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

  1. I have a 2001 Dodge caravan and I replaced the battery and even had it checked to see if it’s working. It is! But I’ve tried numerous ways to program the key fob and no results

    1. Yeah I got a fob but it doesn’t lock the doors if I programed it wrong can I re try to program it ? Also when I was programming it I acicdentently started it before the programmming was complete can I un do the battery in tbe car and key fob

      1. Tried to reset tire pressure system by holding both unlock and lock button now lock button is disabled wasn’t working manually either somehow fixed that now I can unlock manually but the unlock button on the key fob isn’t working

  2. Author

    Turn on your Ignition
    Press the UNLOCK button on your fob 4-10 seconds
    Press the panic button for 1 sec while holding the Unlock button.

    I hope this helps! 🙂

  3. I have tried everything! Nothing is working. I’m so aggravated. I don’t want to spend money I don’t have to get it programmed. Someone please help me……

    1. Author

      Unfortunately, if these methods are not working you may have to let a workshop with the right diagnostic equipment to reprogram/repair it for you. There might be a problem with your keyfob.

  4. Any advice for a 2005 G6? I know everything I’ve read says I have to have it programmed by locksmith or dealership, but I’m a geek and chronic DIYer. I would like to learn how to program FOBs through ODB2. I have Telus Drive, but it won’t act as an interface, even if it reports errors and such like another scan tool. I have a couple of new FOBs for my Pontiac because the original was a universal remote and the battery tabs broke away from the circuit board and then it reset itself. (I got it working but now it isn’t synced with the key transponder.) Any advice on where to go from here with programming the FOBs? As it is, I can’t even manually unlock my door with the key without activating the alarm until I start the ignition.

  5. I bought a 2002 Passat Volkswagen it has a busted ignition system and I have no key is there any way around that system thank you

  6. I am trying to program 2 new key fobs for a 2000 Buick LeSabre.

  7. trying to pro gram a new remote fob for 2013 chev traverse is this possible if so can you help

  8. Changed ignition barrel on 2007 Hyundai Accent & now car won’t start…it has immobilizer light flashing on dash. How do I reprogramme the new keys?

    1. Take the “Chip” from old key and put it in your new key. It is a small black plastic piece inside your key. It worked for me because I can take my key apart because it contains a battery for remote. Some keys are sealed and you cannot open them. You can take out chip from original key and glue it to the car ignition. That is the cheapest way. Hope this helps.

  9. My key fob was working Thursday night, it stopped working on Friday and now I can’t program it. It will enter programming mode and that’s all. 99 Taurus so 3.0 ohv v6.

  10. Hi I’ve lost the key to my 1998 VT SS 5ltr in Australia,
    Been stuck for nearly a year now I’m so disappointed my cars jst sitting there at the moment any advice to help me program a new key/fob
    Due to every day living expenses these days has put me in a spot where I just can’t afford to other wise at the moment
    Any help would be great thanks

  11. 2014 Mitsubishi outlander sport. Replaced the battery now it unlock the doors but car wont start .please help, im stuck at work.

  12. If I have a 2012 Honda Civic, can it be reprogrammed by myself using the on and off on the ignition and hitting the lock button? Would that also handle the immobilizer and I should be able to start my car?

  13. I’m glad you mentioned that cars that utilize key fobs will have different ways that they are programmed. The key fob for my wife’s car recently stopped working, and I don’t know if it is because the battery is dead or if it needs to be reprogrammed. I don’t want to break anything, so I think I will take it to a professional locksmith to have it fixed.

  14. We have a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle that the ignition switch locked up on so we ordered a new ignition switch and key but the car won’t run it starts but runs for a few seconds and quits can we program it our selves instead of having to haul it two hours to a Volkswagen dealership

  15. I have a 2009 chrysler 300c

    Replaced the batteries two times cant figure out how to do it myself. Any advice? Besides the locksmith who wants about 400

  16. Hey there,
    I have lost the key to my 1998 VT SS 5ltr in Australia,
    Been stuck for nearly a year now I’m so disappointed my cars just sitting there at the moment any advice to help me program a new key/fob
    Due to everyday living expenses, these days has put me in a spot where I just can’t afford to otherwise at the moment. I have chosen the best Locksmith Tools at that time.

    Thanks for sharing…

  17. Due to a very high demand and high ammount of comments, you have to wait for some time for your car questions to get answered. If you want to get fast answers from a certified master technician you can ask your questions here:
    Ask A Mechanic

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