Car key fobs can certainly make it easy to control your car. With the press of a button, you can lock or unlock your car. They allow you to control the various other functions of your car remotely. However, you might have to opt for a new car key fob because of losing one or because the earlier one is not functioning properly.
Unlike a traditional car key, you will have to then program a new car key fob. The good news, however, is that there is no need to hire a mechanic or a locksmith for the same.
Today, we will cover the simple steps you can undertake to program a key fob. Once you perform these steps, you anyone to make the new car key fob.
How to program a key fob
The steps which you need to follow to program a key fob include:
- Putting in the new batteries
- Getting into the car
- Turning on the car’s ignition
- Pressing the lock button
- Checking out for the lock sound
- Repeating the process for the other
- Turning off the ignition
- Testing the key fob
We will go into the details of all these steps below to make it easier for you to follow them and program the new key fob.
1. Put new batteries inside the key fob
If you face problems in an old car key fob or a completely new one. this is the very 1 st step you must follow. You have to replace the current batteries with a new ones. If you’re dealing with a new fob. you have to insert new batteries in them.
If the battery is weak or if the battery is not present inside the fob. you won’t be able to initiate the process of programming.
To avoid this problem, it is a good idea to replace the batteries first. In case you do not know how to do so. you can check the car’s manual to understand it better. If you have bought a car key fob separately, you can visit the seller’s website to replace the battery.
2. Get into the car
After that, you have to get inside the car. You have to get in the driver’s seat. Doing so. you have to use the old mechanical car key. That is because since the new fob is not programmed yet. it will not work.
Only when you get inside the car will you be able to program it appropriately.
You might think that since you are just programming the fob. you might leave the car doors open. However, that will interfere with the entire process. Once you get in the driver’s seat in the car. it is a good idea to close the car door so that you will be able to program the key fob without anv interference.
3. Turn on the car’s ignition
The status in which the car’s ignition system is plays a crucial role in programming the key fob. You have to turn on the ignition. It is not necessary to start the engine. However, simultaneously the ignition should not be in radio mode either.
Only when all the electrical systems of the car are on will you be able to program the key fob.
This is the process that programs the car key fob. That is why; you have to follow it diligently.
When the car key fob is in the on position, you have to press the lock button on the key fob. After that, you have to rotate the key to the off position.
While this might seem counterintuitive, you have to follow the process to program a key fob.
You have to repeat this at least three times.
The electronic systems in the car are programmed so that when you press the fob’s lock button and then bring the key to the off position, it indicates to the electronic systems that the key sending the lock command is a genuine one.
After three days, your car’s electronic systems will start accepting the signals from this car key fob. The data is saved permanently in the electronic system of your car. and therefore you won’t have to worry about programming the fob again and again.
5. Listen attentively for the lock sound
After you have repeated the process at least 3 times, your vehicle will have a lock sound. When the lock sound is emitted by your vehicle, it indicates that you are in the programming mode for your car.
Expert Tip: When you hear this lock sound, you have to press the lock button on the key fob again. However, you should do so within 5 seconds of the lock sound being emitted from your vehicle.
When you do so. the programming model of your vehicle will save all the details of the new car key fob. That is when the process is close to complete.
6 Repeat the process for other key fobs
We understand that you might have to program multiple car key fobs. If numerous family members use the car. it is good to program the multiple car key fobs right at this stage.
When you enter the programming mode, which is indicated by the lock sound of your vehicle, you have to press the lock button in the other car key fobs as well. However, the vehicle remains in the programming mode for a minimal time.
Ideally, you should press the lock button within 10 seconds of the vehicle emitting the lock sound. In that case, you will be able to save the data of the additional fobs in your vehicle as well. That way. they will also be programmed to control your vehicle.
7. Switch off the ignition
During all these steps, you will realize that your mechanical key or another car key fob is in the ignition slot of your vehicle.
You have to bring the key to the off position. Doing so will cut out all the power to your car’s electronic systems, and therefore the car will no longer be in the programming mode as well.
8. Get out of the car and test the key fobs
After that, you have to get out of your car and test the car key fobs or lock all the doors and test the lock and unlock buttons.
Only when all the car key fobs are working appropriately can you conclude that the procedure is complete.
While the steps above are relatively simple, we understand that you might have many other questions when it comes to programming a car key fob. We will answer these questions below to know all the details needed to program a key fob.
How do you program a universal key fob?
The procedure which we have highlighted above is to program a universal key fob. However, if you want to go with the vehicle-specific one. those key fobs are also available.
For programming a vehicle-specific key fob. you might require additional hardware. For the same, you will have to call the authorized car dealer. The process is expensive. The key fob will cost you higher and getting that specialist hardware equipment will also cost you more.
Another option that you have is that you can take that vehicle-specific key fob to a locksmith auto mechanic. They will also have the hardware needed to program a car-specific key fob. When you approach the locksmith or the mechanic, the cost will be comparatively lower than an authorized dealer.
In case you’re going with the vehicle-specific one. you will need a code card. In most cases, the code card is present in the car’s manual.
Thus, the procedure to program a universal car key fob is easy. However, it is only when you go with the vehicle-specific one that the procedure is elaborate and expensive.
Can you program a new key fob yourself?
Yes, you can program a car key fob yourself. However to do so easily, there are a few tips which you have to follow:
1. Press the required keys within 5 to 10 seconds
In the procedure above, we have highlighted that you might have to press keys within 5 to 10 seconds of a sound being emitted from your vehicle.
You have to always stick to this limit. If you press the key later, the vehicle will not register that key fob. In that case, you might have to start the procedure all over again. This can be time-consuming as well as cumbersome.
It is a good idea to be swift when programming the car key fob to avoid all this.
2. Always prefer a universal key fob
Using a car-specific key fob might sound like a good idea. However, it requires special coding hardware to program a car key fob. You will not be able to program it yourself and will have to call a professional. This means that you will have to spend more and also wait for a longer time as well.
To avoid all this trouble, you have to always go with the universal key fob. Most cars do. If you want to be double sure, you can refer to the manual of your car to find out if your car’s response to the universal kev fob is appropriate or not.
3. Do not assume the fob is programmed without testing
Even when the right sounds are emitted from your car. and you exit the programming mode of your car successfully, you should never assume that the fob is programmed.
Only when you test each fob multiple times can you assume that the fob is working. Otherwise you might carry around a fob that is not programmed and which won’t work when you want to use your car. To avoid all this trouble, do check the fob multiple times after programming it
4. Never initiate the procedure with an old battery
A lot can go wrong when a fob consists of an old battery. For example, your car might not register its signal. In that case, even if you try to go through the programming procedure multiple times, you will not be able to achieve anything.
If the fob battery dies down in between, you might never know whether the data gets registered with the electronic systems of your car or not. In that case, you won’t be able to move any further.
Batteries of the key fobs are very cheap, and therefore, it makes perfect sense to go with a new one rather than try to get some extra juice from an old battery.
5. Do not leave the procedure midway
Under no circumstances should you leave the procedure midway. The procedure in itself will take just 10 minutes to 20 minutes. That is why, when you have 30 minutes of free time, you can initiate this procedure.
It is also a good idea to initiate this procedure when the weather is not inclement That way. you will easily access your car and test the key fobs once you have programmed the car with them.
6. Failure might require data eraser
If the procedure fails in between for any reason and if the data has been registered with your car. and still the key fob is not working properly, you might need a data eraser.
The problem is that you will need to hire an expert for the data erasing. You cannot do so on your own. That is why it is essential to follow the procedure step-by-step and ensure that you can complete all the steps to program a key fob.
7. Refer to the manual before programming
If you have any doubts, it is a good idea to refer to the car’s manual before programming a key fob. Most car manufacturers have listed the procedure you have to follow to program a new key fob in great detail. That is why. instead of being in doubt and initiating the procedure, it is a much better idea to refer to the manual before programming the key fob.
Along with this guide and the manual, you should have no doubts regarding the programming of a key fob.
8. Do not forget to close the car door
Keeping the doors open is a general tendency when you get inside the car because you need to get out within a couple of minutes. However, if you keep the doors open, you won’t be able to program the key fob because you need to press the lock button to enter the programming mode of your car.
That is why it is a good idea to always close the car door or get into the driving seat. Once you do so. it will become easier for you to program the key fob.
With the help of these simple tips, appropriately programming the key fob is certainly easy and possible. How much does it cost to reprogram a key fob?
The Reprogramming of a car key fob requires professional intervention. That is because there might be a need for a data eraser. In that case. the cost can vary from $ 50-$ 400.
The cost depends on a few factors like:
- If the data erasing is required, that alone can cost upwards of $ 100.
- For the more affordable models of cars, the charge is generally on the lower side. If you need to reprogram the car key fob of a specific car, the cost will, of course be around $300.
You have to take these two factors into account and after that you will get an idea regarding the cost of reprogramming the car key fob. Generally speaking. programming a new key fob is much easier than reprogramming an old one.
How to program car key fob push start?
The procedure to program a key fob push starter is a bit different.
- You have to hold the fob in your hand, and after that. you have to get into the driver’s seat. You should hold the fob in one hand and the start button of your vehicle in another.
- After that, you have to press the start button of your car 15 times quickly. There shouldn’t be more than 2 seconds between each of those button presses. The handbrake should be pulled up during this step, but you shouldn’t place your feet on the break since you aren’t starting the engine.
- After you have pressed the start button of your car 15 times. after that you have to use the fob and press the lock button. Once you do so, the pairing process will be complete.
To erase the memory of a car key fob. you will need a diagnostic tool by the name of OBD2. You need a scanner tool as well. which can work with the car’s model. Generally speaking. the procedure is not that easy and therefore it is a good idea to hire a professional to help you out in that case.
The procedure to program a key fob is not that difficult and involves simple things like putting the new batteries into the key fob. getting into the car. turning on the ignition. entering the programming mode. etc.
Once you follow the procedure highlighted above and the tips we have mentioned, it will be relatively easy to program a key fob. No longer will you need a professional to do so.