The electronic car keys, also called key fobs, are equipped with a number of features that can be used to control your car’s doors, trunk, and alarm, and they can even be used remotely to start your car.
It is important to note that these key fobs, like any other electronic device, are prone to malfunctioning after some time, usually because of the loss of the signal. You can, however, reprogramme the remote all by yourself in such a case so that it will still be able to be used in such a situation.
There is a step-by-step procedure you can follow in order to learn how to program your car key fob so you won’t have to drag it to the dealer and waste your valuable time and money.
How to program a key fob
Different models of cars have different ways in which their key fobs can be programmed. If you wish to reprogram a remote in general, the following process is the most straightforward and easiest way to do so. As you can see, this guide works with the majority of car models on the market, but there are times when you require specific information for your car model. The owner’s manual of your car should contain information specific to the remote that you use to operate your car. In order to program a key fob at home, follow these steps:
1. Battery replacement for key fobs
Whether or not you have replaced the battery in your key fob/s for quite some time, it would be a good idea to do so before doing anything else. When you are trying to reprogram a key fob battery that is malfunctioning, it can cause you a lot of headaches. It is not uncommon for batteries to be cheap and to also be easy to replace. The owner’s manual will tell you how to replace them if you do not know how to do it.
2. Get inside the car
Put your keys in the ignition and use the remote to lock all the doors and get into the driver’s seat. If you leave one of the doors open, it is very likely that it will distract the process, which is why it is very important to close them.
3. Turn on the ignition
It is recommended that you insert the key into the ignition once you have seated yourself in the vehicle and turn it to the “On” position to start the electrical system. If the ignition is in the radio mode, make sure that the engine is not started, and make sure that the radio is not on.
4. On the remote, press the lock button
In order to turn the key back to the ‘Off’ position, push the lock button on the fob’s lock and turn the key once again to the ‘On’ position. Repeat this process at least three times, making sure that the key remained in the ‘On’ position at the end of the cycle. By doing this, you are sending an indicator to your electronic control units to indicate that you are sending a signal from your key in the ignition, and the information is then saved after that.
5. Look for a lock sound
It will take a couple of minutes for the lock sound to be heard once you have repeated the process above. The indicator on the right side of the screen indicates that programming mode has been entered. This will be followed by the locking button being pressed again within five seconds, and the programming will be completed once this has been done.
6. The programming of additional remote controls
In case there are additional remotes that require programming, be sure to press the ‘Lock’ button within 10 seconds after entering the programming mode to make sure those remotes are also programmed successfully.
7. Ignition off
To complete the programming process, turn the ignition back to the “Off” position after you have completed the above steps.
8. Step out of your car and test
It would be best if you took your key fobs with you when you left the vehicle and closed all doors. Make sure all your key fobs that you program have been able to unlock both doors with all the key fobs that you’ve programmed.
Key fob programming requires specialist hardware
In some cases, programming a car’s key fob may not be as easy as you think, and in this case, you may need specialist hardware to do this. Normally, we would suggest that you contact your local authorized car dealer for further assistance, but this can be an expensive process.
Any auto locksmith company or a mechanic workshop will be able to re-encode your car key remote for you at a cheaper price than any other auto locksmith company and be able to make a separate master key for you.
You may need a code card as part of the process of creating a new master key, which can be found in the manual of your vehicle.
Getting to know the security features of your vehicle
It is possible to divide car security into two categories – Car entry security and Starting a car security.
Most modern cars come with a remote locking or unlocking system that allows you to open the doors without having to insert your keys into the ignition. As the older versions of remote entry systems for cars used radio frequency systems that were not fully secure, the signals of those systems could easily be captured and played back in order to unlock the vehicle and get inside.
As a result of the use of a more advanced rolling code system, modern entry locks generate a new code every time the door is opened. There is also a receiver in the vehicle that produces the same code, so it is not difficult for both electronic devices to work in harmony. Additionally, some European manufacturers used infrared systems to open their cars, in which the remote control had to be pointed toward the car in order for the doors to open. However, most of these devices have been replaced with RF technology over the last few years.
When it comes to starting the vehicle, traditional cars were equipped with a simple system of key locks that could be opened from any key that was similar to the original key. In this way, thieves had the advantage of being able to drive away with any car they wanted easily. The new cars, on the other hand, are equipped with the latest ECU technology and a transponder in order to increase safety.
It is possible to code luxury vehicles according to the preferences of the driver. When a vehicle, such as a Rolls-Royce, has a memory function, as long as the driver inserts the key, settings will be adjusted according to the settings that the driver has set, such as the seating position, headrest, mirrors, and steering wheel.
In the near future, manufacturers will remove the need for the key altogether and add a fingerprint recognition system to eliminate the need for the key altogether.
It is very important to understand that the process of reprogramming a car key fob depends on the type of vehicle that you own. As discussed above, the general and simplest process is the one that needs to be followed. The device works with most cars, but it is recommended that you check the user manual for your specific car type to find out more information on its compatibility.
Today, transponder technology is becoming more prevalent in many areas in which security access is required, as well as in modern cars which use this technology for security purposes. There are now new keys that have a transponder chip, and when the key is inserted into the ignition barrel, the chip is activated by the radio frequency signal coming from the ignition barrel, and as a result, the vehicle is turned on.
As a result of the chip transmitting a signal to the car’s ECU, that signal disables the immobilizer so that the engine can start, if the signal is found to be correct.
Normally, if it is just the key fob itself that needs to be programmed to unlock the car, you can do it yourself. However, if you don’t have the right tools, you won’t be able to program a key for the start function of the vehicle.
Normally if you are able to reprogramme a key fob, you are not going to have any problems in reprogramming it, and most models of cars support this. If you need to be reprogrammed at a workshop, the total cost for reprogramming at a workshop is likely to be between 200$ and 500$ depending on how much work you need to be done.
Most of the time, for the purpose of programming key fob push-starts, the right diagnostic tools are required, since the immobilizer is only accessible by authorized dealers who have access to the proper diagnostic equipment. The same procedure can be followed if you only wish to reprogram the unlock and lock features, but you will need to learn how to turn on the ignition correctly if you want to just reprogram the unlock and lock features.
A suitable OBD2 diagnostic tool will be able to erase the memory of the key fob, if it is connected to the vehicle. Some general scanner tools are unable to do this, and you typically need a tool specific to your car model if you want to do this.