How to program a key fob by yourself?

key fob
Publish at Feb 13, 2022 By: Dustin Fernandez
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A fob key is the most convenient key for a car owner. Although the name suggests it to appear as a 'key,' in reality, they serve to be the most advanced keyless system. Not only the newer car models but trucks, alarms, and home doors can also be operated by a key fob.

Key fobs are probably the handiest keys to open the doors without physically contacting the door lock.

However, no machinery is eternal, and therefore, it has an expiration date. Key fobs start deteriorating after constant use, and the usage becomes slightly complex. Therefore, it needs to be fixed.

The Key fob should be rebooted soon after they show difficulty in working. The reprogramming process can be selfdone. All you need is to follow some basic steps, and thereafter, you'll be able to use it without any fuss.

What is a key fob?

Fob key is a remote key that is extremely popular nowadays. Due to its ability to physically open the car door locks without even touching the lock button, most car makers have switched to a key fob from the old conventional keys. The key fob is a small device enabling a keyless entry system.

You can unlock your vehicle by pushing the key fob button within a specific range of the car. Just like your TV remote, the key fob transmits a particular signal towards the car lock. The lock is made to sense the transmission and unlock the door.

You hear a beep every time the car unlocks. This keyless entry system is so convenient that it has replaced almost all the conventional car keys and even the keys of other vehicles and home doors.

But signal loss is observed with constant usage or after a specific time. This doesn't mean that your car lock is not responding, or you have to change the entire fob key. You can program the key fobs to resolve the issue.

Can you program a key fob yourself?

Although key fob programming is a complicated process, it's preferred over getting a new key fob. All the electronic devices have a particular life, after which the work quality starts decreasing.

However, the complexity of repairing the key fob depends on the car model. Some cars need simple procedures to reprogram key fobs, whereas some demand additional software and hardware, including a computer and a couple of cables.

For the less complicated ones, you need to press a couple of buttons which will eventually reboot the entire system. Therefore, it varies from car to car.

Chances can be that the fob key batteries are drained. If so, you need to replace a bad key fob battery with a new one. But if it still doesn't work, your key might need reprogramming. Therefore, you need some basic tools and a handful of knowledge. For that, you need:

  • An owner's manual.
  • Key fobs

Programming the fob key by following simple steps

For key fob programming, you need to follow all the steps mentioned below:

Turn the ignition key in the off position

Firstly, sit on the driver's seat comfortably. Ensure you have the car key fob remote, and ignition key.

For safety measures, ensure that all the doors are closed. After that, rotate the key fob in the start position while placing it in the ignition. Ensure you have to rotate the key and not start the engine.

Then, look forward to the owner's manual to check what else you need. Different car models have other ways to reprogram, and the steps can be similar but not the same.

Press the lock button on key fobs

A car has a transmission receiver. All you need to do is locate it. It might be somewhere on the front side. If you are unable to spot it, don't worry. Just point your fob key in that direction, and the transmission receiver will catch your signal. Push the lock button while doing that.

Turn the ignition key in the off position. Do it quickly, as you only have a fraction of seconds to complete the entire process.

Repeat process with the remote of electronic car keys

You need to know that once you start the reprogramming process for a particular key fob, the moment other remotes and fob keys also reset themselves by deleting the previous data.

Therefore, you need to lock the other key once again after turning on the ignition to bring them all back into sync. Repeat the reprogramming step with all the additional key fobs step by step. You have to do this process quickly because once the car turns the programming mode off, you have to restart the whole process again. The locks produce a click sound which indicates that the key fob has been programmed.

The process is different for different car keys, and some of them demand repeating the whole procedure.

Turn the ignition key in the on position

Repeat the second step. This is turning on the ignition key without actually turning on the car's engine, which will activate your vehicle's electrical system.

Push the lock button

Once your push the lock button again, the car will retake your fob key in the programming mode. This will ensure that the process is going the right way. You will observe activation of the car lock, which will verify the entire procedure.

Press the lock button on all remotes at once

As soon as the programming mode ends, check if all the key fobs are programmed. To validate the process, you need to press the lock button on the key fob. See if you can observe a beep sound coming from the lock. A beep sound will ensure the successful programming of the process. Repeat the steps and make sure all the key fobs are programmed. You can program up to three remotes at a time.

At last, turn off the ignition key to end the programming sequence.


The last step is to test if your fob key has been programmed successfully or not. Ensure to close all the doors after you get off.

Test all the fob keys by pressing the unlock button one by one. If the lock produces a beep sound, your car fob key has been programmed successfully. If it's still not working, then try contacting a professional locksmith.

What is the need for reprogramming key fobs?

With advancements in the new car models, fob keys were introduced. Fob keys overweighed the traditional key system due to their accessibility and handiness. The new generation observed the keyless lock system to be safer as you can copy a standard key but not an advanced key fob that doesn't have a key.

Keys fobs are easy to use as you don't have to touch the key physically to the car door. Moreover, you can open the door standing away from the lock.

On the other hand, key fob maintenance is equally expensive compared to the conventional key system. You have to make a particular check on the key fobs because once you lose it accidentally, you'll have to spend on an entirely new fob.


How much does it cost to program a fob key?

Self-programming the key fob is not a very complex process unless your car model is just out of your understanding. Many car key fobs are complicated to reprogram, so you should not try doing it yourself. You can call a professional to do your work, and a professional locksmith knows your locks and keys more than you.

Typically the reprogramming process can charge you up to 200 to 500 USD. Additionally, you can search for professional locksmiths that offer discounts on every service. ASAP Locksmith is one such destination where you can also get exciting offers.

The bottom line

Newer cars come with advanced security, so you shouldn't try the reprogramming process on your own if it seems complicated to you. For the best results, we advise you to contact a trustworthy and authorized car dealer who will fix your problem within minutes.

You can contact ASAP Locksmith services for the same. They provide additional offers over discounts on special days.

Need a professional?

You're stuck in this situation where you cannot open the car door using the fob key, or you tried doing it, but the outcome wasn't as expected, you need not worry. ASAP Locksmith is always there to help you out. We prioritize our customers, so we provide 24-hour emergency locksmith services for emergency car lockouts and many more. All you have to do is call us at 469-208-0041 and know more about discounts and offers.

Article written by: Dustin Fernandez
I am Dustin Fernandez, and I'm the owner of ASAP Locksmith in Dallas. My company is a family business, and we provide locksmith services to residential, commercial, and automotive customers. I've been in the locksmith industry since 1995 when I was just 20 years old. I started by working for another locksmith company before eventually starting my own. Over time, my father joined me as a partner in this venture, which made him proud to help his son succeed at something he loved doing!