Once upon a time, key fobs were a luxury only found in high-end vehicles. Fast forward to today, and they’re now standard in even the most basic of cars. But what if you change cars? Do you need to purchase a brand new fob every time, or is there a way to reprogram your trusty key fob to work with a different car? Buckle up, because we’re about to take a fast ride into the world of fob reprogramming.
Key fobs, also known as remote keyless entry systems, were first introduced in the 1980s by Mercedes-Benz. Over the years, the technology has become increasingly sophisticated and is now a staple in most modern vehicles. The key fob transmits a unique signal to the car’s computer, allowing you to unlock the doors and start the engine without inserting a key into the ignition.
Can I Reprogram a Key Fob to a Different Car?
The answer to the question of whether or not you can reprogram a key fob to a different car is, it depends. Some key fobs can be easily reprogrammed by following a few simple steps, while others require the services of a professional locksmith or a dealership. It all depends on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of fob you use.
To provide more insight, let’s say that if you’re lucky enough to have a key fob that’s easily reprogrammable, you can usually do so by following the steps outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. For example, some cars require you to press a certain sequence of buttons on the fob, while others may require the car’s onboard computer. Not all key fobs can be reprogrammed, so you need to be sure to check your car owner’s manual before attempting to do so.
Basic Steps To Reprogram A Key FOB
If you have a key fob that can be reprogrammed, here are some basic steps to follow:
- Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if your key fob is reprogrammable and to determine the specific steps required for your make and model.
- Locate the programming button on the key fob. This is usually a small button located on the side or back of the fob.
- Enter the programming mode. This is typically done by pressing a specific sequence of buttons on the key fob or by using the vehicle’s onboard computer. See your owner’s manual.
- Reprogram the key fob. This typically involves holding down the programming button and pressing the buttons on the fob in a specific order. The specific steps should be inside the manual.
- Test the key fob to ensure it’s working properly. Do this by unlocking and starting the vehicle. If the fob is not working, repeat the reprogramming steps or consult a professional.
There are still other options available to you. You can just purchase a universal key fob programmed to work with a variety of vehicles. Such fobs typically come with a set of instructions that are quite easy to follow. You can find them either online or at your local auto parts store.
How To Choose and Purchase The Universal Key FOB
When choosing and purchasing a universal key fob, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- Compatibility: Make sure the key fob you choose is compatible with your specific make and model of the car.
- Frequency: Different key fobs operate on different frequencies, so it’s important to make sure the frequency of the key fob you choose matches the frequency of your vehicle’s system.
- Key blade: If your vehicle requires a key blade to start the engine, make sure the universal key fob you choose includes one.
- Programming method: Some universal key fobs can be programmed using a computer or smartphone app. Others may require manual programming. Choose a method that is convenient for you.
- Range: Consider the range of the key fob and make sure it’s sufficient for your needs.
- Price: Universal key fobs can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, so choose a price point that fits your budget.
- Brand reputation: Research the brand of the key fob you’re considering and read customer reviews to ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality, reliable product.
The Best Universal Key FOBs
Here are some of the best universal key fobs currently available:
- KeylessOption Keyless Entry Remote Control Car Key Fob: This affordable key fob is compatible with a wide range of vehicles and is easy to program.
- Fortin EVO-ALL: This high-end key fob is compatible with many vehicles and offers advanced features like remote start and push-to-start capabilities.
- GM Genuine Parts 22733524 5 Button Keyless Entry Remote Key Fob: This versatile key fob is compatible with a wide range of vehicles and is easy to program.
- Keyless2Go New Keyless Entry Remote Control Car Key Fob: This affordable key fob is compatible with many vehicles and is also easy to program.
- iKeyless Universal Keyless Entry Remote Control Car Key Fob: This high-end key fob is compatible with many vehicles and offers advanced features like remote start and push-to-start capabilities.
You can always take your old key fob to a professional locksmith or dealership. They have the tools and knowledge to reprogram most fobs to work with a different vehicle. Purchasing the new one is a more expensive option, but it’s a surefire way to get your fob working with your new car.
Where and How To Find Professional Locksmith
There are several ways to find a professional locksmith. If you’ve never dealt with one before, here’s what you can do:
- Online search: Use search engines like Google to find locksmiths in your area. Look for reviews and ratings to find a legitimately good professional.
- Local directories: Check local directories like Yellow Pages or online directories such as Yelp to find good locksmiths in your area.
- Automotive dealerships: You can also contact your local automotive dealership for recommendations.
- Emergency services: If you’re in an emergency situation and need a locksmith immediately, contact a 24-hour locksmith service or a local emergency services provider.
- Professional organizations: Contact professional organizations such as the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) for recommendations of certified professionals in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I reprogram a key fob to work with a different car?
In most cases, you cannot reprogram a key fob to work with a different car. Key fobs are typically programmed to work specifically with one vehicle.
Why can’t I reprogram a key fob to a different car?
Key fobs are programmed with unique codes that are specific to a particular vehicle’s security system. These codes are difficult to change or transfer to a different car to prevent unauthorized access.
Is it possible to reprogram a key fob if I have the right equipment and knowledge?
Reprogramming a key fob usually requires specialized equipment and knowledge that is typically only available to professional locksmiths or automotive technicians. Even with the right tools, it may still be challenging or impossible to reprogram a key fob to a different car.
What if I want to use a spare key fob with my car? Can I reprogram it myself?
Some vehicles allow you to program a spare key fob to work with your car, but the process usually involves following specific steps outlined in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. It may require the presence of an existing working key fob.
Can a locksmith or dealership reprogram a key fob for me?
A locksmith or dealership may be able to reprogram a key fob for your specific vehicle, but it will typically require the key fob to be compatible with your car’s security system. They may also charge a fee for this service.
Reprogramming your key fob to work with a different car may seem hard, but with a little bit of research and some know-how, you can do it yourself. Whether you choose to go the DIY route with a universal key fob or seek the help of a professional, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a fully functional fob for a long time. Who knows, maybe one day, aside from unlocking our cars, key fobs will have the ability to fly us to our destinations like futuristic superheroes, but until then, reprogramming is the way to go.