Electronic car keys, also called fobs, are useful for controlling your car’s doors, trunk, and alarm, and can even remotely start your car from a distance.
Like any other electronic device, these keyfobs can malfunction after a while, usually due to signal loss. however, in such a case, you can easily reprogram the remote yourself so that you can continue using it.
This article will explain step by step how you can program your car key fob so you don’t have to take it to a car dealer and spend your precious money.
how to program a keychain
estimated cost: 5 usd
specialized hardware is required for programming keychains
For some cars, programming of key fobs may not be easy, and on that car, specialized hardware may be required. We usually suggest calling your authorized car dealer, but this can be expensive.
You can recode your remote control key from any other auto locksmith company or auto body shop for a comparatively lower price and have a master key made separately.
creating a new master key may require a code card which can be found in your car manual.
related: lost car keys – cost & spare keys
understand vehicle safety
Car safety can be divided into two categories: car entry and car starting.
In most modern cars, you don’t need to insert keys to open the doors as they are remote lock/unlock. older car remote entry systems used radio frequency systems that were not completely secure, as their signal could easily be captured and reproduced to unlock and enter the vehicle.
Modern entry locks use a more sophisticated rolling code system that generates a new code each time. the vehicle’s receiver also produces the same code, so both electronic devices are in sync. some European manufacturers also used infrared systems that required pointing the remote at the car to unlock. still, most have been replaced with rf technology now.
Speaking of starting the vehicle, traditional cars had a simple key lock system that could be unlocked with any similar key. this was convenient for thieves as it allowed them to get away with any car easily. however, newer cars have ecu technology and a transponder for added security.
Luxury vehicles can be coded to the driver’s specifications. For example, vehicles like Rolls-Royce have a memory function and whenever the driver inserts the key, the seats, headrests, mirrors and steering wheel adjust based on the driver’s settings.
manufacturers are now working to eliminate the need for the key entirely and add a fingerprint recognition system.
what is a transponder?
Transponder technology is now evident in many areas requiring security access and is now popular in modern automobiles. New vehicle keys now have a transponder chip, and when the key is inserted into the ignition, the chip is activated by the radio frequency signal sent from the ignition cylinder.
The chip then transmits a signal to the car’s ECU which, when determined to be correct, disables the immobilizer and starts the engine.