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Why Does My Key Fob Not Work after Replacing the Battery?

  • Car Care Tips
  • Barrett Mohrmann
  • 6 minutes

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You’re geared up for new adventures but suddenly, tragedy strikes! Your car’s key fob does not seem to work. There could be something wrong with the electrical system, or it needs replacing. Key fob replacements can be an expensive ordeal. Worry not if your key fob does not work after replacing the battery; we have listed possible reasons for the key fob failure and what you can do to fix it.¬†

Save on car expense

If your key fob still doesn’t work after you’ve tried changing the batteries, it may be time to re-program it or look for other damage, such as loose buttons or broken battery terminals.¬†

The key fob may not be functioning properly for several reasons. The battery contact terminals or the buttons themselves are the most likely culprits, but sometimes all it takes to get the car to recognize the key fob again is reprogramming.¬†Connecting the remote key fob to the vehicle’s receiver is necessary for the remote to function. Sometimes resetting the paired connection between the key and car is necessary after a battery replacement in the fob.¬†

If these keep happening frequently, it might be time to replace it. Read below to find out what you can do if the key fob is not working even after replacing the battery. 

Reasons why the remote key fob is not working 

If your key fob still isn’t functioning after you’ve replaced the batteries, the problem may be with the internal contacts, such as the buttons or the battery connector terminals.¬†

It’s also possible that your car and remote unpaired from each other after you took the batteries out.¬†

  • Loose Buttons¬†
  • Broken Locks¬†
  • Deprogramming¬†
  • Damaged Key¬†
  • Electrical Issues¬†
Also Read: How To Change the Battery in Your Car’s Key Fob

Broken battery connector terminals  

Take apart the remote to inspect the battery connector terminals to see if they are damaged. Repairing loose or damaged connector terminals may be as simple as soldering them back into place.  

Loose buttons 

One other possibility is that the buttons themselves are broken. Most remote controls have rubberized buttons, which can become loose or worn out over time. The primary symptom of a worn button is that the plastic has degraded, and the contact is exposed. 

If you find that one or more of the buttons won’t release properly or are stuck, you can fix the remote by taking it apart, removing the buttons, cleaning them, and reassembling them. You might need to get a new remote key fob if that doesn’t work.¬†

Broken Locks 

If a key fob still doesn’t work after you replace the batteries, the problem may not be with the device itself. You may need to repair the latches on your car doors or free a door that’s stuck in the locked position. It’s possible that the problem is a broken lock component.¬†

A serious safety issue exists if the doors are not opening and closing properly. Additionally, your safety is compromised if your locks don’t always lock. Locks should be repaired as soon as damage threatens their functionality.¬†

Damaged Keys 

Damage to the key fob may occur if it is subjected to anything other than normal wear and tear from repeated use. Water, blunt force, scratches on the circuit board, etc., are all potential causes of this damage. 

If your key fob suddenly stopped working after being opened, stepped on, or getting wet, and a battery change did not solve the problem, the problem is likely a damaged key. Sometimes the damage is obvious, but not always. 

When a key is damaged, the entire thing must be replaced, unlike when the buttons are simply worn down. As a result, the cost of replacing a broken key fob will likely be higher. Issues caused by housing damage alone could be remedied with a partial housing replacement. 

Also Read: How Much Does a New Car Key Cost

Electronic Key fob reprogramming 

To ensure that only you can use a remote key fob to unlock your car, it must be programmed to work with your specific vehicle make and model. This is done to ensure that people with the same make and model do not get access to your car via their remote. If the connection was lost or if the batteries were replaced, the key fob will need to be reprogrammed before it will recognize your vehicle again. 

Standard programming sequence 

The standard sequence works for most of the key fobs 

  • Lock your car door and get inside.¬†
  • Turn the ignition with your key.¬†
  • To avoid accidentally starting the vehicle, turn the key to the “run” position instead of starting it, and move it back to the lock position to¬†lock it. Repeat the process multiple times in a row.¬†
  • If you have cycled the key in and out of the lock enough times, you should hear a chime or other sound, indicating that you can now press the lock or unlock button on your key fob, triggering yet another chime.¬†
  • Check whether the reprogramming of the fob was successful¬†by testing the remote control.¬†

Alternative programming sequence 

If the typical sequence of commands doesn’t work for your car, try this one instead.¬†

  • Go ahead and get into your vehicle, but make sure to lock the door manually.¬†
  • To turn on the car, turn the key in the ignition and remove it. Repeat this procedure six times in no more than 10 seconds.¬†
  • If this is your car’s pattern, interior and exterior lights will flash.¬†
  • Turn your key to the accessory position and then turn the ignition.¬†
  • Choose a button on your keychain remote and press it.¬†
  • Hazard lights will flash, indicating the reprogramming was successful.¬†
  • To verify that the reprogramming was successful, you can look for the hazard lights to blink when you use the remote control.¬†

If neither of the suggested reprogramming sequences worked, you should take your car to a certified repair facility or a local garage specializing in your model/manufacturer. 

If the entire process seems too hard or complex, you could just call a professional or take your key fob to your dealership. Also, when neither of the suggested reprogramming sequences works, you should take your car to a certified repair facility or a local garage that specializes in your model/manufacturer. 

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