How to Replace the Key Fob For Your Car

If you’ve never been locked out of your car, consider yourself lucky, and pay attention to this article so you don’t run into a problem in the future! For the rest of us who have had the unfortunate experience of getting locked out of our own vehicle, it was likely due to an issue with the key fob or remote. In order to avoid getting locked out of your car due to an issue with your key fob, take a look at the tips below on how to replace your key fob.

Tips of How to Replace Your Key Fob

Types of Car Keys

Practically all newer cars come standard with some type of key fob or remote. This makes locking and unlocking easy with just a touch of a button. So what happens when the buttons on your fob stop working? Or worse, what happens if you lose your car keys and are in need of a completely new fob? There are a few common types of electronic key fobs, so let’s take a look at how to go about replacing each one in order to help you avoid future headaches and uncertainty.



A basic key and fob set can be replaced at a cost of roughly $50 to $100, depending on the make and complexity of the system. These types of keys are typical for older cars, and they are among the easiest to replace. Once you have your key rob replacements, you will either have to get the dealership to program the remote or do it yourself using the code in your owner’s manual.


Transponder Keys

Newer model cars from the late 90s onward will have a transponder chip contained in the key set for extra security. When replacing this type of key, you will have to pay extra to get the fob remote and the transponder key together. Sometimes a locksmith will e able to offer you a better deal on aftermarket key sets compared to a dealership’s price.


Keyless Remotes

The newest cars on the road today feature keyless entry and ignition, making it easier to enter and start your car without having to fumble in your purse or pocket for your keys. Keyless entry does require the driver to have their remote fob on their person, otherwise, the proximity sensor won’t open the doors or let the ignition work. Losing these keys is an expensive proposition, as they can cost between $250 and $500, and can usually only be replaced by the dealership.


Lower Cost Key Fob Options

If you have the time and you’re aware of the exact type of key fob replacement, you can save some money by shopping for your new fob online. Most online retailers keep a large number of different fobs in stock at all times, so they can afford to sell for less than a dealership, or even a locksmith. Keep in mind that taking this approach means you will need to program your key fob manually. If you are unable to do this on your own, a dealer should be able to help, but they’ll likely charge you an additional fee for this service.


When to Replace Your Key Fob?

Most cars come with at least one spare set of keys and an additional fob. When at least one of these sets stops working, or starts to perform poorly or sporadically, it is time to get a replacement. If you wait until your spare set stops working as well, it can be difficult to get a new set without spending a significant amount of money. For cars made in the last five years, your only option will be to get some expensive replacement keys from your dealer. In addition to the cost of the keys, you will have to pay for the dealership to program the fob as well.


Avoiding Unnecessary Key Fob Replacements

Once your first key stops working, you should get a replacement to avoid additional future expenses. You can also shop around with locksmiths to find a more competitive price for replacing and programming your new key fobs. Finally, if you purchase your own replacements online to save money, make sure you can program the keys yourself, otherwise, you will be stuck spending more money to have your dealer or mechanic do the programming for you.


To find out how the team at Spotlite Collision can help you avoid issues with purchasing and programming the right key fob replacement, be sure to contact us with any questions or bring your keys to our shop today!