My Key Fob for the Car Door Is Broken: Now What?
Technology continues to make life more easy and convenient. Each year new devices are introduced that soon make it hard to understand how you ever lived without them.
This includes gadgets for cars. One of the gadgets most people have come to take for granted is the key fob for the car.
After all, these cool devices allow drivers to lock and unlock there rides without ever touching the vehicle. Some are even capable of starting the car without the need to physically put the key into the ignition.
This article takes a look at what to do when your key fob breaks. Keep reading for the steps for key fob repair and programming so that you won’t get stranded.
How a Key Fob Works
Keyless remote fobs have been around for long enough that most people now rarely give them a second thought until there’s a problem.
When you press a button on your fob, the device sends a signal that is received by the locking mechanism inside your car. The process is immediate and unnoticeable to the eye, and it utilizes technology that is both sophisticated and yet relatively simple.
Keep in mind that this signal is specific to your vehicle, and typically programmed at the factory or at the dealership where the car was purchased. This means that no other fob can lock or unlock your car without first being programmed to that specific vehicle.
Determining If Your Fob Is Actually Bad
When you notice that your fob won’t unlock your door, the first thing you need to do is verify that the fob is the problem. If you have a backup fob, test it on your car. This will let you know if the fob is to blame, or if the problem lay elsewhere.
Once you’ve determined that the fob is at fault, you can move on to trying to the troubleshooting process.
When Your Car Doesn’t Use a Key
Many high-end cars now feature keyless starters that don’t require a physical key. These cars typically start with the touch of a button.
This is actually kind of deceptive because most key fobs for these cars actually have a key hidden inside the fob. When this is the case, open the hidden compartment and remove the key.
Then you’ll need to locate the key slot for starting the car. This slot is often hidden beneath a piece of trim near the door handle
Carefully remove the trim and insert your key into the slot. This should at least enable you to drive your car until you have time to get your fob repaired or replaced.
Checking the FOB Battery
The next step is to assess the fob battery. Most of the time when a fob begins to fail, it’s a simple matter of a dead battery.
To do this, you’ll need to pry the fob apart to access the battery compartment. Fortunately, fob batteries are inexpensive to replace. The key is to find the number on the back of the battery and make sure that you replace it with an exact match.
Now place the new battery in the fob and snap everything back together. Then test it on your car. If the fob still doesn’t work, you can continue the troubleshooting process.
Fob batteries are inexpensive enough to keep a few replacements in the glove compartment of your car in case of an emergency.
Diagnosing Broken Internal Contacts
When the problem isn’t your battery, the fob likely has a loose or broken contact that needs to be repaired.
This isn’t unusual. After all, key fob takes a lot of abuse from everyday wear and tear. In order to inspect the internal connections, you’ll need to pull the fob apart.
Take a close look at the insides of the fob. The damage should be fairly apparent. There might even be broken pieces that have fallen loose and can be easily removed.
When contacts have broken, you have a choice. You can either solder them back in place yourself or replace the fob. This is really a matter of repair skills and cost. Given that replacing the fob for your car might be fairly expensive, the investment of time and effort to repair the device yourself might be justifiable.
Reprogramming the Fob
Occasionally, fobs will lose the signal for the cars they were programmed for. When this happens, they will need to be reprogrammed.
Consult the owner’s manual that came with your car for programming instructions. The process is actually quite easy and should only take a few minutes.
Replacing a Fob
Troubleshooting doesn’t always solve the problem. Once you’ve done everything in your power to fix the issue, you might determine that replacing the fob is the only reasonable solution.
Contact the dealership where you purchased the car and order a replacement.
Getting It Repaired by a Professional
Another option for repairing your fob is to take it to a professional locksmith. They’ll have the skills and expertise to fix the problem at far less of an expense than replacing the device.
Tips for Repairing a Broken Key FOB for the Car
Life is getting more hectic every day. That means you rely on your car to keep up with your crazy schedule and it’s more important than ever to know that your key fob won’t let you down. Fortunately, these tips for repairing a broken key fob for the car will help ensure that there’s never a problem that can’t be solved.
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