Modern key fobs do more than just unlock and start a car. They serve as both a convenience device and a substantial theft deterrent. However, key fob replacement is a problem.

Due to their complexity, they are costly to replace if you lose or break them. The days of having a local locksmith cut a new key are long gone. In certain circumstances, the only method to replace a car key is to pay hundreds of dollars at a dealership.

Your auto insurance may pay the fob replacement, but doing so will go against your deductible. Replacing the key may not be the best option if the carmaker costs $400 for a new key fob and your insurance deductible is $500.

Why Does It Cost So Much to Replace a Key Fob?

The cost of a replacement key fob depends on the automaker. In some cases, it’s as simple as calling the dealership and ordering a new key. The dealer will then program the key to match your car’s transponder.

For other automakers, you have to visit the dealership and get a new key, which can be cut and programmed on-site. Dealerships charge different rates for this service, but it’s generally more expensive than getting a new key from a locksmith.

Additionally, some automakers require that you replace the entire key fob if one part is damaged or broken. This means buying a new shell, transponder, and remote all at once – which can be very expensive. Key fob replacement can cost between $150 and $600, depending on the car.

Is It Possible to Reprogram Key Fobs By Yourself?

In some cases, it’s possible to reprogram your key fob yourself. This is typically only possible if your car has a second key fob. You can use the second key fob to program the new one.

If you don’t have a second key fob, you may be able to find the programming instructions in your car’s owner’s manual. These instructions will vary depending on the automaker, but they typically involve pressing a series of buttons on the key fob or inside the car.

Some automakers also sell key fobs that the customer can program. These keys are typically less expensive than going through a dealer, but they still require some effort to program.

How to Program a Key Fob

Different car models have different methods for programming key fobs. The procedure outlined here is the most basic technique to reprogram any remote in general. This tutorial is compatible with the majority of car models on the market, but you may need to discover specific information for your vehicle. The owner’s manual for your vehicle has more precise information regarding the remote. To program a key fob at home, follow these steps:

Step 1

Enter your vehicle using your remote and ignition key, and then close all of the doors behind you.

Step 2

Turn the key to the “On” position, then press the “Lock” button on your fob and turn the key back to the “Off” position.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 three more times for a total of four cycles, ending with the key in the “On” position during the fourth cycle.

Step 4

Wait for the locks to sound. You have now entered programming mode. Within five seconds, press the “Lock” button on your remote once more. The locks will cycle once more to indicate successful programming.

Step 5

To program additional remotes, press “Lock” again within 10 seconds of entering programming mode. Following each successfully programmed remote, the locks will cycle. You can program up to three remotes.

Return the ignition to the “Off” position to complete the programming sequence.


Key fob replacement is an expensive process, but it’s often the only way to get a new key for your car. If you lose or break your key fob, you can visit a dealership or try to program a new one yourself.

Is your vehicle key lost, broken, or malfunctioning? At Allied Lock and Door Service Co., our licensed and qualified locksmiths offer the highest quality electronic key replacements, including key fobs and transponders. Using the highest grade technology we can offer high-quality and reliable key duplication, replacement, and other automotive locksmith services at prices lower than the dealerships.