The word fob can be dated back to the 17th Century. It was used to refer to tiny pockets made to keep or carry precious items. In the early 20th Century and late 19th Century, the term fob was used to refer to accessories hanging from a small watch’s chain and for pocket used to carry small watches.
By mid-20th Century, a fob referred to any attachment hanging on the chain of a key. Automobile dealers would give an accessory on the chain of the car key. It was until the late 20th Century when the word fob became famous in the automobile industry to refer to the remote transmitter.
Since then, the name has been in use and refers to various things. The most common use of the word fob is in the automobile industry as a key fob. So, what is a key fob as used today?
Key fob Definition
A key fob is a portable electronic appliance used to control various devices like computer systems, mobile phones, doors, and vehicles. So, the one we are talking about is the car key fob. Its main work is to offer security and enable the user to control their car remotely. With key fobs, you can lock and unlock your vehicle, sent signals to the alarm and trunk, and even start the car from meters away.
Key fobs are extraordinary electronic devices. However, when you start to think about how you can reprogram them, you may wonder where to begin and end. It is expensive to own a car, which is why knowing how to reprogram key fobs is necessary to avoid car theft.
It is sensible to do everything within your ability to make sure your car is safe. Moreover, you should also learn to reprogram new car fobs in case the original gets lost.
All electronic apparatus can fail. Key fobs are not an exception, and that is why this article discusses how to reprogram them. Thankfully, you can do the reprogramming at the comfort of your home.
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Reprogramming Key Fobs
Generally, various vehicles have distinct mechanisms of reforming fobs. Below is the simplest method of remote reprogramming. The technique will work with many vehicles out there. But you may need to get details for your particular car from the manufacturers’ guide.
Note that it is necessary to read your car manufacturer’s manual before proceeding to do anything. The manual will give you much information concerning the car manufacturer, model, and make. It may be a lot of work, but it is worth doing it, so you are aware of everything that concerns your car. You can also find valuable information online. Besides other reasons, nowadays, car keys are fitted with transponders.
This transponder is a microchip prompted by signals from the radio frequency to send messages to the engine control unit to ascertain that those are the right keys, which make the vehicle harder to steal. These transponders come programmed by the manufacturer, and you need information on how to reprogram them.
Also, in the initial days of reprogramming your vehicle key fob, you will need to keep this guide. Within a few months, you will be an expert in it. Remember, the more you do it, the better you become in doing it. If the first trial to reprogram your key fob does not work (do not give up), give it a second and third trial, and it will work. Note that the reprogramming process is not made effortless to keep your vehicle safe as much as possible.
Step 1. Battery Replacement
It is good always to check batteries of any electronic apparatus to ensure they are in good condition. Once in a while, replace the old batteries with new ones. This is the first step in reprogramming your remotes. Therefore, ensure the key fob has new cells. An old battery can make the fob reprogramming a nightmare.
Batteries are not expensive, and you can get them quickly. In case you are not sure which batteries to buy for your key fob, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for details on the size and type of battery you need to buy. Also, ensure you buy them from trusted sellers because nowadays there is both counterfeit and fake stuff in the market, and most of them resemble the original. Therefore, be keen.
Step 2: Lock Yourself inside the Vehicle
Why do you have to lock yourself inside? If the doors are open, they can affect the reprogramming process. So, it is vital to ensure all doors are closed. You also need to be inside the car as you lock the doors because the reprogramming process will require you to do several tasks inside the vehicle.
Step 3: Ignite the Car
Once you are inside and have ensured all doors are locked, ignite the car. After ignition, turn the vehicle to one position to ensure that all electrical systems are in the same mode.
Note also that fob reprogramming does not require you to start your vehicle. Therefore, starting the engines is not necessary.
Step 4: Fob Buttons
As you may be aware, fobs comprise of various buttons. These buttons include alarm, lock, and open switches. Several new car fobs also include the engine button.
The key is now on the key in the setting. The next step is to press down the lock stud on the key fob, and right away, change the key into a key-off setting. Do this for about four times and ensure the last position is where you began.
Your car’s electronic control structure receives indicators from this procedure that the signals it is receiving from the ignition key mean the key is yours. When the process is over, the electronic control structure saves information.
Step 5: Pause to Hear the Sound
From the last procedure, you will know the operation was successful when you hear lock sound. This lock sound indicates that you can now program the fob.
Sometimes you may fail to hear the sound after these steps. If that is the case, repeat the procedure for as many times as possible until there is a sound. After that, push down the lock stud in 6 seconds. You will have programmed the lock button.
In this step, you need to be a good timekeeper and keen while carrying out all the tasks because if you delay a bit, you may have to do the process again. You do not wish to waste time, therefore be careful.
Step 6: Programming Other Fobs
Some people have several key fobs for their cars. If this describes you, reprogram the other fobs too. But you do not need to repeat the procedure; it can be hectic.
To reprogram extra key fobs, enter the programming mode and push down the lock button in seven seconds. The fobs will be reprogrammed automatically.
Step 7: Turn off Ignition
All the key fobs are now reprogrammed successfully. Remember, the ignition is on. Turn it off, and the process will end successfully.
Step 8: Verify
When reprogramming is over, get out of the car and make sure the trunk and the doors are closed.
To verify whether the key fobs are perfectly reprogrammed, test them by pressing the lock and unlock buttons several times. The job is correctly done.
Step 9: Professional Hardware
Several car keys require specialized or advanced reprogramming. In this case, the process is not going to be a walk in the park. To reprogram the key fobs, you will require professional hardware.
In such a case, it is advisable to talk to an auto dealer. It could be someone who takes care of your vehicle when it develops problems. However, this can be costly.
Instead, you can get in touch with a professional locksmith to reprogram the key from your home. Ensure it is someone who has handled such cases and is experienced; it will cost you less money than getting the hardware to do it yourself.
How Vital is Car Security?
You want to ensure your car is secure. Car Security is split into two groups which are; starting the engine and entering the vehicle.
Today, you do not need to unlock your vehicle door by injecting the key then opening all the entries by pushing down the unlock button.
Insecure RF systems were used for older vehicle key fobs. Hackers could use signals from these systems to unlock the vehicle without your knowledge. But this is not the case today as vehicles have several complex structures for key fobs. Every time these structures create codes and sends it to a receiver in the car. On the other end, the receiver produces a code matching with the one sent to it for verification.
Several European manufacturers were using infrared structures, which required the car owner to point the key fob towards the vehicle to lock it. Such arrangements are no longer in use today.
Traditionally, unlocking a car only required a simple key. Other similar keys could be used to unlock the vehicle, and this encouraged theft. But modern vehicles are fitted with transponders and are armed with electronic control unit technology.
Specifications of luxury car owners can also be used to code the vehicle. Rolls-Royce, for example, comprises a memory feature that adjusts the steering wheel, mirrors, headrest, and the seats according to the driver’s setting when the key is inserted.
Automobile engineers are currently working towards including a fingerprint structure to do away with the key. This will be a significant leap in improving car security.
The Importance of Key Fob Reprogramming
It is an excellent thing to reprogram key fobs. But, the significance of this process is dependent on the type of car and changes from one individual to another. Change is difficult, and some people (especially those using old cars) always have a problem with the advanced technology and think that it’s crap. They do not want to change from the old key system and cling to the saying that old is gold.
On the other hand, the current generation does not want to waste their previous time locking and unlocking vehicle doors and trunks using a key. This generation prefers entry doors that do not require keys to open or close because theft is minimized.
Current key features are an advantage to everyone because they improve the security of your car. Traditional systems are highly insecure, and this is the reason to embrace smart key fobs.
Convenience is the second advantage of key fobs. Car owners can also customize the key fobs to monitor the car. This feature is excellent and ideal, mainly if your surrounding is a busy one with huge traffic and school children.
Always cross-check your car key fobs. Electronics can fail to function anytime, and you do not want to be caught unaware when you want to drive somewhere, and the fob isn’t working.
Many people trust this structure highly, such that they even leave vehicle keys inside since it’s not required to start or open the vehicle.
If you have ever left car keys inside the car and lost your key fob, you understand it is difficult to unlock the vehicle because the key fob provides additional security to your car. It is not good to feel sorry because you did not do something you could. Therefore, once a week, ensure you examine your key fobs to ensure they do not fail when you are out of the vehicle.
Previously car owners used to have separate keys to use in case one got lost. Likewise, instead of getting yourself in tricky situations, you should have a spare key fob. And, ensure when you are reprogramming the original key fob, you do the same for the spare one.
Key fobs may develop various problems. This guide offers a solution to those who want to reprogram their car keys. It may not solve all key fob problems, and if that is the case, talk to an auto dealer or a locksmith.