How to Reset the FOB Remote Starter Key

Have you ever walked out to your car on a cold winter morning, pressed the button on your key fob remote starter, and frustratingly found that it didn’t work? We’ve all been there. Few things are more annoying than getting into a freezing cold car when you expected it to be warmed up and defrosted from your remote starter.

When your key fob remote starter stops working properly, it usually means it just needs to be reset and reprogrammed. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily need to fork out the money to have a professional do this, as there are steps you can take yourself to get your remote starter fob working again.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the complete process of how to reset and reprogram a key fob for remote car starters. We’ll cover:

  • When you may need to reset your fob
  • Gathering the materials you need
  • Step-by-step fob reset instructions
  • Troubleshooting tips
  • When to seek professional help

After reading, you’ll have the confidence to get your remote starter fob working again in no time. So let’s get started and say goodbye to those frustratingly cold morning commutes!

When You Should Reset Your Car Starter Fob

In most cases, you’ll know it’s time to reset your key fob when it stops being able to remote start your car. Some of the common signs include:

  • Pressing the fob button and nothing happens. If you’ve checked the battery and it seems fine, a reset is likely needed.
  • Short remote start range. If you have to be right next to the car for it to work, your fob frequency is probably out of sync.
  • Intermittent problems. If your remote starter fob works sometimes but not others, it needs to be reset and reprogrammed.
  • Getting a new fob. Whether you lost your old remote or bought an additional one, new fobs need to be programmed.
  • Changed the fob battery. Even with the same battery, changing it may throw off the synchronization.
  • Buying a used car. You’ll want to reset the fob to sync with your new-to-you vehicle.

If you notice any of these issues, don’t worry – in most cases a fob reset should get you going again.

Gathering Necessary Fob Reset Materials

Before getting started, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies:

  • All key fobs. Have all existing remote car starter fobs, as well as any new unprogrammed ones you want to add.
  • Vehicle key. You’ll need the physical key to turn the ignition on and off during programming.
  • Fresh fob batteries. Replace batteries in fobs if they are running low.
  • Vehicle owner’s manual. Consult the manual for your specific fob reset procedure.
  • Pen and paper. Write down steps as you go in case you need to repeat the process.
  • Patience. Resetting fobs takes patience and attention to detail. Give yourself time.

Also make sure your vehicle is in a location where you can complete all the steps uninterrupted. Now let’s get to the good stuff!

How to Reset FOBs Step-By-Step

The exact steps to reset your keyless entry remote starter fob will vary by the vehicle make and model. We’ll cover the overall process, but make sure to check your owner’s manual for specifics:

1. Sit in the Driver’s Seat

  • Get into your vehicle’s driver seat and close the door. This helps synchronize the fob with the vehicle.

2. Insert Key & Turn to On or Accessory

  • Insert the key into the ignition cylinder and turn it to the On or Accessory position. DO NOT start the engine.

3. Press Lock Button

  • Take your key fob remote and press the Lock button once. Hold it for 1-2 seconds.

4. Listen for Horn or Lights

  • The car should honk its horn or flash its lights to indicate it’s in programming mode. If not, check your key position.

5. Release the Lock Button

  • After the confirmation honk/flash, release the Lock button on the remote.

6. Turn Off Ignition

  • Turn the key back to the Off position and remove it from the ignition.

7. Test the Remote Starter

  • Exit the vehicle, close the door, and test your remote starter! It should now work.

8. Repeat for Additional Fobs

  • Follow steps 3-7 to program additional/new fobs one at a time.

Once you complete the process, your remote starter fob(s) should be successfully reset! But don’t worry if you encounter issues – the next section covers troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshooting Remote Starter Fob Problems

Sometimes resetting your key fob requires some patience and troubleshooting to get just right. Here are some tips if you’re running into issues:

  • Check you’re operating the fob correctly. Buttons, sequences, and hold-times can vary. Refer to the owner’s manual.
  • Try different start sequences. Some fobs need multiple presses or extended holds. Try different combinations.
  • Replace the battery. Low fob batteries are a common issue. Install a new CR2032 battery.
  • Make sure the car is in Park. The remote starter won’t work if the car isn’t in gear.
  • Remove regular keys from inside. Remote starters often won’t work with keys still in the vehicle.
  • Avoid rapid double presses. Quick successive presses can confuse the system. Wait a few seconds between presses.
  • Verify the fob was programmed. Follow each step closely, and repeat for any new fobs.
  • Have another person help. An extra set of hands can help troubleshoot and verify if steps are working.
  • Consult the manufacturer. If you’re still stuck, call the support number for your vehicle or fob manufacturer.

With some focused troubleshooting, you should be able to get that finicky fob working properly again.

When to Ask the Experts For Help

While the vast majority of DIY fob resets go smoothly, there are a few cases where you may want to hand it off to the pros:

  • Brand new vehicle. Newer cars may require dealer programming for security reasons. Check your manual.
  • Advanced diagnostics needed. If you determine electrical or starter issues are at play, it likely requires a pro.
  • Out of warranty fob replacements. Some automakers require dealers to program replacement fobs once the factory warranty expires.
  • You’re just not sure. If you don’t feel comfortable completing the process yourself, ask the experts.

Many dealers and auto shops have mobile services that can come to your location to program fobs and remote starters. This option avoids the hassle of going to the dealer.

Key Takeaways for Resetting FOBs

Resetting that finicky remote starter fob doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. Just remember these key tips:

  • Know the signs your fob needs reset (not starting, short range, etc.)
  • Have your owner’s manual, keys, fobs, and pen & paper ready beforehand.
  • Follow each programming step carefully and in order. Precision is key.
  • If issues pop up, methodically try troubleshooting – new batteries, reprogramming, button sequences, etc.
  • Don’t hesitate to bring it to the professionals if needed.

With the right preparation and patience, you can save money by programming that remote starter fob yourself. Just be ready to sip your morning coffee outside in the cold a few times during testing!

So don’t let a faulty remote starter fob leave you out in the cold when you least expect it. Follow this guide, leverage the troubleshooting tips, and you’ll be back on the road to push-button warm-ups in no time. Here’s to more peaceful winter mornings ahead!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions about resetting your remote starter fob? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to program a fob?

  • Resetting and reprogramming a fob usually takes 5-15 minutes. More time may be needed for troubleshooting or adding multiple fobs.

Where should I be located when programming?

  • You should be sitting in the driver’s seat with the door closed when syncing the fob to the vehicle.

Do I need to program all my existing fobs again?

  • Yes, you’ll need to reset and program all your current fobs during the process, not just new ones.

What if my car battery died?

  • A dead car battery will wipe the memory for your programmed fobs. You’ll have to reset each one after recharging or replacing the battery.

How many fobs can I program?

  • Most cars support programming 3-8 fobs, but verify your vehicle owner’s manual for the max number.

How do I get a replacement fob?

  • You can purchase replacement fobs through your dealership or sometimes online. Fobs are vehicle-specific.

Can I upgrade my manual key to a fob?

  • In some cases yes, but you usually need to purchase and program an aftermarket fob kit for vehicles that didn’t come with them.

How do I know which button is Lock?

  • The lock button is usually indicated by a closed padlock icon. If text, it may say “Lock.” Refer to your owner’s manual.

What if my car battery or fob battery dies mid-process?

  • You’ll have to start back from the beginning if either battery dies during the reset process. Have backups ready.

Why does my fob need to be reprogrammed?

  • Fobs fall out of sync over time. Resetting re-aligns their communication frequency with your vehicle’s systems.

Hopefully these tips will get your remote starter back to its reliable, convenient self. Never let a cold car ruin your morning again!

Similar Posts