Why Your Key Fob Isn’t Working (Even After Replacing the Battery)

If your key fob isn’t working after replacing the batteries, you may need to reprogram it or check for loose buttons and broken battery terminals.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Dec 29, 2022
There are several reasons your key fob may not work correctly. Some of the most common problems involve the battery contact terminals or the buttons themselves—but it may also be that you simply need to reprogram the key fob so that it’s recognized by the vehicle.
For your remote key fob to work properly, it has to be connected to a receiver in the vehicle. When the battery in the fob is replaced, it can sometimes interfere with the paired connection between key and car, in which case you’ll need to reset it.
Not being able to use your remote key fob can be a nuisance—that’s why the top-rated
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has put together this guide on what to do when your key fob isn’t working even after replacing the battery.
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Why isn’t my remote key fob working?

There are several reasons why your key fob isn’t working even after you’ve replaced the batteries, but some of the most common have to do with the fob’s internal contacts—namely the buttons and battery connector terminals.
It may also be that, upon removing the batteries—or even for some unknown reason—the car and remote unpaired from one another, resulting in your vehicle no longer recognizing the remote fob.

Broken battery connector terminals

To verify whether the battery connector terminals are at fault, you’ll need to take the remote apart to access the internal components. If the connector terminals are loose or visibly damaged, you may be able to fix them by soldering them back in place.

Loose buttons

It’s also possible the issue is with the buttons themselves. Most remotes have rubberized buttons that can, over time, loosen or wear down. 
If you notice that one or more of the buttons fail to pop back out correctly or have become stuck, disassemble the casing, remove the buttons, clean them, and put the remote back together. If this still doesn’t work, you may need to buy a new remote fob.
Key Takeaway Your remote key fob is subject to a lot of wear and tear that can ultimately damage or loosen some of the internal contacts, potentially causing the fob to malfunction even after replacing the battery.

Reprogramming an electronic key fob

For a remote key fob to be secure, it must first be paired with your vehicle specifically—this prevents people with the same make and model car as you from being able to access your car via their remote. If replacing the batteries has reset this connection, or if it was somehow interrupted, you’ll have to reprogram the fob so that it once again recognizes your car.

Standard programming sequence

In most cases, your key fob will be able to be reprogrammed by following this standard sequence:
  • Get inside your car and close the door
  • Insert your key into the ignition
  • Turn the key into the run position—rather than starting it—and then back to the locked position. Do this several times in a row.
  • Once you’ve cycled the key enough times, you’ll usually hear a chime or some other sound, after which you can press the lock or unlock button on your key fob, which will result in another chime.
  • Test the remote to check whether the fob was successfully reprogrammed

Alternative programming sequence

Some cars have a different program sequence, so If you tried the standard one and it didn’t work, try this alternate one:
  • Enter your car and manually lock the door
  • Insert the key into the ignition and pull it back out. Do this six times in a maximum of 10 seconds
  • Your interior and exterior lights will flash if this is the sequence your car uses
  • Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory position
  • Press one of the buttons on your remote key fob
  • The hazard lights will flash if the reprogramming was successful
  • Test the remote to make sure the fob is now working properly
If neither the standard nor alternative reprogramming sequences worked, you’ll need to contact an authorized dealer or some other independent shop that has experience dealing with the make and model of your vehicle in particular.

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Whether you use a traditional manual key or prefer a remote key fob, make sure your vehicle is protected with the right
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