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how to program a key fob

How to Program a Key Fob to a Car

Key fobs, or electronic keys, are small remote devices that allow us to control components of our vehicles such as locks, alarms, or remote start.

However, like all technology, it can fail. Sometimes key fobs can disconnect from the system or break, and you'll need to know how to reprogram another one.

However, the different vehicle makes and models can have different procedures for programming a key fob.

In this guide, we'll look at how to program a key fob for each major vehicle manufacturer. While these reprogramming procedures work for the majority of cars, they don't work for all. If steps for your vehicle below do not work, you may need to consult your car's manual or reach out to a locksmith.

That being said, let's program some fobs!

How to Program a Ford Key Fob

program ford key fob

Step 1: Get In the Car, With Driver-Side Door Open

Start by getting into your Ford on the driver's side and close all the doors, EXCEPT the driver's side door. Leave this one open.

You'll also need your car key and any electronic fobs that you want to program.

Step 2: Cycle the Ignition 8 Times

Next, we're going to cycle the ignition eight times. Note we are not starting the vehicle, only turning the key one notch to power the electrical systems.

Turn the ignition "ON" and "OFF" quickly eight times, within 10 seconds. On the eighth turn, leave the ignition in the "ON" position.

If done correctly, you will hear the doors lock and unlock. This confirms you are now in programming mode.

Step 3: Push Any Button on Your Key Fob

Within 8 seconds, push any button on your key fob.

You'll hear the locks cycle once more, and your key fob should be programmed to your Ford.

How to Program a GM or Chevy Key Fob

program chevy key fob

Step 1: Get Into the Car

Start by getting into your vehicle on the driver's side and close all the doors. You'll need your car key and any fobs that you wish to program.

Step 2: Hold the "Unlock" Button on the Driver Side Door

Push down and hold the "unlock" button on your driver's side door—not to be confused with the unlock button on the fob.

Continue holding down the unlock button.

Step 3: Cycle the Ignition

While holding down the "UNLOCK" button on your door, insert your key into the ignition. Now we're going to cycle the ignition two times. Note we are not starting the vehicle, only turning the key one notch to power the electrical systems.

Cycle the ignition twice by turning the key "ON"—"OFF"—"ON"—"OFF."

Step 4: Release the “UNLOCK” Button on the Driver Side Door

After cycling the ignition twice, release the "UNLOCK" button. Within a few seconds, you will hear the locks cycle.

You are now in programming mode!

Step 5: Hold Down the “UNLOCK” and “LOCK” Button on Your Fob

To program your keyless-entry remote, press and hold the "LOCK" and "UNLOCK" buttons on the key fob simultaneously until the locks cycle once more. This could take up to 30 seconds, so be patient.

Once you hear the locks cycle, your key fob should be programmed to your GM.

How to Program a Toyota Key Fob

program toyota key fob

I'm a huge Toyota fan, but I must say their key fob reprogramming procedure is a little ridiculous. It's not hard, it's just ridiculous.

In a nutshell, you need to insert and remove the key from the ignition twice, close and open the door twice, and repeat this several times.

Like I said... ridiculous.

Step 1: Get In the Driver’s Seat

Start by getting into the driver's seat and closing all of the doors, EXCEPT the driver's door—leave this one open.

Also, ensure that all the doors are unlocked and that you have your key and fob with you.

Step 2: Insert and Remove Key From Ignition Twice

Take your key and without turning it, insert and remove it from the ignition switch twice within 40 seconds.

Push the key in, take it out, push it in, and take it out.

Step 3: Close and Open the Driver’s Door Twice

With your key still out of the ignition, close and re-open your door twice, after which your door should still be open.

Close the door, open the door, close the door, open the door. Easy enough!

If your door wasn't open before starting, you might need to restart from step 1.

Step 4: Insert and Remove Key From Ignition Once

With the door still open, take your key and without turning it, insert and remove it from the ignition switch ONCE within 40 seconds.

Push the key in, take it out.

Step 5: Close and Open Driver’s Door Two More Times.

With your key still out of the ignition, we're going to close and re-open the door two more times. Just like before, your door should end up open.

Close the door, open the door, close the door, open the door.

Step 6: Insert the Key Into the Ignition and Close the Driver’s Door

Once more, insert the key into the ignition, but this time leave it in. Now shut the driver's door.

Step 7: Turn the Ignition "ON" and "OFF," Then Remove the Key

Now we're going to cycle the ignition once by turning the key to the "ON" position and then "OFF" again. Note we are not starting the vehicle, only turning the key one notch to power the electrical system.

After turning the key to the "OFF" position, remove it from the ignition.

If you did everything right, the door locks will automatically lock and then lock.

Your vehicle is now in program mode!

Step 8: Hold “LOCK” and “UNLOCK” Buttons on Key Fob

To program your keyless-entry remote, press and hold the "LOCK" and "UNLOCK" buttons on the key fob simultaneously until the locks cycle once more.

Once you hear the lock cycle, your key fob should be programmed to your Toyota!

Note: Some Toyotas use a different procedure, so if the above doesn't work, try reversing step 6 by closing the door before inserting the key.

How to Program a Dodge Key Fob

program dodge key fob

In order to program a new duplicate remote for your Dodge, you'll need a fob that already works.

If you don't have any functional key fobs for that vehicle, you'll have to visit a dealership.

Step 1: Get In the Driver’s Seat and Lock the Door With Your Working Fob

Start by getting into the driver's seat and closing all of the doors. Next, lock the door using a working key fob.

To program an additional key fob, you must have an already working key fob for your Dodge.

Step 2: Insert Your Key and Turn It to the “ON” Position

Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to the "ON" position. Note we are not starting the vehicle, only turning the key one notch to power the electrical system.

Step 3: Hold and Release the "UNLOCK" and "PANIC" Button on Your Currently Working Fob

While the key is turned to the "ON" position, simultaneously press and hold the "UNLOCK" and "PANIC" buttons on your old key fob.

Hold them for a few seconds before releasing them. Your vehicle is now in program mode!

Some models will chime when entering program mode.

Step 4: Press and Release the "UNLOCK" and "LOCK" Button on Your New Key Fob

Within 30 seconds, simultaneously press and release both the "UNLOCK" and "LOCK" buttons on your new key fob to program it to your vehicle.

At this time, you can add more remote key fobs by repeating this step for each fob.

Step 5: Press the "UNLOCK" Button on Your New Key Fob

To finish programming your fob, press "UNLOCK"  on one of your new key fobs.

In some vehicles, this step will be followed by a chime or the locks cycling.

How to Program a Nissan Key Fob

program nissan key fob

Step 1: Get In the Driver’s Seat

Start by getting into your vehicle on the driver's side and close all the doors. You'll need your car key and any fobs that you wish to program.

Step 2: Press the “LOCK” Button on the Driver Side Door

With all the doors shut and no key in the ignition, press the "LOCK" button on your driver-side door.

Step 3: Insert and Remove Key From Ignition Until Hazard Lights Blink

Next, insert and remove your key from the ignition until the hazard lights blink twice, try to do this quickly.

You are now in program mode.

If the hazards don't flash within 10 seconds, you may need to start over.

Step 4: Insert the Key and Turn To the “ON” Position

Next, insert the key and turn to the "ON" position. Note we are not starting the vehicle, only turning the key one notch to power the electrical systems.

Step 5: Press Any Button on the Fob

Quickly grab your remote and press any button. That's it, your Nissan key fob is programmed!

How Much Does a Locksmith Charge to Program a Key Fob

If you need a professional to reprogram your vehicle fob, you should consider getting a quote from a locksmith rather than a dealership.

Locksmiths generally offer lower prices for programming key fobs over dealerships, plus many will drive to you.

But if we need to use a locksmith, how much will it cost to program a key fob?

It can cost between $50 $500 for a locksmith to reprogram a fob. Factors that affect the price include the type of key fob, the make and model of your car, and even the average cost of locksmithing services in your area.

How Long Does It Take To Program a Key Fob

So how long does this all take?

Most dealerships and locksmiths can program a fob in 15-30 minutes. If key cutting is required, the process can take up to 1 hour.

However, if you are reprogramming your own key, it can take a couple of minutes.

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