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When Your Keyless Entry Doesn't Work

Locks and Locksmiths

There are a few things you can try to see if you can reset your vehicle’s keyless entry system before getting a replacement.

Holding the lock button and the open button on your keyless entry fob simultaneously for about sixty seconds should reset the system. You will know it worked if, after about a minute, the lights in the car go on and off. In some vehicle models the car horn may beep to let you know the reset is successful.

Unlock the car manually and get in and drive. Having the key in the ignition while the car is running can reset the alarm and when you get back out of the car you may find your keyless entry is working again.

Check your spare transmitter. If both of them are not working, it is possible the receiver is the problem and not the keychain fob portion of the remote entry system. You can either test the receiver by grounding the receiver wire in your car (location of the receiver wire varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle). If you ground the wire and the locks do not cycle, then the problem is your receiver, not your remotes.

Replace the batteries. If your keyless remote has a battery you can change without cracking open the housing, try replacing the batteries. If you have had your keyless entry system for over a year this may be the source of your problem. If you know where the transmitter is located, you can ground the transmitter wire and then push the lock and unlock buttons on your keyless remote until you hear the locks cycle. This should only take about ten seconds. If you have multiple remotes, repeat the process for the other remotes you have for up to four transmitters. Then remove the ground on the transmitter wire and test out your keyless entry.

Turn the car on and off. In some vehicles, turning the ignition key on and off eight times in less than 10 seconds will alert the security system in your vehicle to go into programming mode. This has much the same effect that grounding the wire does but is much less dangerous for someone that does not have the technical expertise to ground a wire in their vehicle. Then take your transmitter and press a button to sync it to your security system. After you have synced up to four transmitters, switch the ignition off and test the transmitters to see if the programming has been successful.

If you do not know how to ground a wire, and you have tried the less technical suggestions, the safest and least expensive thing to do is call your local locksmith. A locksmith has extensive experience with keyless remote entry systems and may be quicker and less expensive than the car dealership.

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