For all of their conveniences and safety features, we love that smart keys are becoming more popular than standard key fobs or plain old keys. That said, if your car key remote stops working, it can feel like you’re up a creek without a paddle. Luckily, you should still be able to unlock your car with a hidden key blade that is encased in most contemporary key remotes.
Check your remote for a small button or lever that’ll release the key blade so that you can simply insert the key into the lock manually. Naturally, you’ll still want to make sure your remote works again, but before you call a dealership or locksmith because you think you’re stuck with a dud key, double check a few things.
Rule out a mechanical or electrical issue with your locks.
To confirm that the remote is the problem, test the spare key. If the lock and unlock buttons work, then the other key might just need a new battery. If the car doors won’t lock or unlock using your smart key, but the lights flash or you can set the alarm off with the panic button, the problem is most likely with the central locking mechanisms on your car than your key fob.
Replace the batteries before calling a dealership.
No need to call a pro just to handle something as simple as a dead battery. Simply swap out the old one for a new one and test it out. If it works fine once you’ve replaced the battery, be sure to go ahead and swap out the battery in the spare so that you’ll have two fresh, working keys.
Check for cracks, missing parts, or misaligned buttons.
If the key fob’s casing and buttons are knocked out of alignment, this breaks the connection between your command and the electrical signal. Sometimes the solution is as simple as realigning the rubber keypad on your key fob so that a signal is actually delivered to the receiver on your car.
Reprogram your remote yourself or have a professional do it.
Reprogram or replace your remote if necessary.
If you’ve tested the battery and checked the casing but your key still isn’t unlocking the doors, it might be time to connect with a professional who can replace your key fob and program a new one to your car.