5 Reasons Why a Keyless Remote Does Not Work

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Introduction: 5 Reasons Why a Keyless Remote Does Not Work

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Video tutorial on the five different reasons as to why your keyless entry or key fob doesn’t work. This video is based on the reasons as to why the key fob or keyless entry doesn’t work completely as in operating the lock, unlock, panic, trunk and door features all together. If only one button doesn’t work or your vehicle doesn’t start, well that can be relating to another issue.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • keyless entry remote
  • battery
  • screwdriver
  • socket set and ratchet
  • multimeter
  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • radio frequency tester

Step 1:

Issue #1:

The battery in the remote has failed -if the remote was working previous and you found the range of the remote was gradually becoming less until it finally quit, then the battery was wearing out. Battery replacement is usually fairly straight forward and there is no need to pay a dealer for battery replacement. Purchase a replacement battery from a store where stock tends to move quicker. Ensure the metal retaining clips which hold the battery into place do have some tension, otherwise there maybe a contact issue and the remote isn’t receiving any power.

Step 2:

Issue #2:

The remote needs to be reprogrammed to the vehicle. Some dealers will claim that this can only be done by them, but this is false for a majority of vehicles as long as you have one working remote. A working remote is needed amongst most vehicles to access the programming sequence for adding another remote. Only a handful of vehicles can have a remote programmed by operation of the key, accessing some pairing switch under the dash, etc. Procedures will vary between vehicles.

Step 3:

Issue #3:

The fuse has blown for the control circuit or module of the keyless entry system. Refer to your owner’s manual for the corresponding fuse, locate the fuse box, and then test the fuse. Use a test light while the fuse is in place or remove the fuse completely to do a continuity test using a multimeter. Do not visually inspect the fuse as this isn’t a reliable method.

Step 4:

Issue #4:

Either the antenna, wiring, or faulty module may fail. Depending how the design of your vehicles system, you may have a separate antenna which can fail, any wiring may become faulty, connections can corrode or in a rare situation the module can fail completely. Diagnostic procedures will vary between vehicles but you can refer to a vehicle specific repair manual or there might be common fault areas known to your vehicle which can be found through online sources such as car forums.

Step 5:

Issue #5:

The remote can fail completely, sometimes you can pull apart the remote and inspect the circuit board for any cracked solder joints. If you find a cracked solder joint, they can be re-solder. Other times an electrical component may have failed and in order to determine that beyond testing each component on it’s own, use a radio frequency tester. This is a speciality tool which determines if the keyless entry is sending out a signal when a button is activated. You can purchase these tool yourself, although they can be expensive or a mechanic, electronics’s technician, or locksmith maybe able to do this for you.

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    7 Comments

    0
    c0nfus3d_1
    c0nfus3d_1

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I have a 2015 Dodge Journey SE. Recently, the sensors in the door handles stopped working. However, the transmitter will still unlock / lock the doors. I have checked the fuses.
    All are good. What to look for next?

    0
    Mjayyy1098
    Mjayyy1098

    Question 1 year ago

    I have a 17’ Malibu. Every keyless entry door works except the rear passenger door. I have to use the key fob to unlock the door. All the others door I have no problem just pressing the button to unlock with the key fob near. I don’t know how to resolve this issue and it’s damn near annoying.

    0
    paulye1279
    paulye1279

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I have a 2009 Dodge caliber in my key has the alarm remote buttons in it well I changed the fuse and then it works and unlock the door and set the alarm and all that but once I drive it and come back and park it won't work until I unplug it plug it back in and then it works again does anybody know why

    0
    pcote1
    pcote1

    5 years ago

    Another one I have run into is a FM transmitter over running the signal.

    0
    4DIYers
    4DIYers

    Reply 5 years ago

    Good to know! What was the source of the FM transmitter???

    0
    GarthBock
    GarthBock

    5 years ago

    #6 The switches become dirty. Clean the underneath of the buttons (the little round black posts) and the copper contacts on the board with contact cleaner. This usually clears up alot of switch problems.

    #7 The battery clip which is also the plus contact sometimes is poorly soldered. I have had this in 2 different vehicle remotes. Removing it and resoldering it solves an intermittent or dead key fob.

    0
    4DIYers
    4DIYers

    Reply 5 years ago

    Excellent tips, thank you for sharing!