How Do I Program My Key Fob?

by Margaret Worthington

Programming a key fob for an automobile can be tricky, particularly because there are so many makes and models of vehicles, all with different types of key fobs. Fortunately, with a bit of ingenuity and common knowledge about some of the largest car manufacturers, you can quickly figure out how to program the key fob for just about any car. If your vehicle isn't made by one of these companies, contact the manufacturer or a local dealer.

GM Vehicles

To program the key fob on your GM vehicle, you'll need your key and your key fob. Start by getting in the car, closing all of the doors and putting the key in the ignition. Press and hold the door locking button in the unlock position, then turn the key to the "on" position, then back to the "off" position, then repeat this process one more time, all the while holding down the lock button. Once you finish this process, release the door lock button, and the doors will automatically lock then unlock to confirm that the car is in programming mode. Take the remote you want to program and press the unlock and lock buttons at the same time, holding them for 15 seconds, after which point the car doors will automatically lock then unlock to indicate that the key fob has been programmed. Once you have finished, turn the key to the run position to exit programming mode, then turn it off, remove your key and you are finished.

Ford Vehicles

To program your key fob in a Ford vehicle, you'll need one key and at least one key fob that has already been programmed. Get into your car, close the doors and put your key into the ignition. Turn the key from the "off" position to the "on" position, then back to the "off" position, then back to the "on" position. You'll want to do this "off-on" position change eight times in a row, ending with the key in the "on" position. If you do it correctly, the doors will lock then unlock, which indicates that the car is in programming mode. Press a key on your new key fob and the doors will lock then unlock to verify that the key fob has been detected, then press the same button on your preprogrammed key fob. The car will lock and unlock again to verify everything, and once you turn the ignition to "off" and remove the key, the locks will repeat this process one last time. This means that you have successfully programmed your key fob.

About the Author

Margaret Worthington has been writing and editing since 2001. Her work includes editorials and articles for a college newspaper, toy articles for Hasbro, copy-editing a romance novel and rewriting a publication for "GreenBlue." Worthington holds an Associate of Arts in English and journalism from Piedmont Virginia Community College and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Virginia.