You will be able to reprogram the key fob to a different car if the button configurations are the same for both cars and the key can go into the new car’s doors to unlock them.
Key fobs are divided into five main types:
Standard remotes – These key fobs are completely separate from the key, with buttons for locking and unlocking the doors and the trunk, as well as a panic button.
Flip keys – With these, the built-in key can be pulled out by pressing a button. It comes with the same buttons as a standard remote.
Fobiks – These key fobs use infrared technology to unlock your car, but they still have a hidden standard key just in case something goes wrong. They also come with the same buttons as a standard remote.
Remote head keys – Similar to fobiks, the remote and key are attached, but the key is not hidden like they are in flip keys.
Smart remotes – These key fobs have the most features, but they are also the most costly. You can unlock your car and even start it remotely as long as you are near it. Like fobiks, smart remotes have a hidden metal key.
Make sure to consult the car’s manual to verify whether your car has a specific reprogramming procedure – most cars are reprogrammable using the steps listed below, but your car may be an exception.
The steps to reprogram a used key fob are as follows:
- Put in new batteries before starting, as any power interruptions can cause problems with the reprogramming process.
- Reset the car computer by removing the battery cables from the vehicle for 30 seconds.
- Get into the car and close all the doors before putting the key in the ignition. Turn the key to the ‘ON’ position to turn on the car’s electrical aspects, but do not start the engine.
- Press the lock button on the key fob, then turn the car key to the “OFF” position. Next, turn the key to the “ON” position, but do not turn the engine on.
- Repeat step 4 three times. This step helps your car recognize that it is your key that is in the ignition, and your key fob that is locking the car.
- Turn the car key to the “OFF” position, then press the lock button on your key fob right after you hear a lock sound from your vehicle. This sound means that your car has entered programming mode – pressing your key fob’s lock button within five seconds of the sound will successfully program your key fob to your car.
- Remove the key from the ignition to end the programming process.
- Leave your vehicle and close all the doors to test all the remote functions applicable to your key fob.
It’s important to note that it is not the key fob that is being reprogrammed here – instead, your car is being reprogrammed to recognize the key fob. You won’t be able to program certain functions on your own without access to specific professional machinery, like the push start function as it needs reprogramming for the immobilizer function. You also won’t be able to reprogram a used key fob to a car that doesn’t have the function in the first place.