A number of picture symbols are used to indicate the presence of an electronic key in a push button or, ironically, keyless start, or keyless ignition, vehicle. These systems will allow a vehicle to be started only when an electronic key is present in, and detected by, the vehicle.
The flashing red Electronic Key symbol on the left indicates that the key is not detected. If the Key is in the vehicle, its internal battery is likely dead and needs to be replaced. The same Electronic Key symbol shown in green indicates that the key is found and the vehicle can be started. But, there’s more…
Note that some manufacturers will have the light flash in green to indicate a weak fob battery. Thus, any time an electronic key indicator is seen to flash, consult your manual or your dealer for clarification.
These are Key Fob Indicator symbols and are meant to resemble the driver’s hand-held remote control, or fob. The one on the left indicates that the fob is not detected or has been removed from the vehicle. If the fob is in the vehicle, it is not detected and its battery is likely dead. The symbol to its right with the added lighting bolt indicates that the fob is detected but that the battery in the fob is low and should be replaced.
These symbols are Low Key Battery Indicators. The images of a key are shown abo ve or alongside the image of what most resembles a AA or AAA battery with its level low. One adds the letter E for empty to the right. Replace the battery as soon as possible. They do NOT use AA or AAA batteries!
Electronic keys, key fobs, remote controls, smart keys, intelligent keys, advanced keys are all terms used by manufacturers and drivers to describe the same device. You get to get into and start your vehicle only if the correct device is present, has a working battery and is not interfered with by other electronics (actually rare). All the images include the representation of a key and depending on the manufacturer, may include an exclamation point, a question mark or even a lightning bolt.
There is a back-up plan to get into and start your vehicle if the key battery is dead. Check your owner’s manual, our posts or our Dead Key FOB app for help. You can also search ‘Dead Key FOB’ on your device’s store for the app.
Keep the Symbol meanings with you! Download our Mobile App here or search ‘Dashboard Symbols’ at your device’s app store.