Print this Page

Dead Key Fobs

Key Not Detected IndicatorModern push button ignition vehicles can be tricky to get into and start when the battery in the key fob, your car’s remote control or ‘clicker’, fails. And it likely will fail, far earlier than the old keyless entry fob, since the new technology requires that the fobkey_warning_symbol_2 be in constant radio contact with the car. When it fails, you will see an image like the one here or a text message like “Key Not Detected”.

Do you know the 40+ back-up options to start a keyless ignition vehicle? Do you know the one that works in your car??

GM Lock Cover RemoveAdding insult to injury is the fact that eleven manufacturers have chosen to hide the key hole in some models for the sake of appearance. They are Audi, BMW, Ford, GM (Chevrolet and Cadillac), Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Volkswagen and Volvo. And they add models seemingly every year. Another manufacturer, Fisker and their original hybrid, had a driver open the car from the passenger side!

Unfortunately, to the automotive industry this is a driver beware issue. You the driver are expected to learn any new system and have that knowledge at the ready when needed. Engineers and designers have clearly never talked a nervous driver through the process of prying off a piece of their vehicle and getting it started in the dead of night far from home. We have…

Tahoe Escalade Suburban back-upAt we think you deserve better. So, here’s some help, by vehicle manufacturer, since they are nearly all different – sometimes between models from the same manufacturer! We have instructions and illustrations for getting into and starting a keyless, or push-button, start car from 17 manufacturers.  There are 13 variations for retrieving the standard ‘hard’ key (and there is a hard key) and several different ways to get in – including getting past the hidden keyholes in over a dozen models. Then we’ll show you over 40 distinct starting variations. No industry standardization here. None!

Download our Dead Key Fob app here and carry the instructions needed for vehicles from 13 manufacturers built before 2014. More updated info on 17 manufacturers is linked below in alphabetical order. Click here for our growing video library.

BMW / Mini
Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep
Ford / Lincoln
General Motors (Chevrolet / Cadillac / Buick / GMC)
Honda / Acura
Hyundai / Kia
Nissan / Infiniti
Toyota / Lexus / Scion
VW / Audi

Permanent link to this article:

Get a Tire Price Quote Instantly at Firestone.

Video Help

We are developing a video library to help get you in and get going if your key fob dies. The first three are general overviews, followed by videos ‘keyed’ to specific manufacturers and models, where applicable. To date, nearly 63,000 total views. General Help These first videos show us getting into (# 1) and starting …

View page »


Getting Out!

That’s right, getting out. Two previous posts on the topic, including one that sadly involved a death, has led to the need for this page. Changes in interior lock positioning and new electronic locks have caused difficulties for drivers everywhere. So, as we run across unusual and non-intuitive lock releases or incidents that point to …

View page »