Once upon a time, a car had two simple keys; one for the doors/trunk and one for the ignition. As long as you had the keys in your possession, you were all set! Today’s vehicles rely on the transmission technology of a fob to open and even start the vehicle. A lost or (more commonly) malfunctioning fob means you’re going nowhere. But professionals like your friends at Tri-State Lock are ready to assist you when these little devices go awry.


How does it work?

The fob is a basic radio transmitter that communicates on a specific frequency with your vehicle. The technology actually dates to the advent of the automatic garage door opener in the 1960s. But back then, fewer frequencies meant your garage remote might also open and close your neighbor’s garage. For the security of a car that wouldn’t do! Once the technology became available to create shifting codes tailored to an individual vehicle, the fob became the standard vehicle entry device.


What if I lose my fob?

Despite all the added convenience and security fobs provide, people still lose their car keys. You have several options:

  1. You could go to your car’s dealership to have a replacement made and programmed. This is by far the most expensive option.
  2. You could buy an aftermarket used fob for your vehicle and program it yourself. The trick here is to make sure you get exactly the correct fob and are able to access the interior of the vehicle to program the fob. Use caution as there are many unscrupulous third-party dealers ready to sell you a replacement fob that has no chance of working in your vehicle.
  3. A locksmith, sort of a combination of the two options, will select the correct replacement and program it to your vehicle.


What if my fob stops working?

Fobs are battery-powered. More often than not, replacing the fob battery will solve the problem. Many of the small, disc-shaped batteries used by fobs look the same and may even be the same size. Be sure to read the number on the old battery carefully and buy exactly the same type.


Your fob may not be faulty but simply needs to be reprogrammed. Each manufacturer and vehicle has a unique method for reprogramming a fob. Instructions can be found in your owner’s manual. Your local locksmith is also skilled at reprogramming your new or existing fob.


At Tri-State Lock, we specialize in all aspects of vehicle locks, keys, and security. Whether it’s an emergency or an inconvenience, give us a call and we will get you back out on the road in no time!