Transponder Key Troubleshooting Tips

It's frustrating when your car's transponder key won't work. You can't get into your car and your engine won't start. What do you do? Before you replace that expensive key, try these troubleshooting tips first:

1. Transponder keys use batteries and if the battery runs low, the key won't work. Replace the battery in your key and make sure there is no damage or corrosion from the old battery.

2. Your transponder key may need to be reprogrammed. Depending on the make and model of your car, you may not be able to reprogram the key. In this instance, you will have to go to the dealership or a locksmith to get a brand new key. If your car is under warranty, you may be able to get a new key or reprogram the old one for free at a dealership. If you can get into your car, you can reprogram the key yourself. Here are the steps:

  • Put your key in the ignition in the "on" position. Leave the key in for ten minutes and thirty seconds.
  • Quickly turn the key to the off position and back on within fifteen seconds. Leave the key in for the same amount of time as in step one.
  • Turn the key off and back on. Repeat this once more. Your key should be reprogrammed.

3. If you have more than one transponder key, leave one in the house. Transponder keys can interfere with each other, causing your key not to work on your car. Leave your spare keys or keys to another vehicle in the house. Also, if a passenger has a transponder key to their own vehicle, their key may also interfere with yours.

4. Check for any kind of radio interference. Transponder keys work using radio signals. If anything interferes with radio waves, it will also prevent your keys from working. Satellites and airplanes can interfere with your transponder key. Try using the key next to your vehicle or placing the key near your chin to get it to work.

5. Purchase a transponder bypass. Transponder key modules become worn out due to damage from falling or water. The module can be repaired by a dealership or locksmith, but if you need to start your car a transponder bypass allows you to do so. Keep in mind that the bypass is a security issue and should only be used until you can get your key repaired or replaced.

These troubleshooting tips can fix your transponder key issues. Contact your dealership or a locksmith at if these tips don't work for you.