Everything You Need to Know About Key Fob Replacement

September 1st, 2017 by

– Nick Borges-Silva for Wilsonville Toyota

Is there anything more annoying than losing or breaking a key? I don’t know. Probably.

The point is:

Key issues are a bummer, and they have the potential to leave you stranded without access to your vehicle. But don’t worry too much because we have you covered.

Many of these tips are, in fact, much easier to utilize than you may believe. For instance, did you know it’s possible to use push-button start even if your smart key’s battery is dead?

But while advanced technologies have afforded us seemingly endless conveniences, they can still act as a double-edged sword when it comes to repair and replacement costs. That’s why we teamed up with our outstanding customer advocate JSP to put this guide together: to ensure you’re ready to deal with any key troubles you may encounter in a simple and efficient fashion.

Key Fob

I Lost My Key Fob

Replacing a missing key fob is relatively simple due to the fact that our parts department typically has every Toyota key replacement already in stock. Unfortunately, a full replacement is the most expensive fix on our list.

Why are replacements so expensive?

Many drivers don’t know that many electronic keys also house a standard physical key (as seen in the photo below). As a result, key fob replacements need their physical keys cut and their electronics programmed in order to match up with their corresponding vehicles. Replacement prices vary depending on whether you’re dealing with a smart key or a more standard key, but they generally fall between $200 and $350.

Key Fob

And here’s where it can get tough:

When you lose one key, your dealership of choice will typically duplicate your remaining key. If, however, you lose both of your keys—vehicles typically come with two—replacements become more expensive (approximately $650). This is because your vehicle’s computer system needs to be updated for the new keys to function properly.

My Key Fob Broke

Here’s where you may be in luck:

If you only broke the standard mechanical key in your key fob, cutting a new key shouldn’t cost much, and you may be able to continue using your existing key fob along with your newly cut mechanical key.

On the other hand, if you happen to damage your key fob’s electronics due to water damage or other severe means, you’ll likely be looking at a complete key fob replacement.

And while it’s not always cheap, you may be able to save some money if you only break your key fob’s case and don’t damage the electronics. Prices vary significantly depending on where you buy replacement parts, so feel free to call us at (503) 582-9040 to find out more.

My Key Fob’s Battery Died

To replace the battery in your key fob, start by prying open the key fob case. This can be done by using the mechanical key hidden in the fob’s casing. You should then be able to find a slot specifically intended for opening the fob’s case.

Key Fob

Inside the key fob is a small circuit board that can be turned over to reveal the battery. CR2032 batteries are commonly used in key fobs and shouldn’t be hard to find online or in stores when you need a replacement. These batteries also won’t break the bank as they tend to go for no more than a few bucks.

Key Fob Battery

How Can I Start My Vehicle If My Key Fob’s Battery Is Dead?

This is a common concern when drivers move to a smart key system.

While many smart-key-equipped vehicles can be accessed by using your mechanical key with the driver’s door lock, you may be out of luck if your vehicle is equipped with push-button start. What many drivers don’t know is that you should still be able to start your vehicle by holding your key fob against the start button even if your key’s battery is too weak to unlock the doors. New Toyota vehicles include detailed instructions on this topic, which are listed on a paper card inside the glove compartment.

Key Fob Instructions

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