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How Much Does A Locksmith Charge To Program A Key Fob?

How Much Does A Locksmith Charge To Program A Key Fob?

You’re trying to unlock your car when your key suddenly stops working. 

What are you going to do if your fob doesn’t respond anymore? Well, the easiest thing would be to call a locksmith!

Most locksmiths charge between $50 – $100 to program a key fob. The type of key and whether or not the fob needs to be replaced may cause the fee to go up or down.

A qualified locksmith should be able to help you reprogram the fob to your car. 

They’ve got the tools you’ll need to change its programming. Plus, they can even help you replace its battery if that’s the problem. 

Can a Locksmith Program a Key Fob?

Losing a key is bad enough, but it’s worse when it’s just not working. If your key isn’t working, a locksmith can help you reprogram it. 

There are several reasons someone might need to do this with their key fob. You might’ve lost the key, or it may have died

No matter what, you’ll need a few things if you’d like a locksmith to fix it. 

Make sure you’ve got the key fob on your when they arrive. They’ll need it to do anything. Most of the time, locksmiths won’t help you unless you’re carrying proof of ownership

You can show them the title to your car to prove that you’re the owner, usually. Once they’ve seen it, they’ll help you fix the fob to your car. 

You can ask them to meet you at your car, so they’ll come to you. They’ll speak to you after they’ve made it to your location, so wait for them there. 

You can ask them about how long it’ll take once they’ve arrived. 

It usually takes a few minutes to reprogram a fob, but sometimes it’s longer. 

Cost to Program a Key Fob

One of the biggest reasons people avoid dealers when they’re replacing fobs is the cost. 

Going to the dealer is typically the most expensive way to get a replacement fob if you’ve lost one. 

You could end up spending several hundred dollars if you’re going through the dealer.

That’s why calling a locksmith is so common when people need new fobs. 

They’ve set their prices lower than most dealers, so you can save money. The amount you’ll spend reprogramming a fob depends on several factors. 

Certain cars cost more if you’d like a replacement fob than others. You’re not able to program a fob unless you’re using the right tools, either. 

You should expect it to cost at least $50. However, replacing the fob could cost you up to $250. Getting one at the dealer is usually going to be more expensive. 

If you’d like to save a little money, I’d suggest working with a locksmith! They’ll usually program a fob for less than $100, even on new cars. 

That’s how you’re able to spend less than half of what you would spend at the dealer. 

If you have a proximity key, it’ll cost you more than that. These use sensors to detect when you’re near the car. 

So, it’s more expensive to replace them if they’ve broken. You could spend up to $500 on a replacement if you’re using a proximity key.

A transponder key doesn’t use as much technology, so they’re more affordable. Replacing one of them shouldn’t cost you more than $150. 

It’ll cost more if you’ve had the key cut by lasers, though. 

Finally, a switchblade key will run you somewhere around $200 to $300. These fold into a small rectangle when you’re not using them in the car. 

You’ve just got to push a small button to get them to unfold. Most of them also have a fob that’s built-in, too.

A locksmith should be able to program the fob as long as they have the right equipment. It shouldn’t cost as much to program as a remote key, either. 

Putting a new battery in your fob might be all that’s needed. If that’s the case, you’re not going to spend as much.

A new battery might only cost you $10 if you’re lucky. 

Plus, you don’t need a locksmith to change the battery on your fob, either. Just open it up and look at the inside to see where its battery goes.

Take out the old one once you’ve bought a replacement. Then, you can put the new one in the same spot as the old one. 

Once you’ve replaced the battery, it should work as usual again. You can test whether it’s the battery by using the key outside the car. 

As long as the car responds, replacing the battery should’ve done the job. 

Can You Program a Key Fob on Your Own?

You might feel like it’s too expensive to hire someone else to program the fob. If you’re trying to spend as little as possible, you can do it yourself. 

You’ll need to purchase the equipment needed to program them, though. It’s not possible to change their programming if you don’t have the right tools. 

You can usually hook them up to an OBII port scanner to see their coding. However, you’ll need a special tool if you’d like to program them yourself. 

Check your vehicle’s manual to see whether they’ve listed the right tools. If so, you can look them up online.

Then, order one so that you’re able to program the fob yourself. Most of the time, it’s more expensive to order the equipment. 

You might not want to program a key yourself unless you’re doing multiple. Hiring a locksmith would be cheaper if you’re only working with a single key. 

Replacing the Key Fob on a Keyless Start Car

A keyless start car doesn’t use a regular key. They’ve used a remote start module to render them obsolete. 

So, you don’t have to put anything into the ignition when you’re getting in the car. 

Replacing the fob on a keyless start engine is relatively straightforward. You’ve got to make sure they’re using the correct codes. 

That’s how they’re able to communicate with the engine’s immobilizer. Once you’re in the car, the key’s transponder talks to the engine’s immobilizer, disabling it. 

You’ll need to work with a locksmith if you’re getting a new key, though. Otherwise, it’s not going to have the correct codes to disable it!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!