You go to start your car. Nothing happens. You try again—still nothing. 

Your key fob is dead, and you don’t have access to a spare key. While you may want to panic for fear of being stuck, try to stay calm. All is not lost! 

There are several ways to fix this problem. You just have to give them a try. Keep reading to learn how to start a car with a dead key fob. 

Replace the Batteries 

Instead of panicking, try looking at the car key batteries. They might be dead. And luckily, if the car key fob battery is dead, the fob itself is not broken.

If you’re stuck in a store parking lot or your garage, try and find some of these batteries. They are small, silver, round, 3-volt batteries that are labeled as 2032 or 2035. If there is a screw to take out in order to access the batteries, try using a credit card or coin if you don’t have a screwdriver.

If you fear this will happen again in the distant future, go put some spare fob batteries in your car along with your other emergency items. You’ll be thanking yourself if it happens again when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere! 

Place Key on the Push To Start Button 

If you are able to get into your car but not able to start the engine, give this a shot. 

Touch the key fob to the push to start button, or even press the button with the key itself while applying the brake. 

There is a frequency emitted by the fob at all times, so even if it’s low on power, the car’s system can still read it if it’s close enough. This is the same system that ensures your car isn’t stolen, as the frequency can’t be mimicked by a key to another car. 

Give this tactic a few tries, as it may take a couple of minutes to get it just right. But if it still isn’t happening after five or ten tries, you may need to replace the key altogether. 

Hidden Key Slot 

Although you may not know it, there is sometimes a hidden slot to manually insert a key for situations such as this. 

Check your car key to see if there’s a manual key hidden inside and if so, start looking for the slot to insert it. It could be in a multitude of places such as underneath the push to start button or next to it under a plastic covering. This manual key may also come in handy if you’ve been locked out of your car and have access to a lock on the outer door. 

Unfortunately, not all cars will have this feature. If you can’t find a slot to insert the key, read the car manual to see if it mentions it. If not, this may not be an option for you. 

Try a Car App 

If you have a smartphone on you, which you most likely do, see if there’s a car app that will permit you to unlock and/or start the car. Car companies such as Audi, Acura, Ford, BMW, Lincoln, Hyundai, and Nissan will allow you to do this. 

However, these apps can vary, and while some may help you open the car, not all will start the engine. If this is the case, you’ll have to call for a key replacement. 

Key Replacement 

If your key fob is completely broken, or you don’t have access to any fob batteries, you will likely have to call for a car key fob replacement. Although you will have to wait for a bit, it is far less of a hassle than getting a tow.  

Car dealerships seem like a good option for this service, but they can’t always meet you where you’re stranded. Not to mention, there could be hidden costs that you find out about later on. 

Companies that specialize in car key replacements such as Austin Car Key Pros can be there within 30 minutes with any type of car key. Even if it’s 2:30 am on a Sunday night, they will be there because of their 24/7/365 guarantee. No matter if it’s a foreign or domestic car, they can help you out. 

Call a Locksmith 

If you are locked out of your car and can’t even access the start button, you most likely have to call an automotive locksmith. 

If this happens, calling someone is much easier and safer than trying to break into your car. You don’t want to have to pay to replace a busted window too. 

While you may want to contact your car dealership, it is often the more complicated option. Locksmithing is not their first priority and might not even be a service they offer. It will probably take a lot of communication back and forth before they can come and help. 

On the other hand, automotive locksmiths are equipped to deal with this exact issue quickly and safely. Austin Car Key Pros are licensed, bonded, and insured locksmiths with a minimum of five years experience, so you know you’re getting the most reliable service. And after a car key fob fails on you, reliability is what you need most.  

Now You Know How To Start a Car With a Dead Key Fob 

Now that you’re an expert on how to start a car with a dead key fob, you’ll never be stranded again without a plan. And who knows, maybe you’ll save the day for someone else too. 

If you are in the Austin, TX area, click here to request a car key replacement or any other services we offer! 

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