We have received a few calls recently from customers who want to know if their keyhead-style replacement remote control is user programmable. This question deserves a full answer.
First, let’s be clear what we are talking about. In Remotes Unlimited parlance, a keyhead-style remote transmitter is one where the key blade and the transmitter are integrated in the same part for a vehicle with an ignition system that requires a key. We distinguish between keyhead parts and proximity remote transmitters, which operate push-button-start vehicles and generally have a back-up key blade inserted in the transmitter.
A customer replacing a keyhead remote part faces two issues: (1) programming the keyless entry system in the vehicle to accept the remote transmitter functions, and (2) preparing the key and ignition system to accept the new key, which requires cutting the key and may also involve programming.
The transmitter portion of many keyhead remotes is user programmable if you have a working key. In particular, the remote transmitter functions of many of the keyhead parts used on Japanese vehicle makes can be programmed by a consumer. Also, several of these parts have a modular design that allows replacement of individual components of the keyhead part. This can be helpful because, if your remote transmitter is no longer working but the key is fine, then you can buy a replacement part, switch your working key blade for the uncut key blade in the modular assembly, program the transmitter functions yourself, and avoid an expensive and time consuming trip to a dealer.
However, not all keyhead remotes are modular in design or are user programmable. So when you buy a replacement keyhead part, be sure you know what the situation is for that particular remote. Good websites usually explain the situation fully.