Buying a Replacement Remote Key Fob for Your Factory Keyless Entry or Add-on Alarm or Remote Start System

Many consumers struggle with the challenge of buying a replacement automotive remote control. If their vehicle has a factory keyless entry system and no add-on system has ever been added, then searching by the make model and year of the vehicle usually leads to an acceptable result but not always. There are split years, when more than one system was used on a vehicle and they use non-compatible remote key fobs.

A better way to shop for a replacement remote is to buy a transmitter that matches the one you have in hand for reference and that you know worked with your vehicle. Most remotes have an FCC ID on the back. By law, all radio-frequency transmitters are supposed to have this identifier on the outside of the remote. However, some manufacturers put it inside the case or printed in the key channel of a smart key or flip key in text so small you may need a magnifying glass to see it. Searching by the FCC ID is an excellent way to shop for most remotes. The following link from our website provides a fairly comprehensive list of automotive remote FCC IDs: FCC ID List for Automotive Remote Transmitters

Even an FCC search has its limits. In some cases you have to know the circuit board of your remote or the model-year of your vehicle. In other cases, automotive manufacturers have made buying a remote so complicated that you have to provide a VIN (vehicle identification number).

The single best way to search for a remote transmitter is by the original equipment (OE) manufacturer’s part number. In some cases, this number is also provided on the back or inside of a key fob. If it is not and you know that your system is the factory-installed keyless entry system, you can always call a dealership, provide your VIN, and ask them to tell you the correct replacement part number for your remote. If you buy a replacement remote with the same OE part number, whether your vehicle has a factory system or an add-on alarm or remote start system, you are almost certain to end up with the correct transmitter.

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