How Key Fobs Work

How Key Fobs Work

Posted on July 6, 2022 by A-1

We see them all the time. Many of us use them every time we get in the car. But do we know how they work? No, we’re not talking about cell phones… we’re discussing key fobs! 

In particular, how your typical key fob operates. Let’s cover the different key fobs components, how they work and where to get the best key fob for your needs.

Key Fob Components

Key fobs are advanced pieces of technology with origins dating back to the 1970s. They’ve been improved over the years, but typically involve only two components: the key fob and the remote reader. (They also involve the locking mechanism of the car and the door itself, but the fob itself has only two main parts). Fob shape, size, functionality and components can also vary depending on the manufacturer.

How They Work

In a key fob, the reader houses a microchip with unique codes that communicate with the car door and locking mechanism (via specific frequencies). Multiple fobs can have the same code (but not usually vice versa), so there can be more than one key fob for one vehicle. Common fob buttons include lock, unlock, trunk and alarm functions. 

Batteries need to be replaced on key fobs, since they are a portable remote entry method, but key fobs can usually be duplicated just like keys.

Where To Get Key Fobs

Where to get your key fob depends on a few factors. If you don’t have your vehicle yet and are purchasing or leasing from a dealer, you may be provided a fob or two. (More and more auto manufacturers are making them standard.) Dealerships can also repair or replace key fobs, as well as potentially fix certain components. But having a dealership repair or replace a key fob is often your most expensive option.

A professional locksmith, on the other hand, can program, duplicate and repair/replace key fobs just like a dealer, but at a more affordable price. You also have the option of adding a key fob to an existing car for added convenience if you have multiple drivers or want an extra backup. Or, you might just want another entry option that is more convenient. Whatever motivates you, a key fob is worth the investment.

If you’re interested in getting a key fob or another vehicle entry method, contact A-1 Locksmith today and we’ll help you out.


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