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Can You Start Car Without Key Fob?


New car models tend to have key fobs in place of traditional keys. The possibility of losing the key fob or the battery dying unexpectedly makes it important to consider what next? Can you start car without key fob?

The answer to this question is yes, you can start your car without a key fob. This article outlines how you can get into your car and start it without a key fob. 

What’s A Key Fob?

A key fob is a small electronic device that remotely controls an object such as your car, motorcycle, doors, etc.

A traditional key fob has both a fob and a key that is used to start the car, while newer versions of key fobs don’t have keys and key fobs are used in unlocking and starting the car.


A key fob transmits a signal to the car which activates an instruction to either unlock, lock, or activate the car security. Some key fobs come with additional features that allow the user to open the car trunk and also remotely start the car.

Moreover, key fobs have some benefits such as security, convenience, portability, long battery life, and aesthetic appeal which have increased their usage and popularity.

Reasons Why Your Car Key Fob Might Not Be Working

These are the reasons why your key fob might not be working.

Worn Out Key Fob Batteries

When the battery in your key fob is dead, the key fob won’t be able to send signs to the remote system in your car. A key fob running out of battery is a common problem that you can easily fix by replacing the batteries.

Additionally, If you find that your key fob isn’t instantly responding when you press the button or it’s no longer working from the usual distance, it’s a sign you need to change the batteries.

Internal Damage To Key Fob

There are situations where a key fob can suffer international damage to the wires or panel. This can affect the functionality of the key fob and affect the signal sent to your car’s remote system.

Internal damages to the key fob can also arise due to wear-down components from years of usage. When some buttons begin to seize or no longer press, it is a sign of a faulty key fob.

Lack Of Programming

When the key fob is not properly programmed, it can lead to malfunction. When you replace your key fob, without properly programming it with your car system, the key fob won’t function properly.

Ways to Start a Car Without a Key Fob

It’s possible to lose your key fob and sometimes, your key fob can also run out of battery.

Some cars provide options to start the engine without a key fob, while others don’t have such an option. If you’re missing your key fob, these are ways to start your car without a key fob.

Use A Remote Access 

Some cars have provision for mobile applications that allow for remote door unlock features. You can use this app to unlock your car door and start your car if you lock out your key fob, lock in your key fob, or have a bad key fob.

Before using a remote access feature, you have to download the software. After downloading the app, you have to link it with your car system and set up a security pin.

Hotwire to Bypass Ignition Lock

Hotwiring your car involves bypassing the ignition lock system. This is something you must have seen in different movies where someone puts some wires together and the engine roars to life.

If you lose your key fob, you can open the circular switch pack that connects and connect the right wires to start the engine. However, this process is technical and it is more complicated than the movies make it.

ECU Replacement

You can override your car security by replacing the ECU. If you lose your key fob, you can install a performance chip in the ECU system as Superchips. The performance chip will replace the primary ECU and deactivate the immobilizer system, thereby deactivating the car security.

Replace The Batteries

Sometimes, a non-working key fob might be due to low batteries. To fix this problem, you can consider changing the car key fob batteries.

Changing the batteries on a key fob is very quite straightforward. To change the battery, you first have to remove the key fob cover to see the type of battery the key fob uses.

Remove Key from the Key Fob

Many people don’t know this but most car key fobs have a key inside them that can be used to open the doors and start the car. You can remove the car within the key fob, by pressing a small button on the fob.

In some key fobs, the key is located inside the key fob, which means you need to take it apart to take out the key. To ascertain the location of the key and how to remove it, you can go through your car repair manual online.

Remove Door Handle Cover

Some cars have a key deposited inside the driver’s door handle cover. You can remove the key with a screwdriver, however, ensure you don’t damage the car in the process.

Some cars that have push-to-start buttons also have key starters covered with plastic. Once you find the key, you can use it to start the car. You can use the key to start your car.


Remove Ignition Lock Cover

After getting into your car, you can find the hidden cover that houses the ignition lock. You should hold the key close to the ignition lock or start button to try to get some signal to start the car.

Call for Help

If after trying different ways to start your car with a key fob and you still couldn’t get it to start, it might be time to seek help. You should call a trusted mechanic who can access the problem and fix your key fob.

There are tools mechanics use to reprogram key fobs, thereby making it easier to replace a bad key fob.


A car key fob is a convenient, durable, and efficient way to open and start your car. Despite its many advantages, a car key fob is not immune to damage.

Knowing how to start your car without a key fob can come in handy in an emergency and it will only save you money.

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