Every once in a while, your Dodge Ram key fob may malfunction and need you to quickly get them fixed, especially when you are in an emergency and need a technician’s help.
Fob key issues, on regular occasions, are usually not very serious, as they could be the battery of the fob requiring replacement.
However, if you are a novice or have just recently started using the keyless ignition system of Dodge and wondering how you can program the fob when it needs to be, here is a guide on how to program a Dodge key fob yourself. We hope you find this extremely helpful and easy to get around.
Can You Program a Dodge Key Fob Yourself?
Programming the Dodge key fob is as easy as you can imagine. Doesn’t take much effort, time, and resources.
So, if you’re wondering if you need to call a technician when your fob engine malfunctions, you don’t have to. It’s a simple DIY step that requires you to carry out yourself.
As a matter of fact, programming your fob key can be done in less than 5 minutes, even though the process sounds like some severe technical affair.
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How to Program a Dodge Ram key Fob
Programming your Dodge Ram key fob is always called for when you’ve resolved other issues like replacing the fob battery and checking the essential connections, but it still doesn’t work.
To program the key, follow the steps below:
- Get into your vehicle cabin and within about 10 seconds, press the “LOCK” button on the car remote.
- Put your Dodge key fob into the ignition, then turn it over to the “RUN” position. Press the remote’s UNLOCK button simultaneously.
- Continue holding the button in that position while at the same time pressing the PANIC button. Then release them at the same time.
- Then wait for the vehicle to cycle its locks. Once that’s done, press the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons. Release the buttons one at a time and afterward, press the UNLOCK button and rerelease it. This finalizes the programming process.
Can you program a key fob without the original one?
Here is how fob keys work. Every car has a tag that is unique to it, programmed into the key fob.
When you buy a new fob since it hasn’t been programmed, it’s usually void of this tag; the key is a blank one. So to get it to work, you need the original key fob.
This is because you need to copy the previous key tag into the new key’s transponder for it to work.
The transponder in the new key won’t work without the tag, as it won’t be able to communicate with your car’s immobilizer.
Because of this, the ignition system will be shut down by your car’s immobilizer, and it won’t start.
So, the system requires the vehicle’s original fob key. This is usually a safety measure against theft.
Nonetheless, there are alternative ways to program a Dodge key fob without needing the original key fob. It, however, depends on the kind of key your Dodge uses.
Some Dodge cars are built to have a separate fob only usable with the door lock, while the key ignitions don’t have buttons. Others design the fob, the transponder, and the key all fused.
If you use this type, here is how you can program a new fob key without needing the original one:
Get into the vehicle and use the driver’s seat. Press and release the vehicle’s LOCK button in approximately 10 seconds. Do this in five quick successions.
For this step, timing is vital, so ensure it’s done within the 10 seconds window.
The next step is to press the UNLOCK button and hold it. While still holding the UNLOCK button, insert your Dodge Ram key into the ignition port and turn it over to RUN mode. Still, keep your finger on the UNLOCK button.
While the UNLOCK button is pressed down, press the PANIC button for about one second. Now release the two buttons at the same time.
The next thing to do is to hold down both the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons and lift your fingers off them simultaneously.
The last thing to do is to press the UNLOCK button for one last time.
Ram key fob problems & solution
Before we get into Ram Key fob problems, we need to rule out common human errors that may cause your Ram fob key to be insensitive. These common errors some users make are:
- Using the wrong key
- Leaving your transmission in drive or reverse
- Weather affects fob keys sometimes.
If these have been ruled out, then here are some problems that can lead to your Ram fob key not working and tips on how to fix them.
01. The battery may be dead.
This is usually the most common reason why the Dodge Ram fob key doesn’t work. The fobs transmitter is powered by a lithium battery shaped like a coin.
It has pretty reliable longevity but doesn’t last forever. After some years of use, the battery slowly loses charge to the extent that it lacks sufficient energy to send off signals to your vehicle’s receiver.
If you’re observant, you may have noticed that the range of the fob has reduced overtime or takes several attempts to work. If it eventually fails, you won’t be able to unlock your vehicle’s door or even start the car.
Quick fix: Use the physical key of the vehicle to open it. Then try to start the car with the inductive backup system.
You can do this by closing the back door then a little forcefully, pushing the fob against the start button, and pressing it in. Your car should come on.
02. Damaged fob
car key fobs seem to be roughly handled by a lot of car users. It is often dropped carelessly, bagged around, and frequently exposed to heat and cold. Inside the fob is an IC unit that, under hard use, can be damaged.
The batteries inside are also pretty delicate and can be broken if used too roughly. In addition to this, the fob contains buttons that can be pressed to unlock or lock the vehicle.
If your fob key gets damaged, it could cause your car receivers not to receive signals.
Quick fix: Open the fob key, remove and examine the battery and look for signs of damage.
This may include circuit boards getting cracks., some electronic components disengaged from the circuit board, loose buttons bent battery contacts, which are in some cases oxidized.
If you spot any of these damages, you may need your fob replaced and reprogrammed.
03. Damaged receiver
Signals sent out by your fob have to be translatable by a radio frequency receiver located on the side of the vehicle. If you’ve got a bad receiver, the car would not be able to open.
Quick fix: Attempt placing the fob key close to the door handle on the outside of your vehicle. Try it on the other side too. If it refuses to work, contact your mechanic. Your receiver may be impaired.
04. Interference to radio
Your fob key uses an innovative system that transmits short-range signals. This signal can be obstructed by stronger radio frequencies coming from several sources. This may include:
- Your cellphone,
- A close-proximity wifi router
- Cell Phone towers
- Alarm systems
- Radio stations
- Military base.
Quick fix: If the car can’t be opened, use the physical key to open it. Move your cellphone to the back seat and turn the wifi hotspot off.
Try starting the vehicle by pushing against the start button a little forcefully. If this doesn’t work, contact a mechanic.
What if my Ram key is still broken?
If you have a broken fob key in your hands and are wondering if you can still use it to start your Dodge ram vehicle, well, you can give this simple hack a try.
There is no certainty that it always works. However, many users have testified to it being a makeshift solution to their broken key fob.
Now face the push-to-start button on your dashboard. It would help if you had a live key fob to try this hack. Some models have a hidden slot where you can access this. If you can’t find it, refer to your owner’s manual.
Follow the steps below:
- Open the glove box, and try locating a slot on the left wall
- To the left or right of your vehicle’s steering wheel, you’d find a plastic piece that has a key logo. You can either move it or hold the fob against it to get your vehicle to start.
- If your vehicle has a slot directly under the start button, you can insert your fob into this slot to start the vehicle.
- You may have to take away a liner located under your cup holder to see the key symbol.
- You might also find a hidden key symbol under the liner of the car’s center console. Just leave the keys there and hold down your start/stop button. Press the start button with the fob. This may ignite the car again.
If your car comes on, you have to visit a dealership immediately to fix your fob key.
An alternative to a bad or broken fob key is to use the Uconnect app, which is an app that allows you to unlock your Dodge Ram truck remotely.
All you need for this is a smartphone and satellite technology. You have to be aware that this feature will have a hard time working in areas with poor connectivity.
How To Program Dodge Ram Key Fob(Great Video!)
Top Questions You should Know
How do I know if the transmitter of my fob key is bad?
To make sure your fob key receiver is functional, you must locate it. It is usually situated near the antenna of the car.
Once you have found it, use a screwdriver to unscrew the receiver’s cover. Note that you must use a Phillips screwdriver to get this done.
Look inside, and you’ll find a tiny circuit board with a metal contact. If the connection is corroded, it needs to be cleaned with a cotton swab soaked in vinegar.
Once you’ve cleaned it, screw back the cover and test the key fob. If it doesn’t work after this, you may need to have the receiver changed.
The transmitter is usually found inside the key fob. To access it, the back cover of the key fob has to be replaced.
After this is done, find the small circuit board and examine it for any signs that it may have been corroded.
To know if your key fob is transmitting any signal, you need a multimeter. Locate the antenna to see if there’s continuity between the terminals. If you don’t find any, the fob isn’t working.
Why can’t I program my fob key?
Your key fob will let out a signal when your car enters programming mode. The signal you get is the door shutting, cycling off.
The horn would also honk a few times, the light would flicker a couple of times too, and you’ll get a notification for it.
So, if your car is refusing to enter programming mode, you have to blame it on your vehicle and not the fob itself.
If your car is entering programming mode, but your fob is refusing to sync. Do the following:
- Check the key fob’s battery
- Check if the battery in the key fob is installed properly.
- Check if you have the right key fob, as many drivers mistakenly pick up another of the car’s key fob and try it on a different one.
How do I reset the key fob of my Dodge Ram?
The first thing you do when attempting to reset the key fob of your Dodge Ram is to take apart the key to be able to access the fob’s circuit board.
In the circuit board, once the small button has been located, hold it for some time. This should cause the key fob to reset.
There are several problems that could make your Dodge Ram fob key not work. They may be a weak battery, corrosion, or simply lack of signal.
Whenever your fob key is not working, there are a few hacks you can try to get it to start functioning once again.
You should start by checking the fob’s battery, resetting the key fob, or wiping the Circuit board clean.
If you’ve tried these and the fob key still doesn’t work, you may need to use the vehicle’s emergency key or replace the fob key.