How Car Key Programming Works

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Here at A. L. Odom Locksmiths, Inc., we understand that you depend on your car to go about your daily routine and you always need to be able to access it. With advances in technology, car keys have gone from being simply analog devices to advanced pieces of electronic equipment, and while this change as undoubtedly provided drivers with a lot of convenience, it can also lead to frustration when your key fob stops working and you don’t know why. In this article, our team will provide a brief overview of how car key programming works and how it can go wrong to help you deal with some of that frustration.

How Car Key Programming Works

Modern car keys contain tiny microchips that generate and transmit unique 40-digit codes to a matching receiver in the car itself. If the receiver receives the code it expects, it will execute the specified function, such as locking or unlocking. To provide security, the code generators in the fob and the car use a synchronized pseudo-random number sequence to create a new code every time a signal is sent or successfully received. Every time you press the fob button, the chip generates a new code–if the receiver successfully receives it, then the two devices will stay in sync, but if the fob is out of range, then its new code will no longer match. To account for this, the receiver is programmed to recognize any of the 256 possible codes generated from the last successful pairing, meaning you can press the fob up to 256 times and be okay, but once you hit 257 it won’t work anymore.

If you (or maybe your toddler) does press your key fob that many times while out of range of your car’s receiver, that’s when you’ll need car key programming to bring them back into sync.

Our team at A. L. Odom Locksmiths, Inc. has the right equipment to program your car key and get it working properly again. Pressing the buttons too many times is also not the only thing that can lead to a need for car key programming–many people also turn to us for help after accidentally running their key fob through the laundry, for instance. If you find that your car keys aren’t operating like they should, simply reach out to our team at A. L. Odom Locksmiths, Inc. for the car key programming services you need.