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Lost Key Fob But Have Key: Here’s What to Do

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

Lost Key Fob But Have Key

The rise of key fobs gave car owners the convenience and ease to access their cars and protect them from getting lost or stolen. Gone are the days when you had to find your car amid numerous cars because you only had a physical key to get it open.

However, it might become a big inconvenience if you lose your key fob to your car, especially since key fobs are small and are not easy to spot. Because of this, your most important trip can get delayed or worse, canceled.

If you lost key fob but have key to your car, you might want to follow the steps and option to gain access to your car again.

Steps to Take When Realizing the Key Fob is Lost

The first thing you want to do when you realize your key fob is lost is not to panic. 

Instead of panicking, follow these steps:

1. Retrace your steps.


Chances are that your key fob might have fallen off your pocket or your belt. Especially if you have been walking for a while, it might be worth it to retrace your steps and find a lost key fob in the middle of the path that you have taken.

2. Check your surroundings.


To locate a lost key fob, go to the last place you were in and check every corner of that place. Make sure that you check every inch, as key fobs are small and can get stuck between pillows or in the narrow sides of a sofa.

3. Avail a key duplicate.


If none of your efforts paid off, and you didn’t find your key fob, your last resort might be to get an emergency key replacement. This will help you to gain access to your car and secure it from unexpected theft.

If you still can’t find your key fob after a long time, you might want to reprogram your car so that the person who finds your key fob will not gain any access to your car.

Dangers of Losing Key Fob


Can you start your car without the key fob? Well, the sad truth is, you cannot start the car without your key fob if your car is keyless.

Here are some things that you have to look out for if you lose a keyless car key:

  • Your key fob might have gotten stolen by someone who will use your key fob to open your car and steal it. Targeted theft can be serious, and you should be wary of the people around you and your surroundings.
  • If the thief has no interest in your car and doesn’t know how to start a car, they might target the things inside it. Your valuables in your glove box, seats, and trunk can be susceptible to theft.

Available Options for Losing Key Fob

Losing your key fob is not the end of the world for you. Here are some options that you can run to get your car up and running again:

1. Visit the dealership where you purchased your car.


If you bought your car from a dealership, chances are that they have a spare key fob sitting around their stockroom.

If you have a prior deal of zero-fee replacement for your key fob, you might no longer be required to pay even a single penny for a replacement key fob.

If they don’t have a spare key fob for your car, many car dealerships have their own car locksmith that can access your car. These locksmiths can also have replacement key fobs and program them to work on your car.

2. Seek professional help from a car locksmith.


If you didn’t get your car from a dealership, then you might want to seek help from your trusty car locksmith. Like any other car locksmiths, they can easily open your car with their tools.

If the locksmith has more advanced tools, they might also have a service for programming a replacement key fob. However, it might cost you around $50 – $250 for the programming and replacement cost.

3. Go to your local car shop.


Local car shops, like AutoZone, have expert car locksmiths that can get any job done within the day. AutoZone has around 6272 shops that are stationed worldwide.

Car shops are also more reliable than going to car locksmiths, as they have a reputation to uphold. They also offer other maintenance services, which will lessen your hassle and the time that you travel from one shop to another.

4. Buy a replacement key fob and program it.


If you’re the techy type and you have the necessary tools to program a key fob, it might be worth a shot just to do it yourself. It might not be that easy if you don’t have the experience of programming key fobs.

However, you can save money from hiring a locksmith and improve your handiness skill.


Accidents happen, including losing the precious key fob to your car. However, it shouldn’t be the end for you and your access to your car.

Knowing what to do when you lost key fob but have key should be common knowledge for those who are car owners with key fobs. So the next time you lose your key fob, do not panic and revisit this article for convenience.

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