Your key fob suddenly starting to malfunction or even biting the dust can be annoying. Can you imagine not being able to lock or unlock your GMC vehicle at the press of a button? The good news is that you don’t have to manually lock or unlock your car for the rest of its life. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to replace your key fob, but you can get an OEM fob at a discounted price from a reputable online shop (like GM Parts Center).
Studies show that most children today are unable to identify this "ancient" device.
What if it’s Not Your Key Fob?
Maybe it’s not your key fob that’s acting up but rather your car. It’s possible that you’re dealing with an electrical issue. To rule that out, either test a second key fob on your car or check the power lock switches. If the car fails to respond to the second fob or if the power lock switches seem wonky, then your car’s likely the issue. If everything seems to be working OK, then the problem lies in your key fob. If that's the case...
Let’s go over 4 possible reasons your fob isn’t working properly and see which scenario you may be dealing with.
1. Is Your Fob Battery Dying or Dead?
All batteries die at some point. The main indicator of a dying battery is your key fob working only when you’re very close to your car. When you’ve got a dead battery, your fob won’t work at all. To find out if the battery is the culprit, either replace it or have it tested at the battery kiosk at an auto parts store.
Note that a completely dead battery means a reset chip, and you’ll need to reprogram the chip to work with your car. While you can reprogram it yourself, it’s much safer to have your GMC dealer do it for you.
2. Is Your Circuit Board Fried?
Did the battery kiosk show that your battery is dead but replacing the battery didn’t do the trick? You might be dealing with a fried circuit board, which sometimes happens due to spilled liquid or heavy impacts. Simply replacing your circuit board and reprogramming it will put your fob back into good working order.
3. Is the Casing Worn?
If the battery is good but the fob isn’t working properly, then the culprit is probably a worn casing. Your casing contains contacts, which are rubber-like components coated in electricity-conducting film that assist with sending signals to your car. These components can wear out over time and fail to work properly. If you’ve determined that this is the case, you can fix it by ordering a new casing and transferring the battery and circuit board to it.
4. Is Your Fob Programmed Incorrectly?
While it’s highly unlikely, it’s still possible that the programming is just off. Keep in mind that if you can still lock or unlock your car with your fob (even close up), then it’s not a programming issue. If your car doesn’t respond to your fob at all, then a programming issue is possible. If you’ve tried all the other solutions on this list and your fob’s still not working, then you can try reprogramming it. Your GMC dealer will be happy to do it for you, but if you’d like to try it yourself, you can follow this guide for pre-2010 GM vehicles.
Got any fob troubleshooting questions that were not addressed in this article? Shoot us an email and we’ll help you out!