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Do I Have to Go to a Car Dealership for a New Key Fob?

Tech - by Joe Weber - updated on 10/23/2023

holding a key fob in front of a steering wheel

Every car owner can agree that replacement keyless entry remotes and smart keys are expensive and a hassle to replace. But, is that really true anymore? Batteries Plus offers a variety of replacement key fobs for most cars and trucks with key cutting and programming roughly 50% less than what you'd pay if you went to the dealership.

Not to mention the huge bonus of our stores staying open later than the dealership so you can swing by after work and not skip out in the middle of the day to get this errand done. Skip the dealership altogether and stop by Batteries Plus for your new key fob, where it's quick, easy and will save you money.

What Is a Key Fob?

Chances are, you can answer this question without us going into detail. It's the remote on your keychain that opens your car doors, trunk, starts the vehicle and houses the all-important panic button. But did you know that your car could have only one type of key fob? There are a number of key fobs that come in all shapes and sizes with different capabilities and functions. See below for example images and descriptions for each.

Key Fob

This is arguably the most common, although becoming less common every year. A standard key fob includes several buttons that perform a number of functions from unlocking doors to remotely starting the car or truck. These generally attach to your keychain and the actual key to start the vehicle is separate.

Combo Key

Combo keys are key fobs and ignition keys combined into one piece. The key itself will have buttons to lock or unlock doors, open the trunk or remotely start the car.

Flip Key

Flip keys are fobs and keys in one unit but the key "flips" out the side when a release button is pressed. The key can be flipped back and secured into the remote when not needed. The remote portion of the key contains several buttons to unlock doors, open the trunk, etc.


Did you know that Fobik is an acronym and not just a funny word? Fobik stands for Frequency Operated Button Ignition Key or Finger Operated Button Integrated Key depending on who you ask. The remote with the buttons for the door locks, remote start, etc. is actually the ignition key in this situation. You insert the fobik remote into the ignition slot to start the car.

Proximity (Smart) Key

If your car has a push-button start you are likely to have a proximity remote. The remote has technology in it to allow the car to start as long as the remote is within a certain, relatively close, distance. Usually, proximity remotes will have a hidden "emergency" key that slides out if you need to open the doors when the remote battery is dead.

Replacement Batteries

Batteries in every type of key fob or keyless entry remote will need replacing at some point. Batteries in proximity remotes tend to die faster than others as they are always searching for the signal from the car, keeping a draw on the battery at all times. If you suspect that your key fob battery is going dead, stop by and have a trusted advisor test it to see if it's time for a new battery.

Batteries Plus offers a few different options to help you with replacing your key fob battery. Our single and lifetime key fob battery replacement options are a great choice if you prefer to have someone else do it for you. Our in-store experts will replace the battery in your car's keyless entry remote in a matter of minutes and send you on your way.

If you prefer to do it yourself, we have a large selection of coin cell batteries to choose from to fit your key fob. Take a look at one of our recent blogs, "How to Change the Battery in Your Key Fob", to learn more about the steps to complete this task.

Can You Program a Key Fob Without Going to the Dealership?

It's easy to be tempted to buy into the DIY key fob replacements found all over the internet with dealership prices so high for key fobs. While some of these work very well and are reasonably priced, we advise that you do your research if you do intend to do it yourself and save yourself potential headaches.

Some cars are even equipped with security features that can only be bypassed by professionals or you could risk immobilizing your vehicle. But you don't have to spend the astronomical prices at the car dealership either, we have a better solution.

Spend 50% less than the dealership by having Batteries Plus take care of it all. View all of our key replacement options including keys, fobs, shells and batteries online and bring your car and keys to your local Batteries Plus to let our experts use state-of-the-art technology to cut and program your new keys so you can get back on the road with the peace of mind that your new keys will work just as well as the factory keys. You won't even know the difference.

What Kind Of Key Fob Do I Need For My Vehicle?

Key fobs can be as unique as fingerprints, so how do you know which one to buy when some look so similar? Can you use a different fob type than what you got with your car? The easiest and best way to find the right key fob is by using the fitment finder on to know exactly which key fobs work for your car. If you are seeing multiple remotes available make sure that you are matching the number and type of buttons on your current remote. For example, if you have a remote with three buttons, lock, unlock and panic, then order the remote with the same buttons.

Find your key fob and schedule your appointment at the same time so your store has your key ready for you when you arrive.

If your key fob is still in working order but is starting to look like it's seen better days. We offer new shells for most key fobs that replace the outer plastic and buttons while the electronics insides remain. It's a cheaper option to refresh your keychain if you just have a key fob with a missing or worn button.

Key Fob Replacement Services at Batteries Plus

Whether you are looking to add a spare for emergencies or replace a damaged key fob on your keychain, Batteries Plus is your one-stop shop for replacement keyless entry remotes. Your local Batteries Plus can have you in and out with a new key fob in no time. Visit our automotive center to find replacement light bulbs, batteries and more parts and accessories for your vehicle. Keys and programming services are not available in New Jersey.

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