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Jeep Says Key Fob Not Detected – Why? What To Do?

Key fobs are undeniably convenient. You're just a click away from locking or unlocking your Jeep and even opening your trunk. But what if you find yourself with a malfunctioning key fob? If your Jeep can't detect the key fob, don't worry. We researched and found out why and what you can do to fix it. 

The most common reason why your Jeep cannot detect the key fob is a dead battery. Here are other reasons why this can happen:

  • Programming system malfunction
  • Broken door lock
  • Dirty key fob
  • Faulty key fob wire
  • Worn-out vehicle battery

It's important to identify the root cause of the problem to get it fixed. It could just be a minor problem that requires a quick solution. In this post, we will provide you with helpful insights on fixing your undetected key fob. Continue reading to learn more!

Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!

Why Can't the Jeep Detect the Key Fob? 

Human hand holding a keyless entry device or key fob to open the new car and start the car.

The following sections will cover specific problems with your key fob and solutions to help you fix them. Make sure to do the following:

  • Use a compatible, recognizable key fob or the vehicle won't accept it.
  • Make sure nothing is blocking the signal, e.g., large metal objects.
  • Make sure you're not too far away from the Jeep.
  • Fully charge your key fob.

Dead Key Fob Battery

Broken Or Damaged Remote Key Fob On Wooden Background Remote Key Fob Of Any Vehicle Car Locksmith Service.

Key fobs are powered by a battery, and batteries have a lifespan of three to four years. If you're regularly using your key fob to connect with your Jeep, you will likely need new batteries to get it working properly again.

Dead batteries also happen when you leave your key fob inside your car in unfavorable weather conditions. The battery will ultimately drain if it's too hot or too cold in the car.

Consider buying CR2450 batteries for your key fob. To replace the dead battery, pry open the key fob and remove the old coin battery. Make sure to properly insert the new battery. 

Check out these coin batteries on Amazon.

To learn more about key fob batteries, check out this post: How Long Does Car Remote Battery Last? 

Programming Malfunction

Key fobs have a built-in program that can connect to your Jeep. This program can malfunction after some time.

If the programming in your key fob is faulty, the car won't be able to receive your command. If you tried replacing the battery and the issue persists, it could be a programming issue.

You can't reprogram your key fob yourself, so you will need to visit the nearest mechanic or car dealership. They should be able to find the root of the problem—programming or not. 

Broken Door Lock

Broken gray car door handle The owner of the car parked and waited for the mechanic of the car service center to fix it.

In some cases, it's not the key fob that's faulty. It could be the Jeep door lock that's not working properly, which is why your Jeep isn't detecting any signal.

A malfunctioning door lock can be caused by a broken fuse, trapped moisture, or the keyless system as a whole. If you've already replaced the key fob battery and reprogrammed it, this could be the reason why it's undetected.

You should regularly maintain your keyless system, whether it's the key fob or the car door, to avoid losing connectivity. Depending on the damage, you can opt for a repair or replacement.

Dirty Key Fob

Key fobs are usually stored inside pockets and bags. And most of the time, key fobs aren't handled with enough care. You fumble it out of your back pocket and put it back again.

That shouldn't be a common practice. You wouldn't call a key fob a delicate item, but giving it some maintenance would be good for you and your car. 

Cleaning your key fob will help eradicate dirt and debris that can cause radio interference or loose connections, which can eventually lead to malfunctions.

Clean the fob using a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. After cleaning, you can opt for more protection using a key fob protector. You can find one online that matches your model.

Check out this key fob protector on Amazon.

Faulty Key Fob Wire

A broken key fob wire is not ideal. If the Jeep can't still detect your key fob, this could be the culprit. You can get it fixed or replaced by a mechanic.

A broken wire will most likely happen after long years of usage. So if you've been using your key fob for a long time, it's possible that it might have a broken wire.

Worn-out Vehicle Battery

Car batteries wear out over time, and there are many reasons why this can happen. One is due to electrical devices or lights being left connected to your car for long periods.

Vehicles have many USB ports, and using all of these simultaneously will drain your car's battery.

Or it could be the other way around: you rarely use your car, and the battery dies. Of course, the way to avoid this issue is by avoiding the habits mentioned above. If your car's battery dies, you will have to replace it.

Should You Replace the Receiver To Fix Your Undetected Key Fob?

If you don't want to replace your key fob with a new one, you can opt for a receiver replacement. Every key fob has a receiver, and, in some cases, it could be the root of the problem.

It'll be hard for your key fob and Jeep to communicate with a malfunctioning receiver.You can get a receiver and key fob kit online and assemble it yourself.

Make sure to follow the manual's instructions properly. If this doesn't work, then the problem is with your Jeep. The only solution is to visit your  Jeep dealer.

Check out this remote and receiver kit on Amazon

How To Start Jeep If Key Fob Dies

If you happen to have a low-battery key fob and you don't have a charger near you, you can still access your car and drive to your destination. There are three simple steps for doing this.

Woman hand holds a Jeep key fob remote for her SUV vehicle

  1. Push the bottom switch: As you see in the image above, there is a switch at the tip of the key fob where you normally hold it. This switch can be toggled, and a key will pop out. Use the key to unlock your car door.
  2. Press down the break: Once in the car, you need to start the engine. Before proceeding to the next step, press down the break as you normally do. 
  3. Press the key fob against the start button: Now that you're pushing down the break, carefully press the key fob to the start button. The RFID chip in the key will be powered up as it gets closer to the antenna. So, when you push the key fob to the start button, you will eventually unlock it.

Watch this video for a simple tutorial:

How To Reset The Key Fob On A Jeep Wrangler

A Jeep Wrangle Rubicon on display at the Chicago Auto Show, Jeep Says Key Fob Not Detected - Why? What To Do?

Suppose your key fob is not functioning as smoothly as before. No worries! A simple trick will get it back to normal.

All you have to do is to press and hold the lock button simultaneously for at least three seconds. After this, all your personal information in the fob will be removed, and it will function smoothly again. 

This post on a related topic might also interest you: How to Reset the Keyless Entry Door Code on a Ford F150

How To Program Your Jeep Wrangler Key Fob

To program your Jeep Wrangler key fob, all you have to do is visit the Jeep Website, click the owner's tab, and enter your vehicle's VIN.

This process is quick and easy, and you'll be able to do it yourself. Once on the site, you'll see a guide that you can follow. Make sure that your key fob is fully charged before programming it!

Final Thoughts

If you have tried every method you can do at home, like changing the battery, replacing the receiver, and cleaning the fob, then it's time to get the key fob fixed at your local Jeep dealer or mechanic's shop. 

In conclusion, you should take good care of your key fob and your Jeep. By doing so, you're ensuring that there are fewer chances of breaking the connection between the two.

We hope that this post helped you find answers to your questions!