An Overview of Keyless Remotes

I’ve been an automotive locksmith for over 35 years, and keyless remotes have been around for about half of that time. Through the years, I have learned that only two rules apply when it comes to working with keyless remotes: There are no...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Locksmith Ledger. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Optional
Required
Required

A modern and user-friendly cloning system is now marketed through KeylessRide, known as “Learn & Burn.” This system automates most of the functions of cloning and eliminates most of the common mistakes that happened with the older systems. The Learn & Burn system is updated via the Internet, and you can download the functions of most cloneable remotes directly from the KeylessRide website.

Using “Learn & Burn”

Since the Learn & Burn system is PC-based, the first step is to launch the Learn & Burn software on your computer. After the program is running, you will be prompted to either enter a part number for the remote that you wish to clone – if you know the part number - or to look up the remote by the vehicle application. Most of the time, you’ll be looking up the remote by its application, and the software will walk you through the selection of the vehicle by make. model and year.

Once a vehicle is selected, the system will display a screen showing a sample of the OEM remote and any compatible KeylessRide remotes. If the photo shown matches the remote you’re looking for, you can then choose to either “Originate” or “Duplicate” the remote onto a KeylessRide remote.

“Originate” refers to burning the factory pre-sets into the blank remote so that you can then program the remote into the vehicle with an on-board procedure, or with a diagnostic device. The “Duplicate” option allows you to clone the customer’s existing remote onto a blank remote. A “duplicated” remote will operate on the vehicle without additional programming because it is an electronic copy of a working remote. You would only choose the “Originate” option if the customer did not have a working remote. Photo 17 illustrates the different screens that the Learn & Burn system uses to walk you through the remote identification and selection processes.

If you are originating a remote, first verify the compatibility of your blank remote, and then attach the remote to the Learn & Burn device. The software will then guide you through the burning process to download the factory settings into your blank remote so that you can then program it into the vehicle. The software will also show you the correct on-board programming procedure to use and whether or not you will need to use a diagnostic device as shown in photo 18.

If you are duplicating the remote, you need to verify the compatibility just as before, but you will also have to download the information from your customer’s existing remote into the new blank remote. Once again, the Learn & Burn software will walk you through each step, as shown in photo 19. Along the way, you will press each button on the original remote and Learn & Burn will recognize and automatically map each button as they are learned. Should you make a mistake or a customer changes their mind, the remote can always be programmed over again.

Using a Diagnostic Device

Many new vehicles, especially those on the CAN system, require the use of a diagnostic device for remote programming. Because the sale and programming of remotes has become so profitable for the manufacturers, most of these vehicles are intentionally designed to encourage the owner to bring the vehicle back to the dealer for new remotes.

Aftermarket diagnostic devices can be used on some of these vehicles, and the manufacturers of the aftermarket devices are constantly adding more functions, but a lot of vehicles simply cannot be programmed with aftermarket devices.

Programming a PT Cruiser with an SDD or TKO

The SDD tool is an earlier version of the TKO tool from Silca and the programming procedure shown here would apply to both machines. The remote programming features of these tools are somewhat limited, but the programming process itself is typical of the diagnostic tools available to locksmiths. Silca refers to remotes and the remote programming process by the acronym RKE, which stands for “Remote Keyless Entry.” Silca also offers a packaged set of remotes like the one shown in photo 20, but these are OEM remotes that are also available from many other sources, including the dealers.

Programming a PT Cruiser (photo 21) with the SDD is quick and straightforward. After you have verified that you have the correct replacement remote, plug the diagnostic device into the OBD Port and then select “Remote Controls” as shown in photo 22.

We Recommend