The average remote is replaced approximately every four years. The average cost of a remote (and programming) is significantly more than the cost to duplicate an automotive key.
Approximately 78 percent of the vehicles sold during the 2003 model year are equipped with factory-installed keyless entry systems. This is a significant increase in the number of vehicles equipped with factory keyless entry systems, up from approximately 42 percent in 1997. More than 70 million new vehicles sold from 1997 through 2003 in the United States are equipped with factory-installed keyless entry systems.
This increase could be a result of the elimination of the keyed passenger door lock on many of the newer vehicles.
LEADING REMOTE MANUFACTURERS
More than 191 different remotes were factory-installed for vehicles built between 1998 through 2002. However, about 11 remote models cover approximately 25 million or 50 percent of these vehicles. For example, one of the 11 remotes is KeylessRide part number 5960. This three-button remote is used on Chevrolet and GMC models and will operate on approximately 2.9 million vehicles. The vehicle years and models are:
- Chevrolet: 1999-01 C/K Pickup, 2000-01 Suburban, 2000-01 Tahoe, 1998-02 S10/T10 Pickup, and 2002 Blazer.
- GMC: 1999-01 C/K Pickup, 2000-01 Yukon, 1998-01 Sonoma, 2000-01 Tahoe.
Another one of the top 11 remotes is the KeylessRide Model 5330. This Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Mazda remote will operate approximately 6.4 million vehicles, including those listed below.
- Ford models: 99-04 Econoline, 01-04 Escape, 00-04 Excursion, 98-02 Expedition, 98-04 Explorer, 98-04 F-Series pickup, 98-04 Ranger, 98-03 Windstar.
- Lincoln models: 98-02 Navigator.
- Mercury models: 98-01 Mountaineer.
- Mazda models: 98-04 B-Series pickup, 01-04 Tribute.
To determine the programmability of all cars built between 1993 through 2004, KeylessRide has a comprehensive price catalog available to locksmiths. Using this catalog simplifies the process of determining the proper remote and what is required to program a new remote or add an additional remote.
HOW DOES THE REMOTE WORK?
Before we discuss programming, let's discuss the question, "How does a remote (fob) work with the keyless entry system?" The remote is a transmitter. Built into the remote is a controller chip. When a button is pressed, the controller chip in the remote generates a security code. The transmitter in the remote sends both a command and the security code. The component of the keyless entry system is a receiver that listens for security codes and specific remote commands. Programming aligns the security codes in the receiver so they match the security codes in the remote. The security code transmitted by the remote teaches the security code to the receiver, not vise versa.
Once the security code is learned, the receiver will accept the security code and the command codes, such as, "Unlock the lock mechanism." The properly programmed and operating vehicle will then unlock the door lock mechanism. If not, the security code is not learned; the keyless entry system does nothing.
For rolling code remotes, the security code changes in both the remote and the receiver each time the remote button is pressed. To accommodate out-of-range button presses and more than one rolling code remote programmed to the same vehicle, a "look ahead" buffer in the receiver accommodates up to 256 button presses.
As locksmiths, we provide our customers with replacement keys when their keys are lost or damaged. Remotes are replaced more often than keys. The average remote is replaced approximately every four years. This could be the result of loss, damage, or just wearing out. The average cost of a remote (and programming) is significantly more than the cost to duplicate an automotive key.
Programming a new remote for a factory keyless entry system can range from on-board programming to requiring specialized equipment. Today's remotes and receivers do not contain dipswitches. There is no need to remove the cover from a factory remote or receiver in order to program.