Finding the Best Key Fob Warranty and Protection Plans
Secure Key Fob
Key Fob Warranty

Finding the Best Key Fob Warranty and Protection Plans

Losing your key fob can be a costly headache. Key fob warranty and protection plans are designed to mitigate such financial shocks, but are they worth your investment? This article breaks down the coverage offered by different policies, their limitations, and the critical factors to consider, helping you to determine if these plans align with your specific needs without overspending.

Key Takeaways

  • Key fob warranties and protection plans are essential for safeguarding key fobs against damage, loss, and potential threats such as relay attacks, with varying coverage provided by manufacturers and third-party providers.
  • While helpful, these warranties come with limitations, such as exclusions for normal wear and tear, cosmetic defects, and typically not covering the full cost of replacement and programming, necessitating additional out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Effectively protecting key fobs involves not only securing a comprehensive warranty but also taking preventive measures such as proper storage in signal-blocking devices, regular maintenance, and troubleshooting common issues before seeking professional help.

Understanding Key Fob Warranties

Key fobs, functioning as tiny remote controls, play a crucial role in our modern life by providing secure access to vehicles, offices, or homes. They unlock or lock a vehicle, and some even start the engine at the push of a button. However, their significance extends beyond mere convenience. Key fobs need protection due to potential threats like relay attacks that capture RFID signals and vulnerability to physical hazards that can compromise their internal components, highlighting the role of key fob security measures.

The value of key fob warranties is underscored by their role in protecting these vital devices from damage or compromise, thereby ensuring uninterrupted secure access. Before opting for additional protection, consider the following:

  • Check the extent to which the new car’s bumper-to-bumper warranty covers potential key fob malfunctions.
  • Check if your car’s basic warranty, insurance, or roadside assistance coverage includes lost or damaged keys.
  • Customers have generally expressed satisfaction with key fob warranties, thanks to their fair and reasonable pricing compared to dealership costs.

Types of Key Fob Warranties

The market offers a variety of key fob warranties tailored to suit different needs. One such warranty is the Ford Protect PremiumCARE. This comprehensive warranty covers key fobs and a wide array of other vehicle components, providing extensive protection.

Another option is the Life Time Protection Plan by Keyless Entry Remote Inc. This specialized warranty is designed for the specific part number of the key fob purchased. The coverage includes:

  • Starts from the original date of purchase following a 60-day waiting period
  • Customers are entitled to a maximum of one key fob replacement per year
  • Total limit of two replacements

Warranty Limitations

While key fob warranties offer significant advantages, they also come with certain limitations. Most warranties exclude coverage for the replacement of metal keys, batteries, normal wear and tear, or any cosmetic defects that do not impact the fob’s functionality. Customers are often responsible for additional costs such as a deductible, which can be a percentage of the key fob’s original purchase price. They may also need to cover programming or installation expenses not included in the warranty.

Damage resulting from accidents, battery life issues, and age-related wear like dirt buildup or electronic failure are typically not covered by key fob warranties.

Comparing Popular Key Fob Protection Plans

Key Fob Protection Plans

Having covered the basics of key fob warranties and their limitations, we will now compare popular key fob protection plans. These plans vary in terms of costs, coverage, and benefits, making it crucial to find one that best suits your needs.

Some plans, like the Key Services Option, cover the cost of replacing or reprogramming keys and fobs that are misplaced, damaged, or locked in the vehicle. Extended service plans can even be 100% transferable, potentially increasing the resale value of the vehicle.

Keyless Entry Remote Inc’s Life Time Protection Plan provides replacement coverage for key fobs, with up to one replacement per year and a lifetime limit of two replacements, and includes a deductible of 20% of the original purchase price.

Ford Protect PremiumCARE

Ford Protect PremiumCARE is a comprehensive plan that includes cover lost, stolen, or destroyed keys and key fobs. It extends beyond the New Vehicle Limited Warranty for up to 8 years or 150,000 miles.

The Key Services Option within this plan offers replacement and reprogramming of keys and fobs that are misplaced, damaged, or locked inside the vehicle, covering the associated costs, including labor, programming, registration, and taxes. However, it’s worth noting that claims resulting from normal wear and tear or the desire for an additional set of keys are not covered under the Ford Protect PremiumCARE Extended Service Plan.

Maximum Care Warranty

The Maximum Care Warranty provides coverage for up to three key fob repairs or replacements due to damage or loss. This ensures owners have access to necessary services when faced with key fob issues.

Beyond the core key fob coverage, this warranty comes with added value in the form of roadside assistance and towing services, offering extra security and peace of mind to the customer. Assistance with key fob-related issues, such as lockouts and key fob battery failure, is included in the Maximum Care Warranty.

Owners of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo vehicles from the model year 2011 or newer and with less than 150,000 miles are eligible for this protection.

Other Manufacturer Plans

Apart from Ford and Maximum Care, other automakers also offer key fob protection plans. Coverage may include loss, theft, damage, reprogramming, towing, and roadside assistance.

Keyless Entry Remote Inc, for example, offers a Lifetime Protection Plan that provides up to one replacement per year for lost, stolen, or damaged key fobs, with a total limit of two replacements as long as the purchaser owns the vehicle. This plan is non-transferable and requires a 60-day waiting period from the purchase date before coverage begins for keyless entry systems, including keyless remote and keyless system.

Some protection plans even offer extra benefits, including rental vehicle coverage during the time the key fob is being repaired or replaced.

Tips for Choosing the Right Key Fob Warranty or Protection Plan

Selecting an appropriate key fob warranty or protection plan requires careful evaluation of your specific needs, associated costs, and the details of the plan. Evaluating the frequency of use and environments your key fob is exposed to can help determine the level of coverage you need. Also, consider how likely you are to lose your keys or experience theft when deciding on a plan.

Have any extended warranty questions? Check if the warranty covers key fob replacement, battery changes, and reprogramming costs. Investigate whether the plan has a straightforward claims process, should you need to use it. Balance the cost of the warranty or protection plan against the expense of replacing a key fob out of pocket.

Assess Your Needs

When assessing your key fob protection needs, consider factors like frequency of use, personal habits, and location-based risks. People who use their vehicles frequently for work or travel may require more comprehensive key fob protection. Personal habits, such as a tendency to misplace objects, can inform the level of key fob loss protection to consider.

Assessing how often the key fob is used can provide insight into the potential wear and exposure to damage. Individuals living in urban areas may face a higher risk of key fob theft or hacking, necessitating additional security features in their protection plans.

Vehicle owners in regions with severe weather conditions might prioritize coverage for key fob damage due to environmental factors.

Compare Costs and Coverage

Comparing the costs and coverage of different key fob protection plans is essential to find the best value for your needs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Extended car warranty costs can vary from $1,600 to $4,500 for three to six years of coverage.
  • The best warranties provide comprehensive protection plans.
  • Some plans include rental vehicle benefits, offering up to 10 days of rental for a covered repair.
  • Certain plans can be transferred, adding potential resale value to the vehicle.

Endurance offers the best extended coverage overall, while Olive provides the best value with a straightforward, transparent experience. CarShield presents an affordable extended warranty experience with low monthly payments, suitable for both standard and electric vehicles.

Read the Fine Print

It’s important to read the fine print of your key fob warranty. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Check if the warranty is transferable, as this may increase the resale value of the vehicle.
  • Understand the scope of the protection plan, such as if it covers replacement if the key fob is lost, broken, or damaged.
  • Consider if there are programming cost coverages.

Reviewing these terms and conditions will help you make an informed decision about your key fob warranty.

Verify if the warranty allows for customer-programmable key fobs, which might save on programming fees. Check whether the key fob warranty is provided by the manufacturer or a third-party provider, as there are significant differences in terms and coverage between them. Investigate if the warranty stipulates the use of an authorized dealer or locksmith for replacements or repairs, which impacts where and how you can have your key fob serviced.

Safeguarding Your Key Fob from Theft and Damage

Best Key Fob Warranty

Safeguarding your key fob from theft and damage is crucial to ensure its functionality and longevity. Here are some tips to protect your key fob:

  • Place keys at the far end of the house, away from the car, and behind multiple walls to make it more difficult for signals to be boosted.
  • Store keys in a metal box to protect against signal interception as the metal absorbs and neutralizes radio waves.
  • Wrap key fobs in aluminum foil when they are not in use to block signals and prevent hacking.

By following these tips, you can keep your key fob safe and secure.

The GoDark® Vault and Faraday Bag blocks all electromagnetic fields (EMF) signals to and from keyless remotes or key fobs, preventing unauthorized access to the vehicle. Faraday pouches lined with metal, such as aluminum, act as a Faraday cage and attenuate the RF signals sent and received by the key fob, preventing RFID attacks. A Faraday cage is a reliable method for blocking RFID interception attacks by surrounding the key fob with conductive metals.

Storing keys in a refrigerator or safe can offer some level of protection against signal boosting, although a Faraday bag is more effective.

RFID Blocking Solutions

RFID blocking solutions can be an effective way to protect your key fob from threats like relay attack, where thieves use devices like inexpensive relay boxes to unlock and potentially start a car without needing physical access. Signal boosting is one such hacking technique, which amplifies the key fob signal allowing unauthorized car access.

Faraday bags and cages are specifically designed to block electromagnetic fields, effectively preventing key fob signals from being intercepted or amplified. These RFID systems blocking solutions also include products like signal-blocking pouches and the use of a metal box as a DIY approach.

If aftermarket accessories installed in a vehicle are blocking the key fob’s signals, a technician’s assistance may be necessary to make adjustments or remove the accessories. In addition to using RFID blocking solutions, maintaining proper storage locations for key fobs when they are not in use helps protect against unauthorized hacking.

Proper Storage and Handling

Proper storage and handling of key fobs can help minimize damage and extend their lifespan. Key fob protective cases offer protection against environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, moisture, and sun exposure, which can cause malfunctions.

A protective case can also add a layer of defense against rust and corrosion, helping to keep the key fob in optimal condition.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to maintain the functionality of a key fob. Battery replacement is a critical aspect of this maintenance. Key fob batteries generally have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years, and replacing the battery can often be done by the key fob owner with simple tools. When changing a key fob’s battery, ensuring the correct assembly by taking a photo before starting and not disturbing the internal wiring or circuit board are important to maintain its proper functioning.

Regular cleaning and the use of a protective case can safeguard the key fob from dirt and debris. Awareness of the manufacturer’s care guidelines helps in preventing damage from environmental factors.

What to Do If Your Key Fob Stops Working

In case your key fob ceases to function, stay calm. There are common issues that can lead to non-responsiveness and simple fixes for them. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try:

  1. Check the battery of the key fob, as battery issues are a common cause of non-responsiveness.
  2. If buttons on the key fob are misaligned or appear broken, it may result from heavy use or accidental damage.
  3. Signal interference from other electronic devices or nearby vehicle transmitters could also be disrupting the key fob’s functionality.

In the event of a lockout or electronic failure, use the physical key hidden within the fob to unlock the vehicle manually. For push-to-start vehicles, holding a key fob with a low battery near the start button or using a designated physical key slot might start the car. After attempting a battery change, if the key fob still malfunctions, it may require reprogramming or professional technical assessment.

Determining whether a key fob can be self-programmed or needs professional reprogramming involves searching for specific programming instructions for the vehicle model.

Common Issues and Fixes

A common reason for key fobs failing to work properly is a dead or faulty battery. Before replacing the faulty battery, check for the correct size indicated on the case or inside the key sleeve to avoid buying the wrong type. Carefully inspecting and adjusting out-of-place or broken buttons may restore key fob functionality. Sometimes, replacing a broken key fob might be a more cost-effective solution than attempting to repair it.

Signal interference affecting key fobs can be caused by electronic accessories, nearby vehicle transmitters, or even aftermarket LED lighting. Radio frequency interference (RFI) can be reduced by removing multiple transmitters or fobs from a single key ring. To address interference with the key fob’s signal, make sure any devices plugged into the vehicle’s Assembly Line Data Link (ALDL) connector are disconnected. If signal interference persists and simple measures are ineffective, consulting a professional technician to identify and eliminate the sources may be necessary.

When to Seek Professional Help

If common remedies like battery replacement and button adjustment do not resolve the issue, a professional examination of the key fob might be necessary. A key fob that remains unresponsive after basic troubleshooting might require reprogramming by a professional. Dealerships are the preferred service providers for key fob replacements for cars made within the last five years due to their sophisticated programming equipment. Local mechanics or locksmiths can be an economical choice for programming aftermarket key fobs for cars older than five years.

For non-self-programmable key fobs, locksmiths with the necessary equipment can program the fob, potentially saving costs over dealership services. Local locksmith shops often offer more cost-effective solutions for key fob programming compared to mobile locksmiths or dealerships, and bargaining for discounts is recommended. Reprogramming a key fob professionally requires proof of ownership, serving as a security measure against unauthorized duplication or theft.


In conclusion, key fob warranties and protection plans are a crucial aspect of maintaining secure and convenient access to your vehicle or home. By understanding different warranty types, comparing popular protection plans, and following tips for choosing the right plan, you can ensure the longevity and functionality of your key fob. Regular maintenance, proper storage, and the use of RFID blocking solutions can further safeguard your key fob from damage and theft. Remember, a well-protected key fob not only provides peace of mind but also ensures seamless access to your assets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are key fobs covered under warranty?

Yes, most new-car bumper-to-bumper warranties cover key fob-related malfunctions, which can save you money on programming multiple key fobs at the same time.

Does Maxcare cover key fobs?

Yes, Maxcare provides coverage for up to three key fob repairs or replacements, with a total maximum coverage benefit of $600.

What is key fob insurance?

Key fob insurance, also known as Key Protection, covers the expense of lost or damaged keys and offers peace of mind by helping to eliminate the hassles of dealing with such situations. It includes the replacement of the vehicle’s key or transponder.

What does fob stand for on a key?

The term “fob” stands for “frequency operated button” but has been in use before the remote keyless entry system.

How can I safeguard my key fob from theft and damage?

To safeguard your key fob from theft and damage, use RFID blocking solutions like Faraday bags or cages, store them properly, and maintain them regularly. This will help protect your key fob from potential threats.