Instructions for Replacing a Car Remote


If you lose your car remote, finding a replacement is relatively easy to do. While you may need to wait for a replacement to be shipped to a dealer, where it will be synched to your vehicle, you may be lucky enough to obtain a new remote with little or no wait time.

Locate your manual

  • In your car manual you will find information you need to order a new remote. If you no longer have the manual, contact the manufacturer or go to the manufacturer's Web site. Many auto manufacturers offer online versions of the manuals issued with their cars as well as detailed instructions regarding replacement parts and accessories.


  • To get a new remote from your dealer, you will have to provide him with the make, model and year of the car as well as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) --- a 17 digit alphanumeric number that details information about your vehicle including the engine size, body style, model year, transmission type and color. The VIN number can be found in the bottom left corner of the front windshield or on a small sticker inside the driver's side door panel. Your car manual also contains the VIN for your vehicle.


  • A dealership can order the new remote for you or already have it on hand. If your dealership has a replacement remote on site, you can drive away with a new remote that is programmed and ready for immediate use. Dealerships are more likely to have replacement remotes for newer models and current year cars. But expect to be charged a replacement fee, which can vary from dealership to dealership and manufacturer to manufacturer. The dealership must synch the new remote with your vehicle. It's a process that takes only a few minutes.


  • Manufacturers also provide replacement parts and may get the remote to you more quickly than a dealership in some cases. Not all manufacturers provide instructions for synching a replacement remote, so you may be required to contact a dealer. You may also be able to synch the device yourself, following instructions such as those listed in Resources.


  • A retailer like Auto Zone or online retailer like Care and Truck Remotes may also supply you with a replacement, so long as you know the make, model and year of your car. You must also provide your VIN and part number in order to obtain the correct remote. Your dealers parts department can verify this information using your manual or by locating your VIN number and obtaining the part number from your vehicle. Prices vary by retailer.

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