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Why Won’t My Car Alarm Remote Work

Having an alarm in your car is now an important feature, especially in this time and age. This alarm can be activated and deactivated remotely with the help of a control. This is what is referred to as the remote of the car alarm. But sometimes, this car alarm remote might just stop working and it begins to beg the question: why won’t my car alarm remote work? In this post, we will look at the things that could make your car alarm remote stop working and some of the things to do to remedy the situation.


If your car alarm remote stopped working, it is most likely that the battery is dead. It has probably worked for quite a long number of years and it’s time to change it. A bad battery is usually the primary reason why alarm remote does not work. However, having a drained battery in the fob is not the only reason your remote can stop. There are other reasons and we will consider them soon.

Car alarm batteries are often called key fobs. We might be interchanging the two often in this post so do not get confused when you see it. Key fobs are designed to control and interact with some key aspects of your car like the locks, ignition and other components.


The modern car key can really do a lot and this is why if it stops working, the driver can become stranded. Find below are some of the reasons why your car alarm remote does not work.

Battery is dead!

If it is called a remote control, it therefore means it draws power from an independent source. The only independent source of getting power is having a battery.

The battery works directly with the transmitter of the remote. Most of the remote batteries have very long shell life and are made from lithium ions in coin form. This is the type wrist watches use as well. The feature of a battery having good shell life often make drivers care free about replacing them.


This happens until they wake up one morning and then realize that the remote has stopped working. In event of this, just get another and replace it. But this time, be conscious enough to know that you will change it again much later.

Damaged receiver or transmitter

As earlier stated, remote controls send and receive signals from the vehicle. They have exchange signals with a receiver that has been paired with. The signals being sent are in sync with an action that you want it to carry out. For instance, if you want the key fob to turn on the ignition, it sends out that signal and the car receives it. And this is why the transmitter of the remote is very important.

If the transmitter of the car alarm remote gets spoilt, it automatically hampers the communication it has with the vehicle. Transmitters can get bad if it has some loose connections or some internal damage has occurred.

We cannot promise you that you will know how to fix the transmitter of your car alarm remote if it gets bad. But don’t worry, an automotive locksmith will handle this for you. It’s important to note that like the transmitter, if the receiver in the car is damaged, the car alarm remote will not function properly too.

Remote not programmed

We have been able to establish the fact that we need both the transmitter and the receiver to be on the same page. It therefore means that the car remote needs to be programmed and then paired to the receiver inside the car.

It’s like doing a marriage for them. So if the car remote has not being paired with the receiver in the car it will not function properly. This challenge usually happens more to fairly used car owners rather than owners of brand new vehicles.

It also usually happens to drivers who buy aftermarket products as opposed to cars that have custom remote systems installed. If you fall into any of these categories, you really will need to check the that your car remote has been programmed and paired with the receiver inside the car.

Broken remote

It goes without saying that once the remote of your car alarm is broken, it cannot function properly any longer. Once the transmitter of the remote is bad, you can say the remote is broken. But it is not only a bad transmitter that can determine if the remote is broken.

If the general internal configuration of the remote is damaged or displaced, the remote will not work, even if the transmitter is good and the receiver in the car is also good. This makes the whole unit broken. So apart from the transmitter, components like the battery, battery terminals, soldered parts, and remote buttons must all stay intact for the remote to not be broken.


We have outlined most of the issues that are associated with a car alarm remote not working. So it does not look like we are only dwelling on the problem, let us consider what and what to do to resolve this issue. So find below are possible solutions to fix your car alarm remote.

  • § First thing to do is to confirm that your battery is not the reason the remote has stopped working. Well, if it is the battery, the next thing to do is to replace it with a brand new one. You can know if the battery of your remote is bad when you hold down the lock button for about five seconds. If the light blinks repeatedly, the battery is okay. But if the light does not blink, then it must be time to change the battery. Refer to your operational manual to know the specific battery your remote system uses.
  • § Another way to fix your alarm remote is by entering the car and then close all the doors. Then put the car key into the ignition and put it on the “ON” position. Do not, I repeat, do not start the car. Only leave it in the ON position. As simple as it is, this can go along way to resolve car remote not working.
  • § Another quick way to resolve car remote issue is by you pressing and holding the lock button on your car remote for one second after you must have stuck it into the ignition of your vehicle for about five seconds. After you have done all of these, turn the key to the “OFF” position. This should instantly fix the car alarm remote.
  • § If all the above steps have not worked yet, then will need to proceed to other new steps until this issue is resolved. With the key still in the ignition of the car, you can turn the key to the ON position again and repeat what you did in the second step of this fix. Try this out for about two times more than you did it before. So that makes it about four times in general. When it’s the fourth time, the car locks will make a click sound. This is a sign that the car has entered into reprogramming mode. Do not touch the car key at this point, just leave it on the Off position.
  • § As a continuation to the last step, press and hold the lock button. This helps to program the lock of the car. Mind you, all of these actions must be carried out within say, 10 minutes of initializing the reprogramming mode.


Your car alarm won’t work for a couple of reasons. Find what makes yours to not work and fix it ASAP. Remember to refer to the operational manual for any other possible solution.