One of the few common issues with Fiat-Chrysler vehicles like Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler is the “Key Fob Has Left the Vehicle” message coming on your dashboard, although you have the keyfob inside the vehicle.
In this article, I am going to explain the causes of this and how to go about resolving the issue. Let’s get to it.
Key Fob Has Left the Vehicle Meaning?
Before we go into the nitty-gritty of this issue, let’s understand what the message means.
When your car displays the message “Key Fob Has Left the Vehicle,” it is simply saying that your vehicle is not recognizing your keyfob.
It could be that your car is not recognizing the signal from the fob, or perhaps it’s not reading it at all.
Modern Jeeps, Chryslers, and Dodge vehicles are equipped with advanced keyfobs that are capable of sending and receiving signals from a distance.
This is done using infrared technology, which allows you to lock or unlock your doors from inside or outside the vehicle and start the vehicle (If you have a push start) without having to use the key itself.
Your vehicle Computer relies on this technology in order to function properly, so if your keyfob is not working properly, it can cause a multitude of problems.
What Causes the “Key Fob has Left the Vehicle” Alert?
If you are getting this alert and yet you have your Keyfob inside the vehicle,
From my personal experience as an auto technician, this can be caused by two main things, which are
1. Bad Key Fob Battery(s)
The number one cause of this alert is bad batteries in your keyfob.
The key fob uses 3-Volt batteries to send a signal from the device into your vehicle’s computer system, which then activates the doors, locks, and ignition.
If these batteries are dead or going bad, then it can cause the vehicle to think that the key fob is outside of the vehicle due to incorrect signals from the battery.
Typically key fob batteries last 3-5 years of normal usage, so if your vehicle is older than 3 years old and you are experiencing this issue, it may be time to replace the battery.
Other signs of a bad keyfob battery include:
- “Key Fob has left the vehicle”, although it hasn’t
- Need to pressure the key fob button multiple times when trying to lock/unlock your car
- The push button start not working
- The key Fob only sends a signal when you really close to the vehicle.
2. Key Fob Needs to be Recalibrated
The second common cause of the “Key Fob has Left the Vehicle” alert is that the key fob needs to be recalibrated.
This is the process of synchronizing your car and key fob.
The most likely reason for this happening is that you have recently replaced your battery or changed out a component in your vehicle that affects how it communicates with the key fob (such as an antenna).
You can try to calibrate the key fob yourself with the process I will discuss below.
How to Fix and Reset “Key Fob has left the vehicle” Message
Now that you know the two leading causes, let’s look at how to fix and reset the key fob that has left the vehicle warning.
Change the Key Fob Battery
First, start by checking your key fob battery. If it is weak or dead, replace it with a new one(s).
Replacing the Key Fob battery is a relatively easy process if you have the correct battery (usually the CR2450).
You can get key fob batteries at your nearest dealership or online, or you can even purchase them from a local automotive store.
If you are unsure about the type and size, I recommend taking your key fob to an auto parts store and having them check it out for you.
In most cases, replacing the fob batteries should solve the problem.
Recalibrate the Key Fob
If you recently changed the Fob batteries and still get the issue, then you might need to calibrate it.
The process is also fairly simple. All you have to do is:
Place the smaller end of your key fob against the push start button to initiate the recalibration process.
It is important to note other things can cause the Key fob has left the vehicle message, including cold weather, a dirt blocking the key fob, wiring issues, and a damaged keyfob but, those are less likely to be the case and should only occur if you have had the vehicle for a very long time.