What Jeep Key not Detected Means and How to Fix It

The convenience offered to a Jeep’s owner by features such as keyless entry and a push-button starter is indisputable. Some issues may arise with it, though. An example is when you try to start the Jeep, but it won’t start because the key fob is dead, and you can’t start it by turning the key a few times like you would in an old-fashioned vehicle.

It might seem silly to perform routine maintenance on your key fob, but if it stops working, you won’t be able to get into your Jeep, much alone start the engine, which, to put it bluntly, is a nightmare.

If your Jeep key fob is not detected, you need to identify the problem and decide if it is best to fix or replace it. This article will walk you through the steps required to replace and repair your Jeep key fob.


What Does It Mean If Your Jeep Displays “Key Fob not Detected”?

What it seems like is an accurate representation of what it is. If the message “Key fob not detected” appears on the dashboard of your Jeep, it indicates that a functioning key cannot deliver a transmission to the car. This is typically the result of weak batteries within the key fob.

If your key fob has a flaw, you won’t be able to use the keyless entry feature because of the flaw.

Why is the Jeep key fob not detected?

These are the most likely explanations for why your Jeep is unable to detect the key fob:

  1. Failed Battery

A dead battery is a typical reason a key fob won’t work in a Jeep, just as it is in all other vehicles requiring keyless entry. If the battery in the key fob is dead or weak, it will not be able to send any signal to the keyless entry system in your car.

  1. Dead Key Fob

There is always a chance that your Jeep’s key fob is broken without your knowledge. A lock-unlock system that does not function properly may result from loose or old wiring, damage caused by water or by circuitry, or all three.

  1. Wrong Key

When you’re in a rush, there is the possibility of using the wrong key. Each key fob is distinct and unlikely to work in other vehicles.

  1. Programming Issue

The issue may arise from the software or the programming of your Jeep.

During operation, the key fob’s programming may be inadvertently destroyed if the load becomes stalled or the battery runs out of juice, which would prohibit the key fob from being recognized by the system.

  1. Faulty Door Lock

The key fobs can become inoperable if there are issues with the door locks on your Jeep.

  1. Unaligned Buttons or Defective Contacts

A key fob with broken, stuck, or damaged buttons cannot deliver the right signals or function effectively. When the start button is stuck, pressing it will not make the essential contacts.

  1. Radio Interference

When the key fob for your Jeep suddenly stops working, and you can’t figure out why radio interference could be the problem, one possible cause is that there was too much interference.

The connectivity of the key fob could be disrupted by other wireless devices, such as anti-theft alarms and radar detectors if they transmit on the same frequency as the signal from the key fob.

How to fix a Jeep key fob that is not detected

Before moving further with the process of repairing the key fob for your Jeep, you need to first identify whether a genuine malfunction caused the problem or not. You may easily determine that by starting your vehicle with a spare key that came with the vehicle when you bought it. If everything is functioning normally, then the other must be the one with the issue.

If it turns out that your key fob is actually broken, the easiest approach to get it working again, provided that your warranty has not yet run out, is to contact the company that made it and ask for assistance.

However, if the warranty has expired, you are free to attempt repairing the item on your own before paying for a service provided by a professional. The following are some potential solutions you might wish to try, to fix the issue.

  1. Change the Battery

Since the battery is the component that is most likely to be the source of key fob detection problems, you should replace it with a new one before attempting to fix your key fob.

In addition, you need to inspect the vehicle’s battery to ensure it is in good condition.

  1. Adjust Button Alignments and Contacts

Due to the apparent misuse your key fob has endured, the buttons on it may have gotten misaligned, which will cause the terminal contacts to become inoperable.

You can check for such occurrences by using a flat screwdriver to remove the fob and check if any connections have become loose or damaged. If you locate any, you can rectify the issue by soldering them back into place carefully. This should resolve the issue.

Also, check to see that the buttons are properly aligned and that none of them are pushed down or sticking out.

  1. Enhance the Conductivity of Contacts

Even if the buttons on the key fob are correctly aligned and the contacts are securely in place, it is still possible that the key fob won’t be able to detect it. When something like this occurs, the likely culprit is a worn circuit board.

If this is the case, you could try cleaning and polishing the board with some isopropyl alcohol to see if this helps improve the connectivity. There is also the option of using a small amount of conductivity paint to re-establish the connection.

  1. Change the Fuse

The Jeep fuses are typically difficult to diagnose, which frequently leads to the vehicle being unable to receive signals. Therefore, if nothing works after you’ve tried changing the batteries or re-adjusting the connections, you should try replacing the fuse to see if that resolves the issue.

  1. Reprogram Your Jeep Key Fob

If none of the procedures described above are successful, the program on your key fob has likely become corrupted. In such a scenario, the only alternative available is to reprogram the key fob.

You will succeed if you repeatedly start the engine while ensuring the doors remain shut.

How to program a Jeep key fob

The following steps are the easiest way to program your Jeep key fob.

  • Before entering your Jeep, make sure to close the trunk and doors.
  • Insert your key into the ignition while still in the “OFF” position.
  • Leave the driver’s side door open.
  • Turn the lock to the ‘lock’ position while the door is still open.
  • Turn on the ignition.
  • Hold down the “LOCK” button on your remote for five seconds.
  • If you have successfully configured the Jeep key fob, remove the key from the ignition and release the button!

How to Start a Jeep with a Dead Key Fob

When you’re stuck on the road with a key fob that won’t work and you don’t have any extra or replacement batteries, it’s impossible not to feel frustrated. This is especially true if you’re in a position where you can’t remedy the problem. However, there is no cause for alarm at this time.

You just need to use a method that not many people are familiar with, and you’ll have your Jeep back on the road in no time. Unlocking your jeep is the first step in the process. In contrast to most keyless-entry vehicles today, Jeep key fobs come with a conventional car key.

A little sliding button can be found on the rear of your key fob. Simply slide or click the button to remove the cover. To release the key, use your fingernails and a little force. You can now use the mechanical key to open the door. If you can’t find a key slot on your door, there should be one buried beneath the handle cover. Simply lift the handle cover slightly with the key to gain access to the keyhole.

Now that you’re inside, here’s how you may start your car with the dead key fob:

  • Close the key fob after inserting the mechanical key into it.
  • Instead of your finger, hit the start/stop button on your Jeep with the tip of your dead key fob while pressing the brake pedal.

And that wraps things up! Your Jeep ought to start up without any problems at this point. This system is used as a backup in Jeep vehicles, which means that the car will continue to function even if the key fob has died.


You are now familiar with all the do-it-yourself solutions to the problem of a Jeep key fob not being detected. In addition to the ways described above, you can now use the Jeep app for your Android or iOS device to unlock your vehicle from a distance if it is locked.

The only thing you need to do is check that your smartphone app is compatible with your car before the battery in your key fob expires.

You always have the option of getting assistance from a trained specialist, even if everything else fails.