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How to Program the Key Fob for Your Honda or Acura

hand holding key fob

Over time, it has become a convenience for us to have remote controls for different functions of our vehicles. Remote keyless entry is the most common, but many vehicles also have remote engine starting. We have become so accustomed to unlocking our doors with our remotes that it becomes a nuisance when they do not work. In most cases, we can use the key to open the door, but we would rather get that key fob working again.

Even though you may only need a new battery in your remote, you will still need to reprogram your key fob to your vehicle. Luckily, programming a new remote to your mid-2000’s Honda or Acura can be easy if you have the right steps.

Part 1 of 3: How the remote keyless entry system works

There are only a few main components in your keyless entry system. They all play a pivotal role in making sure that this system is working, so any malfunction can cause the remote keyless entry system to stop working.

keyless entry component chart

A keyless entry remote that is no longer working may need to be replaced, but it’s always a good idea to try replacing the remote battery before buying a whole new remote.

Part 2 of 3: Replacing the remote battery

Replacing the battery in your remote is a quick, cost-effective way to see if the battery is the problem. It’s common to get some lint or oil build up inside of the remote that can cause malfunctions, so changing the battery is also a good opportunity to clean out the battery well.

Materials Needed

key fob

Step 1: Place the flat screwdriver into the groove on the outside of the key fob.

  • Tip: If your remote has a small screw in the back of it, remove it first.

unscrewing key fob

Step 2: Twist the screwdriver slowly until the two sides of the fob separate. You may need to work the screwdriver around the outside of the fob to evenly release it.

circuit board being removed

Step 3: Pull the two sides apart. Remove the small circuit board and the rubber buttons.

wiping to clean board

Step 4: Using the alcohol wipes, wipe clean the rubber buttons on both sides.

Step 5: Gently wipe down the circuit board.

battery being removed from board

Step 6: Remove the battery from the circuit board. Do this by gently sliding it from its retainer clip.

Step 7: Install the new battery. Make sure it is firmly in place.

Step 8: Install the rubber buttons into the front cover and place the circuit board behind it.

Step 9: Place the rear cover over the circuit board. Snap it into place by putting pressure on it.

Step 10: Verify that the remote is operational. If the remote still does not work, then it may need to be replaced.

Part 3 of 3: Programming a new key fob

Once you determine that you need a new keyless entry remote, it will need to be programmed to your vehicle. Keep in mind, most Honda and Acura vehicles will only allow for up to three remotes to be programmed into the system. If you add a fourth remote, the module will begin to delete older remotes starting with the first one.

The doors, hood and trunk must all be closed before proceeding with reprogramming; otherwise it will not work.

  • Note: All of the steps below must be done within four seconds from one another.

key in ignition

Step 1: Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.

person pressing transmitter

Step 2: Press the transmitter lock or unlock button. Have the transmitter (key fob) aimed at the keyless receiver in the power window master switch.

key in off position

Step 3: Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.

Step 4: Turn the ignition switch back to the ON position.

Step 5: Press the transmitter lock or unlock button. Have the transmitter aimed at the keyless receiver in the power window master switch.

Step 6: Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.

Step 7: Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.

Step 8: Press the transmitter lock or unlock button. Have the transmitter aimed at the keyless receiver in the power window master switch.

Step 9: Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position.

Step 10: Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.

Step 11: Press the transmitter lock or unlock button. Have the transmitter aimed at the keyless receiver in the power window master switch.

Step 12: Listen for a sound from the door lock actuators. You will hear them cycle within four seconds.

Then push the transmitter lock or unlock button again, or the code will not be stored.

Step 13: Within 10 seconds, program up to two additional transmitters. Aim the transmitters at the keyless receiver, and press the transmitter lock or unlock buttons. You should hear the door locks cycle after each remote is programmed.

Step 14: Turn the ignition switch OFF, and pull out the key.

Your keyless entry remotes are now programmed to your vehicle.

These steps cover many Honda and Acura vehicles. Keep in mind that most modern vehicles can only have new remotes programmed to the vehicle with a computer scan tool that can access the correct modules. If your remote still does not function after reprogramming, you may have a problem with the control module or with the keyless entry receiver. Further diagnosis will be needed, using the proper tools. If you are not comfortable with these steps or prefer to have this done professionally, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come and repair your keyless entry system for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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