Key Fob Has Left The Vehicle: 5 Tips To Fix The Error

Many Jeep users out there often face the “Key Fob has Left the Vehicle” warning on their dashboard. Most of them assume the most common solution and change the battery. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Because there are also issues like – radio interference, door locking, physical damage, etc.

Key Fob Has Left the Vehicle Jeep Warning

So, how do you turn off the “Key Fob has Left the Vehicle” warning? Today, I’ll discuss all the solutions in detail in this article. Let’s get started!

What Causes the “Key Fob Has Left the Vehicle” Warning on Your Jeep Dashboard?

A key fob has an RFID chip and an antenna inside it, communicating with the RFID receiver chip installed inside the Jeep through radio frequencies. It can send multiple commands for various purposes.

When your Jeep indicates that the key fob has left the vehicle, it implies that the receiver end is not receiving any signal from the key fob.

Ensure that you are within the normal range specified for your key fob to be detected. If the issue persists even within the recommended range, then something is amiss.

key fob has left the vehicle while driving

Several possible causes underlie this issue. Let’s delve into the details:

Low Battery in the Key Fob

The most prevalent cause of the warning is a depleted battery in the key fob. Regular usage can drain the battery over time, leading to communication issues with the vehicle.

Radio Interference

Strong radio signals in the vicinity can interfere with the communication between the key fob and the vehicle, triggering the warning. If the place that you’re in right now has radio interference, your key fob might not work.

Door LocksActuator Issue

In certain instances, problems with the key fob may be linked to the Jeep’s door lock mechanism, specifically the actuator. In that case, open and close the door and lock it again.

Faulty Key Fob

Although less common, the key fob itself may be malfunctioning. To determine if this is the case, use a spare key fob if available. If the spare key fob resolves the issue, it is indicative of a fault in the original key fob. Inspect the key fob thoroughly for potential cracks, water damage, or loose components that might impact signal transmission.

What Should You Do if Your Jeep Key Fob Does Not Work?

If your Jeep’s key fob is unresponsive, there’s no need to worry about being stranded indefinitely. Fortunately, you can easily address this issue by following the steps outlined below:

1. Replace the Key Fob Battery

If the key fob is not working, the first thing you should do is change its battery. It should solve your problem most of the time because key fob batteries drain a lot.

To change the battery in your Jeep key fob, first find a small groove on the edge of the fob. Use a flathead screwdriver or a coin to gently open it up.

Once it’s open, take out the old battery and put in the new one, making sure it’s facing the right way.

Snap the key fob back together, and you’re good to go. Just make sure to use the right kind of battery for your specific key fob model.

2. Clean It

If the battery change doesn’t work, try to clean it. Open the key fob up and clean it properly with a clean piece of cloth for better conductivity inside it.

3. Reprogram the Key Fob

Reprogramming your key fob may bring you a solution. It is an easy process that you can easily do all by yourself.

  • Sit in the driver’s seat and close all doors.
  • Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “Run” position without starting the engine.
    Within 10 seconds, press and hold the “Unlock” button on the driver’s side door panel.
  • After holding the “Unlock” button for about 4 seconds, you should hear a chime, indicating that the vehicle is in programming mode.
  • Press and hold both the “Lock” and “Unlock” buttons on the key fob simultaneously.
    After a few seconds, you should hear another chime, confirming successful programming.
  • Turn the key in the ignition to the “off” position and test it to ensure it is working properly.

4. Unblock Radio Signals

Avoid any radio interference. You should look for a lot of metal, heavy electric equipment, or radio towers. If there are any, that might cause the key fob to face network disturbances. Move away from them and try again.

5. Start the Engine Using a Dead Key Fob

If none of the above works, you have to purchase a new key fob for your Jeep. In that case, contact your dealership.

Before doing so, you can start the engine by pressing the top corner of your key fob directly against your Jeep’s ignition.

All You Need to Know About the Jeep Key Fob

This tiny little device is not just a remote-control device. There are some fantastic cool facts about key fobs other than just letting you in your Jeep. Let’s find them out together.

Jeep Key Fob Functions

Starting the Engine

You can start the engine of your Jeep with a key fob; you just have to find the engine start switch on it and press it. The engine will then start up.

Hidden Keys

Almost all key fobs contain a physical key inside them. Therefore, even if the battery is completely dead, you can enter your Jeep and start it with the physical key.

Roll Windows Down

Do you need some cool breeze inside your Jeep? Your fob can get this done for you. Many vehicles have this feature. Press the unlock button twice; hold it the second time. You’ll see all of your Jeep’s windows opening at the same time.

Safety Alarm

You can keep your Jeep safe at night with a key fob. You can activate your Jeep’s alarm by pressing the panic button on the key fob.

Prevent Break-ins

This feature is a bonus. If your key fob works from inside your home and you notice intruders with malicious intentions outside your home at night, press the panic button. The loud noise of your Jeep alarm will scare them away.

How Long Will the Jeep Run Without a Key Fob?

If your Jeep cannot detect the key fob, it will display a warning on the dashboard indicating that the key is not within range or that the key fob has left the vehicle.

However, the car will not shut down; it will continue running. Whether it runs out of fuel, is manually powered off, or encounters another problem, it will eventually come to a stop.

Yet, without the key fob, you won’t be able to restart it. Therefore, ensure the engine remains running only when the key fob is in your possession.

How to Unlock the Jeep With the Key Fob Inside?

Let’s go through some methods of unlocking the Jeep with the key fob inside. Some methods will work better than others, depending on the Jeep model. 

  • You can unlock your car with your phone. Open the Uconnect app, then select the unlock option. Subscribe to Uconnect to use this feature. You’ll need phone data to use this option.
  • You can also use a Slim Jim tool to attempt to pry open the door.
  • You can use the auto-jiggler key to unlock the door. Just insert it into the lock and shake it. Keep the auto-jiggler key nearby to use it in emergencies.

If you lock your keys inside your Jeep, it’s always best to call the dealership or a professional locksmith.

Does Cold Weather Affect Key Fobs?

Cold and hot temperatures affect every battery-powered device. Key fobs are susceptible to this issue as well. The battery life of key fobs decreases if they are left in freezing temperatures for too long.

Can I Use a Third-party Key Fob for My Jeep?

You can use third-party keys. You will likely get an after-market key fob if your car is ten or more years old.

You can always go to your dealership to get a spare key. But it’ll be costly. Third-party keys are less expensive options. You can get them cheaply from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and KeylessOption. 

Jeep owners can program a third-party key fob if they have two functional key fobs. The owner’s manual contains clear and straightforward programming instructions. 

But be aware that these cheap, third-party keys tend to last only a short time.

Read More:

Final Words

I believe the next time your Jeep shows you the key fob has left the vehicle warning; you won’t be worrying anymore. As you already know the solutions, the problem will look familiar.

Keep in mind that key fobs are there to ease your life with your vehicle. If you’re facing difficulties while using one, the solutions are simple. You just have to think straight and look for the correct answers in the right place.

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  1. My Jeep has 2 battery. Big battery and auxiliary. Both have been changed. New key fob and still says fob has left vehicle?

    1. Hi!
      Did you check the battery life on your key fob? The problem may be brought on by a dead Jeep battery. If charging the key fob battery doesn’t work, try all of the other suggestions listed above as well. Thank you!

  2. Greetings.
    My name is Hoshang. I’m from North Iraq, and we face problems with the Jeep Compass 2020. The dashboard shows that (the key fob has left the vehicle). We changed the remote’s battery and cleaned it out. Even after checking the auxiliary battery, it is still not working, but all is well. The door lock and unlock remote control functions effectively; however, to start the car, you should place its corner against the smart key. Then it starts.
    I kindly need your advice.

    1. Check your main battery and the aux battery again.
      Ensure you’re not putting the key fob in a bag or something.
      Ensure there is no loose electrical connector on the driver’s door. The one you unplug to remove the door. Unplug and re-plug that connector if it is loose.
      Lastly, if nothing works, reprogram the key fob.

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