Are Key Fobs Waterproof?

Are Key Fobs Waterproof? Whether it ends up in the washing machine or at the bottom of a pool, accidents happen! Knowing what to do when your key fob ends up in water can be extremely helpful.

Water Resistant, Not Waterproof

Machine cut keys used in older vehicles can survive a submersible trip without harm, however modern electronic keys such as the transponder key or smart key fobs are susceptible to water damage.

Key fobs have rubber seals which prevents the water from getting to the electronic chip inside. Your key fob should survive a splash of water or brief exposure to rain, but excessive amount of water, like submerging the key in the pool, can cause the water to penetrate the seals and damage the chip. Submerging the key in ocean water at the beach can be much more damaging to key fob electronics due to the salt water.

The longer the fob is submerged, the more likely it is that your fob won’t work anymore. You’ll likely have to buy a potentially-expensive replacement.

What to do if water gets inside the key fob

When your key fob gets submerged in water, immediately remove the battery and clean the electronic component with paper towel and let it dry fully before putting back the battery. Once you’ve immediately taken the fob out of the water, you have a couple of options. You can either try to repair it yourself or get a replacement. Sometimes you may even have to replace the battery, you can get a Replacement Battery at your local dealer, local store or online.

In case of exposure to salt water, or soapy or dirty water, it is recommended to clean the chip with isopropyl alcohol or electronic cleaner. If the key fob still doesn’t work after cleaning and drying, the chip is probably fried. You will most likely have to buy a new key.

The key fob can be taken apart to be cleaned and dried off at home by disassembling the fob gently. This video helps give you a step-by-step on how to fix your submerged key fob without damaging any of the internal parts.


Where Can You Program A Replacement Key Fob?

It’s recommended you go to your local dealer if your car is less than 5 years old. The dealer will Program The Key Fob for these vehicles. The entire process can cost anywhere from $50-$500, depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle.

Purchasing an aftermarket fob before bringing it to the dealership for programming can help you save some money. But there are some risks involved. Some dealers wont program an aftermarket fob. Others will attempt to program it, but can’t offer any warranties or guarantee it will work when they’re finished.

If your car is 10 years old or older you can get away with buying an Aftermarket Fob. Hiring your local mechanic or a locksmith to program it for you could be a reliable option. Calling in advance to make sure they have the right equipment to program the fob for the type of vehicle you drive is a key part, otherwise you might be wasting money.

How Much Does A Key Fob Cost?

The bad news is that as car key technology has progressed, replacement costs have increased. The good news is that you might be able to lower or even avoid replacement costs altogether. This depends on your vehicle’s warranty, be sure to check your policy to find out if your Key Fobs Are Covered Under Warranty.

If you do ruin a key fob by submerging it may not be covered under the factory warranty. It would be covered under a Mopar Maximum Care Warranty. Maximum Care is an exclusionary extended warranty, often referred to as a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty.


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