Programming A Ram Key Fob How-To

RAM Key Fob Programming Steps

You’re heading to your truck, you fish out your Ram key fob, you press the button, and nothing happens. Your doors don’t unlock. The lights don’t flash. The fob’s panic button doesn’t work, its LED light is off, and now you’re starting to panic.

You stand there, pressing your key fob buttons in a fury, and by some stroke of luck, it works one last time. Perhaps you drive a fifth-generation Ram truck, and you can use the nose side of your key fob to press against the start/stop ignition button and fire up your engine. You manage to get on the road, but as soon as you’re back home, you scour the internet for Ram key fob tricks.

If you’ve been through this exact scenario, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you’re in the right place now. We’ll walk you through some of the most common key fob issues, offer steps to troubleshoot and fix your Ram key fob problems, and provide resources that can help if you’re still having issues, no matter which Ram model you’re driving.


Troubleshooting Your Ram Key Fob Problems


Ram key fobs are made of two key components: a transmitter (the key fob itself) and a receiver (the RKE module in your Ram truck). When it’s functioning properly, your fob constantly transmits a distinct code via radio frequency, and your RKE, or remote keyless entry module, always scans for your key fob signal.

Key fobs can stop working for several reasons, the most common being a dead battery, water damage, or faulty internal contacts or electronic components. The great news is all of these issues can be resolved, some within minutes from the comfort of your own garage.

This article focuses on the fourth and fifth generation of Ram trucks and their typical key fob programming issues, meaning we’ve got tips to solve the following problems:

  • 2012 Ram key fob programming
  • 2013 Ram key fob programming
  • 2014 Ram key fob programming
  • 2017 Ram key fob programming
  • And every other year from 2009 to 2024!

To diagnose your specific Ram key fob’s problem, let’s start with the most common issues and work our way up!

  • Case or Water Damage: Inspect your fob. Are the buttons worn? Is the shell cracked? Is it an OEM part or a knock-off? Was the fob dropped in a puddle of water recently? Any of these issues might require a fob replacement, which is easily accomplished by contacting our parts department and purchasing one right off the shelf.
  • Dead Battery: If your initial inspection reveals that some of your fob functions still work but others don’t, you may need a Ram key fob battery replacement. To replace a fob battery for fourth-generation Ram trucks, follow the steps outlined in our FAQ section below. To replace a fifth-generation Ram key fob battery, use your truck’s instrument cluster to look up and follow directions.
  • Key Fob Sync: If a dead battery replacement solves your key fob problem and it’s now working correctly, you’ll need to re-sync your fob to your vehicle. You can do this by following an easy sequence of steps outlined in the next section.
  • TIPM or RKE Water Damage: Have you driven through deep water recently? Your TIPM, or Totally Integrated Power Module, stands between your truck’s battery and the RKE, and water can disrupt their communication. Pop your hood, find your fuse box, and inspect the TIPM for corrosion, water damage, or a short circuit. Then, inspect your RKE for water damage or faulty wiring.
  • Software Updates: Some key fob issues can be repaired via sensor replacement or a software update. Sometimes, all that’s required is a 30-minute flash at your media hub with the appropriate CDJR thumb drive (which we have at our dealership) and you’re back in business.
  • Schedule Service: As mentioned above, there are many components in your Ram truck system, and without the proper diagnostic tools, it might be difficult to determine the cause of your issues. If you’ve followed all the steps above and you’re still coming up short, it may be time to schedule service in San Antonio. If you purchased your vehicle from our dealership and it’s still under warranty, you may be eligible for a key fob replacement.

At-Home Ram Key Fob Repair Solutions


If you’ve run through the most common Ram 1500, Ram 3500, or Ram 2500 key fob programming issues listed above and diagnosed your problem, you can fix your key fob at home using methods that have worked successfully for many of our customers.

Read through the following questions and answers for solutions to some of the most common Ram key fob challenges. If at any point you need additional assistance, you can always contact your CDJR dealer in San Antonio for a repair appointment.

How do I program my new Ram key fob?

Insert your ignition key and turn it to the “run” position, which is the position just before you fully start your truck. Let all the lights and chimes drop out. Then press and hold the “unlock” button for 10 seconds.

As you release the “unlock” button, press the “panic” button. This should be a smooth transition from pressing and releasing one button to pushing the next. If you’ve done this successfully, you should hear an audible chime. Simply press any button on the alternate fob and you’re done. Exit the vehicle and give your newly programmed fob a try!

How do I program my 2014 Ram key fob?

Turn your key to the “on” position, but don’t start the engine. For four to 10 seconds, press and hold both the “unlock” and “panic” buttons simultaneously. Release both buttons and listen for a chime. Press and release the “unlock” button on any other remotes you want to add within 30 seconds of hearing the chime.

How do I open my Ram key fob case?

Use a coin or a screwdriver to open your Ram key fob case and change the battery. Gently pry open the key fob by turning your tool to the left or right. When you open the key fob, gently lift the circuit board (if necessary) to expose the battery. Note the type of battery and how it’s positioned inside the key fob. You can also find your specific key fob battery type in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

How do I sync my Ram key fob after replacing the battery?

Turn your key to the “on” position, but do not start the engine. Press and hold the “unlock” and “panic” buttons simultaneously for four to 10 seconds. After you release both buttons, listen for a chime to indicate the sync has occurred. Press and release the “unlock” buttons on any other key fobs you want to add to your vehicle within 30 seconds of hearing the chime.

How do I reset my Ram key fob?

Sit in your car with your remote and key fob, insert your key into the ignition, and turn the key to the “run” position. Press and hold the “unlock” button on your remote for four seconds, and press the “panic” button while holding the other button. Relax and take your time. Your friends at San Antonio CDJR are here to help in any way we can, so feel free to call us if you need assistance.


San Antonio CDJR: Your Trusted Ram Dealer in San Antonio Near San Marcos


One of the most convenient features of modern cars is the ability to unlock or lock your vehicle through the key fob, but what happens when your key fob disconnects? Our certified Ram associates do more than offer some of the most competitive Ram 1500 lease deals in Texas – they’re also here when you need professionals to handle any vehicle problems quickly.

If you live near Austin or anywhere in Central Texas, San Antonio CDJR has you covered! We’ve got a world-class sales team that loves to give tours of the new Ram 1500 for sale and point drivers toward service specials and oil change coupons that can help them save on regular maintenance.


Frequently Asked Questions About Ram Key Fobs


How do I replace a Ram key fob battery?

The batteries inside our Ram key fobs are tiny and easy to replace yourself. Purchase a replacement battery, find a clear workspace, and use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry open the key fob from the gap on each side of the emergency key. Replace the battery, positive side up, then slide each side of the fob case back into place.

Where can I get a Ram key fob replacement?

Need a new key fob but don’t have much time? Visit our service center at San Antonio CDJR and let our technicians know you need a key fob that works. We’ll find your specific vehicle’s Ram key fob replacement and send you on your way with a fully charged fob. You can also schedule your next oil change or tire rotation while you’re here!

How do I reset my Ram key fob?

The process for resetting your Ram key fob begins in the driver’s seat. Turn the key to “run,” let the startup lights and chimes finish, then fully turn the fob to start your truck. Hold the “unlock” button for 10 seconds until you hear silence. As you release the “unlock” button, press “panic.” An audible chime means success. Press any button on the fob to complete the reset process.

How do I change the battery in a Ram key fob?

To change the battery in your Ram key fob, you’ll need to pry open the fob case. Use a screwdriver or coin to gently separate the two-part cover of the key fob, then replace the battery inside. The battery should resemble a small button, and the positive sign should face upward. Snap the cover back on and your key fob should be ready to go.

How do you program a key fob for a 2017 Ram?

Insert your key into your vehicle’s ignition and turn it to the “on” position, but do not start the engine. Press and hold the “unlock” button, then press and hold “panic” for one second before releasing both buttons simultaneously. After hearing a chime, press and release “lock” and “unlock” at the same time on the fob you want to program. Then press any key – another chime should indicate success.


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