How To Start The Car Without A Chip Key FOB

Cars are prone to theft and stealing, which is why car manufacturers work towards providing 100% safety for their customers. A key is the first thought while talking about a vehicle’s security system.

Therefore, newer models have an advanced layer of essential protection known as a chip key FOB. 

However, in some instances, this chip or the chip key goes missing or dead. What would you do then? Since keys are the only device to unlock a vehicle, let us give you a step-by-step approach to unlocking your motor without a key. 

What Is A Chip Key? 

First things first- before moving ahead, you should have an overview of what exactly is a chip key fob? Chip key, fob, or transponder key, are different names with the same purpose. Its job is to add a layer of protection to the vehicle with a chip installed inside the metallic outer sheet of the key.  

This might make you wonder how to protect the car now? Well, every transponder key comprises a unique RFID or Radio Frequency Identification.

When the driver inserts the key, the lock detects the unique identity of the key and unlocks the car. Therefore, it prevents severe thefts and stealing.  

But, how would you unlock your car if the chip key is lost or damaged? Why not read the article to know how to go about it. 

What Are The Steps To Unlock The Car Without A Chip Key Or Fob? 

A chip key provides an anti-theft layer into the locking system, making it hard to doge the keys. So, if you lose your key, you can only rely on the manufacturer for replacement. But we have good news for you- you can still unlock your car without a key under certain conditions. Let us tell you how- 

1. If You Have A Spare Transponder Chip- 

Suppose your smart key’s battery is dead when you’re away from home. In that case, you can bypass the locking system with a spare transponder chip- 

  • First, remove the hard seal of plastic off your key with the help of some tools like a screwdriver. 
  • After opening the seal, remove the black squared chip and place the spare chip within. 
  • Attach the chip near the ignition after keeping it on tape without assembling. 
  • Now try to restart your vehicle with the new key by rotating it inside. 
  • If it fails to start, position it again and try restarting. 
  • Doing so will help you find the right spot for the chip, and after that, you need to attach it with glue. 

You can also utilize a copy of your key because the chip is placed close to the ignition lock. It may hamper the security system of your vehicle. However, it doesn’t really stop the professionals from stealing or performing thefts on a car, so it is not entirely a disadvantage.  

2. Open The Door Manually

Starting your car without a key fob is not always tricky because you can try unlocking the door on your own. You can go with these steps to know-how- 

  • Check if the key can still open the lock by placing it near the doorknob. 
  • Rotate the key and try opening it with the dead battery only.  
  • You may still use a dead battery in some cases because it is left with some energy. 
  • If there is no energy left in the battery, you should know that some smart keys come with a mechanical key. 
  • You can use an emergency key found inside the assembly for unlocking. 

3. Restart Your Car Using A Key With A Dead Battery 

If you have a dead key battery, you can still use it to unlock the car and start the engine.

The engine will accept the key, and it will not detect the battery because of the RFI inside the key Fob. You can unlock your car by- 

  • Keep the key beside the ignition button. 
  • Doing so will help the engine in detecting the chip. 
  • The engine will reignite after that. 

Please try not to lose your key. Why? Because you will eventually have to replace it, and the price for a new key is pretty high.

You’d be better off with your smart key always available to unlock your car’s doors and windows.

4. Use Mobile Applications To Unlock

Since we’re talking about a key fob equipped with intelligent features, it is a smart key. Every smart device comes with a mobile app as well for convenience.

You can use the following mobile applications based on the brand of your car- 

  • Uconnect for Dodge, Jeep, or Fiat 
  • MMI connect for Audi 
  • Connected drive for BMW 
  • Starlink for Subaru 
  • Bluelink for Hyundai 
  • Nissan Connect for Nissan 
  • Sync Connect for Lincoln or Ford 


Is It Possible To Start The Car Without A Key?

You can start the car only if you have a spare transponder chip, or you will have to call for professional help. However, you can still unlock it if you have connected your smart key with a mobile app.  

Is Replacing The Key Expensive?

The cost of a smart key is variable and relies on factors like car brand and programming. This varies from $55 to $500 for a smart key.  

How To Navigate The Chip Within My Car Key? 

Although it is placed inside the plastic cover of your key, you can get detailed instructions in the user manual. It is easy to trace the position of the chip inside the key with every car’s manual.


Are you still thinking about how to start my car without a key fob? Now you know that it is impossible to start the vehicle without a chip, but some other situations may help you unlock the car.

This detailed guide is enough to clear your doubts and give you an overview of the how-to of a smart key. We hope it worked fine in resolving your issue.  

However, for a quick fix, you can contact your car manufacturer!

Liam Dare

As CEO of, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.