Fix These 8 Issues If Your Jeep Grand Cherokee Says “Key Fob Not Detected”

The “Key Fob Not Detected” is one of the most common error messages Jeep Grand Cherokee owners can encounter. It usually appears when you try to start the vehicle.

This message means the Jeep can’t recognize the key fob. Therefore, you can’t start your vehicle and perform other tasks associated with a key fob.

The most basic way to start a jeep in such cases is by putting your foot on the brake and pushing the start-stop button through the bottom side of the key fob.

And if you’re out of the Jeep and can’t get in, press the button/latch at the top to have the emergency key pop out of the fob. Then, use that emergency key to open the door and enter the vehicle.

In many cases, it’ll start your Jeep.

But if it doesn’t, or if you have an older model with no push-button, you’ll have to follow additional steps.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Fob Not Detected: What Does it Mean?

In simple terms, ‘Key Fob Not Detected’ is an error message that appears on your Jeep’s dashboard display.

It’s a common warning message and not related to a specific Jeep model – I have seen it in other Jeep vehicles, such as Compass, Renegade, Cherokee, etc.

In fact, many of my friends who own Nissan vehicles have experienced a similar warning message where their cars say “No Key Detected“.

Both of these messages generally appear due to a dying/dead key fob battery. But that’s not always the case.

Some jeep owners have complained that this error message appeared after they replaced the key fobs’ batteries. Others have reported getting this error, specifically during cold weather.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Fob Not Detected: 8 Reasons

Common Causes For Jeep 'Key Fob Not Detected' Message

Whatever the case, below are some of the common causes for this message:

1. Dead Key Fob Battery

Like every wireless device, the key fobs come with batteries. When these batteries wear out, the key fob sends weaker signals to the vehicle or stops sending signals altogether.

In such cases, you get a “Key Fob Battery Low” warning message as soon as the battery starts draining. Therefore, you’ll have to remember if you got such a message before the current one (key fob not detected).

2. Wrong Key Fob

Once a key fob is paired with a vehicle, you can’t use it for any other vehicle.

Therefore, you may be trying to use a different key fob with your Jeep – more so if your household has multiple vehicles.

Many people own more than one key fob. And since they all look more or less the same, it increases the chances of a mix-up.

3. Programming Malfunction

Another reason behind Jeep not recognizing the key fob is the programming malfunction. It’s more likely to be the case if you’ve recently programmed the key fob through an automobile locksmith.

4. Jeep Battery Worn Out

A key fob has to rely on your vehicle’s battery for proper communication. If your vehicle’s battery is low/fully drained, it’ll not be able to communicate with the key fob. And you’ll think that your key fob is acting up.

Therefore, make sure that your car battery is working fine.

If not, you’ll have to jump-start your vehicle with either jump cables or a jump starter.

5. Faulty Door Lock

Sometimes, a faulty door lock causes the Jeep not to detect the fob. Therefore, it doesn’t unlock the vehicle.

It can be due to a blown fuse, broken wire, moisture, damaged solenoid, etc.

6. Dirty Key Fob

Let’s be honest. Most of us don’t handle our key fobs properly. We usually put them in our pockets or easy-to-access places in our houses. And they attract a lot of dust in those places, which can damage them in the long run.

7. Damaged Key Fob

Prolonged usage can wear out a key fob. Stuck/damaged buttons or a broken wire inside the fob cause it to not send full-strength signals even when its battery is new.

8. Radio Interference

Although rare, a key fob can misbehave due to radio interference.

Key fobs send radio frequencies at different bands to communicate with the vehicle. It means there is a slight possibility of interference if too many devices use the same band simultaneously.

What to do if Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Key Fob is Not Detected?

Before proceeding, you should confirm the problem is with your key fob, not the Jeep.

You can do this by using another compatible key fob. If the new one’s working fine, the problem is with the original key fob.

1. Clean the Key Fob and Circuit Board

Clean the Key Fob and Circuit Board

The first thing you’ll do is clean the key fob.

You should apply the alcohol + water mixture on it and then wipe it gently with cotton or a soft cloth. It will remove any dirt or debris on it.

You can apply this mixture to clean the internal circuit board, too.

2. Replace the Key Fob Battery

If the error message you’re getting is due to a low/dead battery, all you need is to replace that battery with a new one – CR2032, to be precise.

To replace the battery, you’ll have to open up the key fob first. Here’s how you’ll do it:

 Pull out the key from the fob. Then, take a simple flathead screwdriver and press it against the seam of the key fob. As soon as it goes inside, twist the screwdriver so the entire key fob opens up.

Now, your key fob is split into two parts. The upper part will have the circuit board, and the bottom will have the battery. Use the same screwdriver to take this battery out. Put the new CR2032 battery in its place (the negative side should be downward).

At last, align those parts of the key fob and press them until they snap back.

3. Reprogram Your Key Fob

If the issue you’re facing is due to bad programming, then it can be solved by reprogramming the key fob.

I recommend hiring a certified professional as it’s tricky, and you shouldn’t DIY it.

4. Use a New Key Fob

If you’ve tried all the methods above, but the Jeep still does not recognize the key fob, replacing it is the only option left.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Reset The Key Fob on a Jeep Wrangler?

Press and hold the lock button for at least 3 seconds. It should reset the Jeep Wrangler key fob.

Should You Replace the Receiver To Fix Your Undetected Key Fob?

Replacing the receiver can be a suitable option if you don’t want to go for a new key fob altogether.

Why isn’t my Jeep Detecting my Key Fob?

The common reasons behind this issue are the dead key fob battery, faulty start button, faulty door lock, radio interference, etc.

Is the Jeep Key Fob Covered Under Warranty?

Yes, Key fobs are covered under the 3-year warranty.

What Happens if the Jeep Key Fob Dies?

A Key fob is mainly used to unlock and start a vehicle. Therefore, you’ll be unable to perform those functions with a dead key fob. But if it dies while you’re driving, nothing will change.

How Long Do Jeep Key Fobs Last?

In general, Key fob batteries last 3-4 years with normal usage.

How Do You Start a Jeep With a Dead Key Fob?

Press the foot brake and press the push-start button with the bottom edge of the key fob. It should start your Jeep.

How Much is a New Jeep Key Fob?

Getting a new key fob can cost you $70-$100. But you must also consider the cost of programming it. Most automotive locksmiths charge $75-$200 for this. It takes the total cost to $150-$250.

Ayden Morris is the founder of Vehicle Sphere. He shares expert advice and practical tips to help car owners maximize the performance and longevity of their vehicles. Buckle up and join him on this exhilarating ride through the world of car care.

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