Car key fobs are handy to have to access your vehicle. However, since they’re small, car key fobs often get lost. Misplacing the small device can be frustrating, but is there an easier way to go about finding it? Here are some useful tips on how to find a lost car key fob:
- Check your pockets
- Check inside your car
- Look at the ground around your car
- Rummage through your purse or bag
- Ask someone for assistance
- Retrace your steps
- Buy a key finder
Finding a lost car key fob can sometimes be as simple as retracing your steps or rummaging through the places around your car. In this article, I will offer tips on finding a lost car key fob, including how a key finder can help you. I’ll also discuss how to avoid constantly misplacing your key fob.
1. Check Your Pockets
In the panic of losing your key fob, you may forget to check the most obvious of places. If you left your vehicle in a hurry, or you were juggling many items at once, you could easily have been too distracted to remember where you put your key fob.
Therefore, if you’re focused on not dropping anything as you step out of your car, you could thoughtlessly shove your key fob into your pocket to get it out of the way and forget about it.
When you can’t find your car key fob, your pocket is the first place to look. More often than not, it will show up there, and the problem is solved. However, be sure to check every pocket- including the dirty jeans in your hamper!
2. Check Inside Your Car
If you’re sure your key fob isn’t in any pockets, the next place to check is your car. An obvious sign that your key fob is in your car is if the doors are unlocked, as you probably never got around to locking your car if you were too distracted.
Be sure to check everywhere. Look under the seats, floors, and the tiny spaces where your key fob could be stuck. Key fobs are small devices, so they can easily slip in between the cracks in the seats or hide on the floorboard.
3. Look at the Ground Around Your Car
If you still don’t see the key fob in your car, the next best bet is to check out the area around your car. As key fobs are small, you might have dropped it and never even noticed it. Be sure to check under the car as well because you might have unintentionally kicked it under there when you left the car last.
4. Rummage Through Your Purse or Bag
When your hands were full or you were distracted, you may have absentmindedly (or even purposely) dropped your car key fob into your purse or bag. It’s best to remove all of the contents from the bag completely, as it’s easy to miss a small key fob. Be sure to check the bottom of your purse, as well as all of the pockets.
5. Ask Someone for Assistance
When in doubt, ask a friend or family member for help searching. Someone might have seen your car key fob laying around, or maybe you handed it to someone as you stepped out of the car. Having several people helping you search is better than searching alone.
Additionally, having someone else check the places you’ve already searched is an excellent idea. Oftentimes our eyes don’t see what’s right in front of us when we’re frantically searching for something!
6. Retrace Your Steps
If all else fails, retrace your steps. Try to recall exactly where you went and what you did between the time you stepped out of the car and the moment that you realized your key fob was missing.
For example, if you went on a walk around the neighborhood, go on the walk again and look at the grass around the areas you walked. Or, if you made dinner when you got home, search the kitchen cabinets. I once found my key fob inside the fridge!
7. Track Your Key Fob With a Key Finder
If losing your car key fob is becoming an everyday occurrence, maybe it’s time for you to buy a key finder. A key finder is a small gadget that you attach to your key fob, like a key chain. It works by tracking your car key fob, so you always know where to find it.
Check out this Tile Mate Key Finder on Amazon.
How a Key Finder Works
Key finders work by tracking your car key fob’s whereabouts via Bluetooth or Wi-fi technology.
Here’s how to use it:
- Download the key finder app (specific to your chosen brand) on your smartphone.
- Attach the key finder to your car key fob.
- Using the app, sync the key finder to your phone.
- Walk a few meters away and “look” for your key fob using the app on your phone.
- The key finder will emit a sound to let you know exactly where your car key fob is.
Can a Key Finder Always Locate My Car Key Fob?
While the idea of a key finder is amazing, you probably don’t want to bother with one if it doesn’t work all of the time. So, will a key finder always locate a key fob?
A key finder can’t always locate your car key fob. Depending on what type of key finder you buy, they generally only work within a defined proximity. If your lost car key fob is in a spot beyond your key finder’s scope, you’re out of luck.
Can a Lost Car Key Fob Be Replaced?
Back when we had traditional car keys, you could call a locksmith if you couldn’t find your keys and have a new key made for you on the spot. Nowadays, if you lose your car key fob, it can put a dent in your wallet and cannot be replaced as quickly.
You can have a lost car key fob replaced. Your local car dealership can usually do the job. However, it’s best to consider requesting a backup key to save you the trouble of panicking if you lose your replacement key fob.
See also: Where to Get a Car Key Made
Will My Car Still Run if I Can’t Find My Key Fob?
Losing your car key fob is already stressful, and not being able to drive your car on top of it is worse. So, will my car still run if I can’t find my key fob?
Your car will still run if you can’t find your key fob. However, it will only still run if you have a basic car key fob or a key fob with a switchblade key. These key fobs come with separate car keys that still allow you to start your car. A transponder or smart key, however, will not.
Therefore, whether or not your car will still run all depends on the kind of car key fob you own. Below, I’ll get into more detail on the different types of key fobs:
Basic Car Key Fob
This type of key fob comes, separately, with a traditional car key. You can lock and unlock your car with just a press of a button. The conventional key would still be needed to start the engine.
If you lose a basic car key fob, you’re okay. You can still use your traditional key to unlock, lock, and start your car. You can happily drive away!
Car Key Fob With Switchblade Key
This type combines a key fob and a traditional car key in one handy gadget. You unlock your car with the key fob. Then, to start the engine, you use the traditional key spring-loaded into the gadget, so it comes out and folds back in like a switchblade.
If you lose this, you’re still fine. You can use the spring-loaded key to unlock your car and drive away.
Transponder Key Fob
This type of key fob was developed as an anti-theft device. An ignition key is fitted with a computer chip that pairs the key to your car. Anyone wanting to steal your car will have a more challenging time doing so.
However, if you lose this, your car won’t start because the ignition relies on the wireless connection between the key fob and the vehicle. Your car won’t run at all without the transponder key.
Smart Key Fob
A smart key is also known as keyless ignition. A car is fitted with a proximity sensor and is then paired with the key fob. After this, the vehicle is capable of sensing when the key fob is nearby. If your car is equipped with this type of technology, you can unlock your doors and start the engine with the push of a button.
If you lose this, your car would be practically useless, just like with the Transponder Key. You won’t be able to start the engine or pop the trunk, let alone open the doors.
Ways to Avoid Losing Your Car Key Fob
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than the cure. In the case of missing car key fobs, it’s better to avoid losing them in the first place rather than having to deal with the consequences later on.
Here are some things you can do to avoid losing your car key fob:
- Don’t let go. Keep your car key fob in your hand after stepping out of your car and locking it. Don’t drop it into your bag or shove it into your pocket. When you absentmindedly do things like this, you lose track of where your key fob is.
- Pick a spot for it. Put your car key fob in the same place at all times. It could be on top of your center table, hanging on a hook in the wall, inside a box in your nightstand, or under a lamp. Designating a spot for it – and sticking to this arrangement at all times – will ensure that you always know where to find your key fob when you need it.
- Buy a key ring. Get yourself a key ring. Hook important keys (such as your house keys) to it, including your car key fob. Attach it to your bag, your belt loop, or anywhere accessible for you. A key ring will let you quickly find this particular bunch of keys whenever you need them.
It’s easy to lose your car key fob because it’s small and lightweight. If you don’t want to find yourself in a predicament where you’re stuck somewhere with a car you can’t even unlock, it’s best to make subtle changes to your routine and habits.
Be aware of your actions whenever you step out of your car. Make it a point to always keep your key fob in a safe spot where you won’t forget about it. And if you can, invest in a spare key fob for your car.