Why Isn’t Nissan Key Fob Not Working After Battery Changed?

Knowing how to deal with having an issue with Nissan key fob that's not working

One of the conveniences I enjoy with the latest advancements is the key fob. But what if it stops working suddenly? It can happen sometimes, particularly after a battery change.

You cannot unlock the car, let alone start it. While I can still have my spare, the question is, why is my Nissan key fob not working?

Did you know that your key fob may not work after a battery change? The reason is that the electronic system in the key fob gets reset automatically when you change your battery.

While this doesn’t happen every time, in rare occurrences, this can happen, and you’d have you reprogram your battery.

Modern cars with the latest technologies are moving to keyless fobs from the key fobs. Hence, your key fobs must be in proper working condition.

With a Nissan fob, one of the most important reasons for failure is the batteries. So, when you change the battery, make sure that the key fob works or reprogram it with the help of technicians.

Here’s the top 3 recommended below:

Why is My Nissan Key Fob Not Working?

You cannot imagine a more frustrating situation where your key fob doesn’t work, and you cannot unlock your car, let alone start it.

While the fob itself might be the cause sometimes, in most cases, your battery is also the reason. Here are a few possibilities to consider when it doesn’t work.

1. Key Fob Battery

While your key fob can last for a long time, it is not indefinite and has a time limit.

Normally, it is 8 years with a well-maintained car and key, but if you have been dropping the keys a little more than usual, you are lucky if it lasts for 4 years.

When you notice your key fob is not working, the first probability is that your battery is dead and doesn’t have enough juice to power your battery anymore.

This is a widespread problem, and diagnosing is just as easy.

If your key fob doesn’t respond to your commands or the buttons, chances are that your battery is failing or even dead by now. Then again, this might not be the only reason.

So, I would suggest you try opening with your spare key. Assuming that this works, change the battery in your key fob.

Any aftermarket auto parts store should be able to help you with that. Few would even change the battery for you. Your key fob is back to work and functioning again.

If your auto parts store doesn’t change the battery, you can do it yourself with the help of the owner’s manual.

In case you do not have them, no need to panic; you can easily find one online.
With the help of the guide, you can find the right battery and also instructions to change it.

This is another question I often get asked; Do you have to reprogram a Nissan key fob after changing the battery?

Yes, you definitely would have to, else your fob would not work with your car. I will describe more about this in the next section.

2. Internal Damage

Not all issues can be attributed to a bad battery; it may also be because of internal damage to the key fob. The key fob works when the transmitter within it and the receiver in the car communicate.

If anyone of these is damaged, the communication disrupts, and it doesn’t work the way it is meant.

As I mentioned earlier, it can be internal damage to the key fob itself or maybe an issue with the electronics present in the car.

It need not be limited to the transmitter and the receiver, though this is most likely to happen. The age of the vehicle also comes into the picture; If the car is old, the wirings may also wear out.

In some cases, the damage may be due to the mishandling of the key fob.

While you may not think much about dropping it occasionally, it is a piece of electronics, which tends to get out of alignment if not handled with care.

In any case, if you suspect internal damage to be the reason, do not attempt to handle this yourself.

It is better when worked on by a professional like a mechanic at your dealership or an automotive locksmith. They can repair your fob if possible else suggest a replacement.

3. Key Fob Not Programmed Or Reset

Every key pair with an individual lock, be it in the traditional sense or even in the modern sense.

Though the scientific advancements have changed the way we see these, essentially they are the same.

The way it is now has added a layer of security that was missing earlier. The presence of transmitters and receivers changed the way the car locks, which makes it harder to break in.

This helps to keep the car safe and secure.

But this also comes with a drawback. Any new key has to be programmed to communicate with your car. This issue arises when you replace your worn out or lost key and forget to program again.

If your key fob is not working, there are chances that you or the mechanic has forgotten to program it.

Your dealership or an automotive locksmith should be able to reprogram it for you. While a locksmith is a better and cost-effective option, make sure they know what they are doing.

Reprogram seems much like technical work; all it takes is a few minutes to make your car respond to the key fob.

4. Damaged Ignition Cylinder

Your key fob not only exists to open your car door but also works in conjunction with the ignition to start your vehicle.

For every function present in it, there is a corresponding one in the car receiving the requests. If there is damage to any of the parts, your key fob would not work.

In case you can open the door to your vehicle but are not able to start the car, the issue doesn’t lie with the key fob. But instead, the ignition might be at fault.

Every moving part of your car is prone to wear and tear as the years go by.

Hence, it is no doubt that the engine would break down, and your ignition cylinder would also feel the time, especially if the vehicle is quite a few years old.

Again both the automotive locksmiths and the mechanics at the dealerships are capable of identifying the issue whether it is with the key fob or the ignition.

They can advise you on the repair; If at the early stages, you can salvage it with restoration. If it is in a worse condition, you might have to replace the ignition cylinder.

5. Aftermarket Car Keys

Aftermarket car parts are the choice of most car owners since they are much inexpensive when compared to the OEM parts in the dealership.

While the key fob costs you just $50-$75 at an aftermarket auto parts store, it is $150-$200 at the Nissan dealership.

While the latter is the better option of the two, the former can either work for your car or might need some work done to make it compatible.

Hence, if you are going for the aftermarket parts, you need to understand the risks associated with it.

The same goes for fobs; when you buy an aftermarket key fob, ensure that you program it to work for your vehicle. If you skip this part, most likely, it will not work for your car.

The reason is that they are not manufactured specifically for any brand. So, it needs additional programming to pair with your vehicle.

This is relatively easy, and any accomplished mechanic or automotive locksmith can do this for you.

6. Duplicate Car Key

Everyone, including you, may hold duplicate keys for your home, locker, or even your car. People also get duplicates for the key fob, again for a good reason.

You do not want to get locked out of your car, bright early morning searching for the key fob. Having spare keys gives you peace of mind and also the luxury of sharing with family members.

However, with key fobs, what most people do not realize is that with every duplicate, it gets further away from the original. Every duplicated key affects the integrity of the original.

In simpler terms, a duplicate of the original may work for you. But a duplicate of the duplicate doesn’t work the same way as the original.

So, if your key fob is not working, it is because it is far removed and different from the original as it can get.

The better option is to get a new key fob and program it to work for your vehicle instead of duplicating it.

How To Reset Your Nissan Key Fob After Replacing The Battery

Your Nissan key fob requires you to reprogram it or reset it after you change a battery. While this may not happen every time, in rare cases, it does.

When it happens, how do I reset my Nissan key fob? The safer option is to reprogram the key fob at the dealership or a locksmith.

However, you can also attempt to do it yourself by following the below steps.

  1. Get inside Your Nissan Car and lock all the doors using the Lock Switch at the driver’s side door.
  2. Place the key in the ignition and take it off. Do this 6 times in exactly 10 seconds. Make sure to remove it fully from the ignition before placing it again. Do not turn the key.
  3. This is your entry into the programming mode. When this successfully happens, the exterior and the interior lights will flash twice.
  4. After entering the programming mode, insert the key into the ignition again and turn the key to the Accessories mode.
  5. Press any key on the key fob just one time. Do not try it more than once.
  6. If the steps until now work as it should, the key fob should be in the process of programming. The hazard lights would flash once confirming this.
  7. Remove the key fob from the ignition, unlock your doors, and get out of the vehicle.
  8. Lock the door and try unlocking using the key fob.

If the above steps do not work, try repeating again. In case of repeated unsuccessful attempts, contact the nearest Nissan dealership.

I found this helpful video, watch this:

Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima was first launched in 1993. You can use the above steps to program your key fobs for all models before 2007.

From 2007 and later, it is not programmable onboard, and there is nothing you can do yourselves. It has to be done by your dealership or an automotive locksmith.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke was first introduced in 2011. Just like Altima, for models until 2013, you can use the above measures to program your key fob.

From 2014 onwards, the key fob has to be done by an experienced professional by using specialized computer equipment.

Nissan Morano

Nissan Murano was launched back in 2003 with a key fob that could be programmed onboard using the steps mentioned above.

However, after 2008 you need a specialized computer to reprogram your key fob, which your locksmith, mechanic, or dealership can do it for you.

Nissan X-Trail

While data is missing Nissan X-trail, I believe that Nissan has replaced the regular key fobs with keyless intelligent smart fobs in their recent models.

So, if you have a later model car, you might have to take it to your mechanic, dealership, or your automotive locksmith.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace The Nissan Key Fob Battery?

Nissan key fob battery replacement cost solely depends on the battery and also the replacement cost.

A key fob battery is not going to cost you much, but it is the replacement that is expensive. If you are to buy a battery from Amazon, you can get batteries for as low as $5.50.

While in Autozone it starts at $6 and Batteries Plus, it is at $7.99. While these are baseline, the prices differ depending on the car and the remote.

If you can do the replacement yourself, it is the just cost of the battery. But if you approach a dealership to change the batteries for you, it is going to end up expensive for you.

In the same line, you can also check with your auto parts store to replace your key fob battery or even your key fob replacement.

Change The Key Fob Batteries Yourself

The process to change the batteries in a key fob is easy, and it is something you can do with things available at home.

  1. Pick up the key fob and remove the hidden key from within it.
  2. Extract the key housing and remove the old battery. Ensure that you remember the position of the battery.
  3. Place the new battery inside with the negative side facing up just like with the old battery.
  4. Put everything back together and test the fob to make sure if it works properly.

Here’s a good video to watch:


Q1. How Can I Start A Car With A Dead Key Fob?

While you need to replace the batteries in your key fob without fail, you can start the car in an emergency.

If your car allows a keyed entry, there is one hidden within the key fob. Pull out the emergency key and open the door of your vehicle.

If your vehicle has a keyless entry, you can still start your car.

  • Nissan cars with a key fob port: Put the key fob in the port. Tap the clutch or brake pedal while you press the start/stop button.
  • Nissan cars without a port: Place the key fob against the start/stop button and press the brake and clutch at the same time.

Q2. How Much Does It Cost To Reprogram A Nissan Key Fob?

The cost to reprogram a Nissan key fob depends on who you plan to approach and also your car.

A locksmith would charge you anywhere from $40 – $ 150. However, a dealership would cost you more, and an auto parts store more or less the same.

Q3. How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Nissan Key Fob?

To replace a key fob you can expect anywhere from $130 – $490. It depends on the car, make, model, and year, the availability of code, and also where you decide to go for a replacement.

Also affecting the pricing is the latest model cars, which have complicated security features hence difficult to replace.

Your mechanic, auto parts store, or locksmith would give you better pricing than your dealership.


Imagine a situation where you changed your Nissan key fob battery, and it suddenly stopped working.

The reason here is that you need to reset your key and program it again to work with the car. While this is the most common reason, it may also be due to faulty fobs and issues with your car.

In older model cars, you can do the programming yourself onboard the automotive. But, if it is a keyless car you might have to approach your locksmith or dealership to get this done.

In case your key fob just died, and you need an emergency battery replacement, you can do it at home and within a few minutes.

It is that easy, but if you approach a professional, it can cost you up to $50 to replace it.

Understanding your key fob is easy, and with it, you can save hundreds of dollars just by doing things yourselves instead of taking it to a professional.


Written by Kane Dan

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