What Causes Honda Accord Key Fob To Stop Working?

The keyless entry remote, also called a fob or key fob, is a common convenience feature on most modern vehicles. With the press of a button, it can remotely lock or unlock the doors and trunk. However, when this important device stops working, it can cause a lot of headaches.

Honda Accord owners may occasionally run into issues with the key fob mysteriously stopping to function. There are a number of possible explanations for why a Honda Accord key fob may stop working properly. By understanding the common causes, drivers can troubleshoot problems and restore functionality.

Reasons A Honda Accord Key Fob May Stop Working

Dead Battery

One of the most common reasons a key fob will stop operating is a depleted battery. Like any small electronic device, the Honda Accord key fob relies on a small replaceable coin battery to operate. Over time, this battery will drain and need to be replaced.

Dead Battery
Dead Battery

Symptoms of a dead battery include reduced range, intermittent operation, or complete failure. Replacing the battery with a fresh CR2032 coin cell battery often restores normal function. It’s a good idea to proactively replace the battery every 2-3 years.

Poor Wiring

Faulty wiring between the key fob receiver and the car’s electrical system can mimic a dead battery. Issues like loose, corroded, or damaged wiring can interrupt the signal between the fob and the car.

Inspecting wiring harnesses and connections can identify bad wiring. Any damaged wires will need to be repaired or replaced.

Poor Wiring
Poor Wiring

Corrosion on Connector

Corrosion buildup on the key fob or receiver connector can block the signal. Road grime, water exposure, and normal oxidation over time can cause corrosion issues.

Carefully cleaning contact points with electrical contact cleaner or lightly sanding can often fix connection problems caused by corrosion.

Corrosion on Connector
Corrosion on Connector

Weak Signal

A weak signal between the key fob and receiver unit can prevent operation. Distance, positioning, and interference from metal or electronics can cause signal strength issues.

Trying different positions closer to the vehicle may help temporarily. Ultimately, a weak transmitter may need to be repaired or replaced.

Poor Wiring
Poor Wiring

Broken Wire in Controller

The key fob receiver module located in the vehicle contains antennas and control circuitry. Damage like a broken internal wire in this controller can cause operation issues.

A malfunctioning receiver will need professional diagnosis and repair. Complete module replacement may be required in some cases.

Security System Fault

On higher trim Honda Accord models, issues with the factory vehicle immobilizer or security system can sometimes mimic key fob problems.

Faulty security modules will need diagnosis and repair by a dealership or specialist. A software update may be required to restore normal operation in some situations.

Solutions When Honda Accord Key Fob Is Not Working

When a Honda Accord key fob stops working correctly, here are some solutions owners can try to restore operation:

Check for Dead Battery

The first step is to check for a depleted battery in the key fob. Look for a low battery warning light, reduced range, or intermittent operation. Replace the CR2032 coin cell battery.

Try a Second Key Fob

If you have multiple key fobs, try the second one. If it also fails, you likely have an issue in the vehicle rather than the fob.

Check Physical Lock Operation

Make sure your manual door locks and trunk release still operate normally. If they fail too, focus diagnosis on the vehicle locks and connections.

Inspect Fob and Receiver

Look for external damage, corrosion, or water ingress on both fob and receiver. Clean contacts if needed.

Have Security System Reset

A dealership can reset and troubleshoot the vehicle immobilizer and security module if applicable.

Schedule Professional Diagnosis

For complex issues or hardware failures, professional troubleshooting may be needed. Mobile locksmiths or dealers can diagnose and repair.

Why Would The Key Fob Suddenly Stop Working?

There are a few common reasons why a key fob can suddenly stop working. The most likely cause is that the battery has died. Key fob batteries slowly drain over time and eventually need to be replaced. If not replaced promptly, the key fob will become nonfunctional once the battery is fully depleted. 

Damage from dropping the key fob, water exposure leading to corrosion, and malfunctioning electrical components can also cause sudden failure. Interference blocking the signal and software glitches are less common culprits. Whenever a key fob abruptly ceases to work, always start by replacing the battery before investigating other causes.

How Do I Start My Honda Accord With A Dead Key Fob?

If your Honda Accord’s key fob has a dead battery and won’t start the engine, you still have options. First, check whether placing the fob right next to the start button allows it to be detected. If not, look for a backup keyhole usually located near the driver’s left knee. 

Insert the backup key and turn to the Accessory or On position. This should allow you to press the start button with the dead fob as normal. The backup key blade is hidden inside the key fob. If lost, a locksmith can help make a new key. As a last resort, the battery cables can be jumped together to start the engine until the fob is repaired.

What To Do When Your Key Fob Dies?

When your key fob stops working due to a dead battery or other failure, the first step is to troubleshoot the problem. Try replacing the battery or cleaning any corrosion on the contacts. If it fails to revive the key fob, use your backup manual key to get into the vehicle in the meantime. Have a dealership or locksmith diagnose and repair the non-working key fob. 

Consider getting a spare key fob and keeping it in a safe place in case your main fob dies again. If the key fob is unrepairable, you will need to purchase a replacement and have it programmed to your vehicle by a professional. Don’t wait until you are stranded somewhere with a dead key fob.

What Are Signs Of A Bad Key Fob?

There are a few warning signs to watch for that could mean your key fob is failing. Reduced operating range is a common early indicator of a weak battery or antenna problem. Intermittent failures, such as working sometimes but not others, points to a depletion battery or loose wiring connection. Inability to program a new key fob can mean the vehicle receiver module is malfunctioning. 

High resistance or need for multiple button presses suggests worn contacts or water corrosion. Odd flashing patterns of indicator lights, or no lights at all, can occur with electronic glitches. Any of these issues mean it’s time to have your key fob inspected and repaired by a professional.

Can You Drive Honda With Dead Key Fob?

It is possible to drive your Honda even with a non-working key fob, but not recommended. Without a functioning key fob, you will be unable to start the engine normally and could get stranded. In an emergency, the backup key can be used to unlock the doors and turn the ignition switch to Accessory. 

The engine can then be started by jumping the starter motor. This bypass procedure is only intended as a temporary fix until the key fob can be repaired or replaced. Driving any significant distance without a properly working key fob is not advised.

Preventing Honda Accord Key Fob Problems

Simple preventative measures can help avoid Honda Accord key fob issues:

  1. Replace the battery every 2-3 years before it fails
  2. Keep fob away from moisture and extreme heat or cold
  3. Fix minor corrosion issues early before they worsen
  4. Avoid dropping or damaging the key fob unit
  5. Store spare fob safely as a backup

While many problems can be DIY repairs, it’s wise to seek professional help for anything complex or beyond your technical skill. Proper handling and care will minimize the chances of your Honda Accord key fob ever stopping work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Did My Honda Accord Key Fob Suddenly Stop Working?

The most common causes for a key fob to unexpectedly stop working are a depleted battery, corrosion, or damage from dropping. Start diagnosis with a new battery and visual inspection.

How Do I Get Into My Car If The Key Fob Doesn’t Work?

Use your metal backup key to unlock the door. The fob has an insertable key blade for manual entry when the fob fails. If it is lost, a locksmith can assist.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Honda Accord Key Fob?

Replacement Honda key fobs typically cost $50-$150 from a dealer. Seek less expensive options from third party sources online for the best value. Programming is extra.

Can I Program A New Key Fob Myself?

Self-programming is possible on many Honda models with two existing working fobs. If you only have one, dealer programming is required for new replacements.

How Do I Extend The Range Of My Honda Accord Key Fob?

Try replacing the battery for maximum range. Positioning, interference, and damage can also reduce range. Model-specific signal booster systems are available aftermarket.


The Honda Accord’s convenient keyless entry fob is prone to occasional issues like dead batteries or faulty wiring over time. But in most cases, DIY troubleshooting techniques can identify and resolve problems quickly and affordably. Understanding the possible causes and solutions empowers drivers to restore this vital function and avoid calling a tow truck. With some maintenance and care, the Accord’s key fob will continue unlocking and starting your car reliably for years to come.

Author's Image

Ammar Masoud

I have had a long and fulfilling career in the automotive industry, primarily with Honda and Acura. With 15 years of experience as a Honda service technician, I became highly skilled in repair and maintenance, gaining a deep understanding of these vehicles. After many years in the automotive field, I decided to embark on a second career in industrial manufacturing. It was a significant change, but I found that the skills I had honed in the automotive industry were incredibly valuable in my new role. In my current position in industrial manufacturing, the demand for quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Fortunately, these are traits that I have cultivated throughout my years in the automotive industry. I take pride in applying these skills to meet the high standards expected in the manufacturing sector.