Jeep Key Fob Not Detected- Reasons and Quick Fixes

The benefits of using a key fob in place of car keys are endless. From locking and unlocking doors to facilitating a keyless ignition, this handy device is highly versatile, and it allows Jeep owners to perform a range of operations with just a push of a button.

Nowadays, keyless entry is becoming the order of the day, thanks to the convenience that comes with the ability to control your vehicle from a distance. But like with any other electronic device, the key fob is prone to failure and can stop working abruptly.

In most Jeep forums, it is not uncommon to find people asking- “why does my Jeep say key fob not detected?” Well, there are several reasons that may be behind this problem, but the most common cause is a drained key fob battery. With that in mind, this guide will cover the reasons for Jeep key fob not detected and different ways to fix the problem.

Reasons why Jeep key fob is not detected

Reasons why Jeep key fob is not detected

If you’re trying to access your car, but the ‘key fob not detected’ message appears on the dashboard, it means that the key cannot transmit the signal due to the following reasons;

i. Dead/faulty key fob battery

It is a no-brainer that a dead/ faulty battery will render the key fob unusable. If the battery has run out of charge, your vehicle will not be able to detect the key, which also means that you’ll not be able to start it. A drained battery could be a result of many reasons, but the most obvious one is extended use.


If a dead battery is the reason behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee key fob not detected indictor light, then the only way around this replacing the battery. A new battery will rejuvenate the key fob system while making it work as new. However, if the error message does not clear even after replacing the battery, then the problem may be rooted somewhere else.

ii. Damaged key fob

If you are trying to ignite your Jeep using the key remote control but the ‘key fob not detected’ message pops up, then it could be as a result of a broken key. Using a damaged key is going to disrupt the chain of transmission, which means your Jeep will not detect it. A damaged key could be a result of several reasons, including corroded wires, dirty wire, or even moisture damage.


If a faulty key is causing your Jeep Cherokee key fob not detected, you can apply a few tricks to fix it. First off, you may want to check the key fob contacts for any accumulated dirt. Ensure to clean the section with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or even rust.

At this point, you can also check for any damage or broken contacts and repair/replace them as needed. You may also want to inspect internal wiring and if there is any broken wire, consider having it replaced as soon as possible.

iii. Incorrect key fob

If you’ve mistakenly swapped your key fob with another one, it is obvious that your vehicle will not detect it. Ideally, the key fob is designed to be unique to your specific car model and will not function in any other car. For instance, if you try to use a key fob that is not configured for Jeep Grand Cherokee, your vehicle system won’t be able to recognize the key.


The only solution to this problem is ensuring that the key fob you’re using is compatible with your Jeep model.

iv. Internal programming problem

If your Jeep keyless system is experiencing some programming or software-related issues, then it may have a problem detecting the key fob. This could be as a result of the deletion of critical settings, stalled settings, or a broken module. Generally, a damaged module will prevent the signal from being transmitted, which in turn prevents the system from detecting your key remote control.

Jeep Key Fob Not Detected-Reasons and Quick Fixes


For programming-related issues, you can start by resetting the key fob system and observing if it will help solve the issue. You may also want to ensure that the program you’re using is compatible with your specific Jeep model.

In addition, you can always search your Jeep VIN for specific instructions on how to reprogram your key fob. If your Jeep is still unable to detect the key fob, you can tow the vehicle to the nearest mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

v. Defective door lock

A faulty door lock is yet another common reason why your Jeep may fail to detect the key fob. Consequently, if the door lock is malfunctioning the Jeep won’t be able to detect the remote control, and this is going to limit your operations. The reason behind this could be as a result of an internal system issue, including mechanical damages or a wiring error.


You can try and repair the door lock and observe if it will help remedy the situation. If the door locks are completely broken, it may be necessary to take the car to a mechanic for professional repairs and possible replacement. Besides, the mechanic will help diagnose the problem and fix other underlying issues.

vi. Dead car battery

For your keyless car system to function as expected, the car battery needs to have some charge and be fully operational. If you’re dealing with a worn-out or dead battery, it would be impossible to run the engine, and as a result, the jeep won’t detect the key fob.

A dead battery can be as a result of accidentally leaving the headlights or car audio system running overnight. In addition, installing multiple electronic devices and audio accessories in your car can also make the battery wear out and drain faster.


Car batteries may last for a couple of years, but the exact lifespan will vary depending on the usage. Generally, always ensure that your car battery is fully charged before trying to access your keyless system.

Now if you suspect a dead battery is behind the problem, you can try and revive it using various methods to help get your vehicle back on the road. However, if the battery is completely worn out, you may want to consider getting a new car battery.

vii. Signal interference

If your Jeep won’t start with key fob, you may want to check for signal interference in your car. Ideally, signals from your car’s electronic devices, including radar detectors and the anti-theft system may find their way into the key fob frequency thereby disrupting its connectivity.


If you’ve ascertained that signal interference is the one preventing your Jeep from detecting the remote control, then you’ll need to attend to anything that you suspect may be blocking the signal. This may include shutting down the anti-theft system or removing physical objects from the signal path.

Additionally, if you suspect that the key fob receiver is damaged or compromised the best thing to do is to replace it with a new one. Just ensure to follow the stipulated instructions while doing so to avoid causing further damage to the Jeep.

The Bottom Line

If your Jeep fails to detect the key fob, the easiest way out is using the physical key attached to the key fob. The best thing is that most vehicles accommodate both a keyless system and physical key, making it easy to unlock the car and start the engine.

This will help ensure that you don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere should your Jeep compass key fob not detected. However, if your car didn’t come with the physical key, the above troubleshooting tips will come in handy as you try to get your Jeep up and running again.

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