Are aftermarket key fobs really a bargain?

Better Call Jackson

The marriage of technology and our vehicles means that millions of cars on the road require a key fob.

If you lose it, replacing it will not be as easy as it was for that 1980 Chevy.

The fob is basically a circuit board in your hand. Replacing one is no longer a quick, inexpensive trip to the hardware store.

Better Call Jackson received a call from Claire from the Northwest side of Columbus and she was fuming about the cost of replacing her fob, she felt the dealership was ripping her off to the tune of $425.

Better Call Jackson called several local dealerships and found the cost of replacing the fob from the dealerships can run from $200 to nearly $700, depending on make and model.

In an effort to save money, some consumers are buying replacement fobs for less than $40 over the internet., but it’s still not ready for your car.

“Some places will sell you the fob and not tell you about the programming cost or the diagnostic cost”, said Jeremy Kroy of Buckeye Lock.

Keep in mind, if you purchase a fob online and you use a locksmith to program it, you won’t get a warranty.

“Nope, no, I can’t, how would I know the quality of the remote you bought?”, says Kory.

In a test for Better Call Jackson, Kory showed two programmed remotes. One is a factory fob, the other is aftermarket. The aftermarket fob showed irregular signals, even sometimes as close as one foot from the vehicle.

Kory says, use your common sense, whether you’re buying it from a dealership, a locksmith or over the internet.

“If you drive a $40,000 car, don’t expect to pay $40 for a replacement”, said Kory.

He suggested consumers purchase refurbished, original replacement fobs and have them programmed. Kory says, that way, you will be assured all the buttons will work when they are supposed to work.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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