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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have a 2016 ram promaster city cargo.

The keyless entry fob is not functioning even with a new battery.

The dealer ran a "wave test" and said I need a new one.

Price at the dealer is $165 plus $125 programming fee.

I see on the web that mopar pn : 68334510-AA runs about $ 50 less on the internet, but maybe that's with a blank key that needs to be cut.

I have no idea how the cutting process works.

Google search implies that only a shop with a "wtech" system (FCA dealers) can program it.

The dealer is being noncommittal about replacing it under warranty. They want the tech to go through it all before assessing.

So just seeking opinions before paying $300 for a new fob.

Thanks,
John
 

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Look inside and out of your warranty...if you paid for this, they have no choice...
From Mopar Vehicle Protection FAQ:

Q. What is the $600 Key Fob Repair/Replacement Coverage?



A. Both the Maximum Care℠ and Added Care Plus℠ plans provide coverage for up to three key fob repairs or replacements - with a total key fob coverage benefit of $600 for the covered vehicle. Key fob coverage is available even if the key fob is lost or stolen. And, this coverage is not subject to the deductible that applies to repair visits for covered components.



Dealers are dicks...but if it ain't covered, it ain't covered. Good luck!
 

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I don't know about FCA but most new keys like this can be duplicated by good locksmiths for a lot less. Do your homework and you might be surprised. Especially check online locksmiths as they are your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2016 ram promaster city cargo remote keyless fob replacement

From the DVD for the Limited Warranty (I bought no extra warranty)

B. What’s Covered
The Basic Limited Warranty covers the cost of all parts and
labor needed to repair any item on your vehicle when it left
the manufacturing plant that is defective in material, work-
manship or factory preparation. There is no list of covered
parts since the only exception are tires and Unwired
headphones. You pay nothing for these repairs. These
warranty repairs or adjustments — including all parts and
labor connected with them — will be made by your dealer
at no charge, using new or remanufactured parts.

(and)

3/60 BASIC WARRANTY
If required because of a defect in material or workmanship, the 3/60 Basic Warranty will cover the
adjustment, repair or replacement of any factory-installed part of your vehicle except tires for 3 years
or 60,000 kilometres, whichever occurs first. The following items are exceptions; they are only
covered (if defective) for 1 year or 20,000 kilometres, whichever occurs first:
• light bulbs and fuses
• wiper blades
• clutch discs
• brakes (rotors, pads, linings and drums)
• windshield and rear window
• wheel alignment and wheel balancing

---

A person nicknamed "buzzbomb" on the Fiat 500 owner's forum (likely very similar) says the keyless is about $ 160 and the programming ranges from $ 75-125 depending on the dealer. They have to order a special key, have it laser cut, and they need all keyless fobs present at the time of programming. So if I do this I might end up in a written dispute, but it appears to be covered.

---
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
2016 ram promaster city cargo remote keyless fob replacement

It's not so bad. The warranty documentation is pretty clear, as are the explanations on the web.

1) Provide partial vin, buy the new RKE fob.
2) It arrives at the dealer "laser cut".
3) Take all fobs to dealer.
4) Vehicle gets programmed to fob set.

Some of the german cars are running a grand or so for RKE replacement.

This might end up being replaced under warranty.

A local locksmith told me if I can get a blank (not in his catalog) he can duplicate it for $ 40 or so.

But I already have a manual key and want a functional RKE. If anyone is interested I'll post the experience when it's over.

Regards!
 

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That's a crazy amount of money for a key fob! When building my PMC on their website I thought I saw an option for an additional fob or it might have been two for like $160. Maybe that was when I was looking at Ford Transits because I can't fing it on the PMC build website now. As I don't intend to have an alarm I would just as soon use a manual key.
 

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I added an aftermarket auto start. They bypassed the FOB (except key) with a new one.
No Cheaper but I did add Auto Start.
$600 $CAD. But this stuff is usually cheaper in the USA.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ow the burn

So it ended up being about $ 300

It turns out that the way I tested the battery, and the "wave test" at the dealer, didn't qualify as a "proper diagnostic" and when they did a "proper diagnostic" for the warranty they found the fob worked after all.

I had already ordered it for $ 160, and it gets laser cut using the VIN, so I was committed, or at least I should be!

And then the previous owner called and found the 2nd fob!

So the programming fee of $ 120 or so is good for up to 3 fobs, and now I have a nice set of three fobs.

Ouch, but that seems to be the way things go sometimes.
 

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So can anyone tell me if I can get a replacement made under the maximum care warranty? I have it for another 1000 miles. My dealership said it doesn't cover a lost key, but the wording on the warranty says "replacement key"
 

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yourrealdad, you realize the "lost" key will be useless after you put in the replacement claim? It might open the doors but it won't be a drivable key
 

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Locksmith?

Has anyone tried a local locksmith to replace these key fobs? It's usury charging that much for access. Is there an aftermarket receiver that'll work to open the locks? There's gotta be a way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
From my own experience a person can "go RF" or "go manual" but probably not mix the two.

If the vehicle was first locked with the RF fob button, the car alarm will be activated, and if manually unlocked, will start honking when a door opens, at least on my 2016 PMC Cargo.

If the vehicle was locked mechanically, the alarm is not activated, it will unlock, open, start, and operate just fine. You just lose the fob convenience and protection of the alarm.

Others have mentioned key shops that can duplicate these keys with a laser cutter, but no one in my area has this capability. Such a key would be useful for the manual option, or for emergency access in the midst of loud alarm honking, as the owner/victim races to locate a working fob, or opens the hood to detach the negative cable.

RF / alarm users must use dealer reprogramming to add a new fob. They will do up to three for around $120. Any fobs that are not reprogrammed will stop working, at least on the RF side of things.
 

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Programming has never been dealer-only for these keys,. That has been true since the first one rolled off of a lot in North America. For one thing, dealers are not the only one who have access to Micropods. There are plenty of locksmiths who are heavy into automotive and run Micropods. There were even locksmiths who reported success programming them via Fiat 500 protocol.

Recent developments have put programming capabilities into the hands of locksmiths who are even moderately into automotive work.

Here is the issue with the Fiat-based Promaster keys, and why until fairly recently, your only option was to order a key from the dealer or have a key cloned, the keys have to be precoded by VIN. When you order the key, it comes to the dealer already cut, and the transponder is precoded with information that is VIN specific to your van. At that point, it can be programmed to your van, and your van alone. So the poster who talked about buying a blank key off of the internet, would be sorely disappointed with the outcome.

Recent developments have now put the ability to precode these keys into the hands of locksmiths. Any professional automotive locksmith who is worth his salt, should be able to provide this service now. The precoding information can be pulled with diagnostic equipment, and written to a blank key. The key can then be programmed to the vehicle. Here is the kicker, according to current understanding, only non-remote keys can be precoded.

What does that mean for us, as Promaster owners? Well, it helps us basically in one way. If we ever find ourself in an all keys lost situation, we can find a reputable automotive locksmith, and he can put us back on the road in a couple of hours or so, rather than sitting in our van for a few days waiting for a key to arrive at the nearest dealer. It can also save the expense of a tow to the dealer.

If you have a working key, the easiest and least expensive route, is to just clone the existing key. That will get you a working key that will start the van, albeit a non-remote key. If you want a flip key, the dealer is the only option now. If you want to have it programmed by a local locksmith, you can likely save a few bucks, and be in and out in 15 minutes rather than sitting in the waiting room reading magazines for half a day.

I had a Promaster Forum member come through here a while back, and I was going to try and put a flip key on his van. I had one that I refurbished back to virgin state by replacing electonics on the board. I also had a brand new one. I feel very confident that the precoding data can be written to the chip in the key. The flip key uses the same type of transponder but it is in the form of a surface mounted device, where as the non-remote key uses a self contained ceramic chip. I have used that same exact surface mount chip on other keys and have been able to format them to work in other makes of vehicles. It might take someone smarter than me to figure out how to do it, but I guarantee it can be done.

I had just obtained the ability to precode these chips when the forum member came through, and as murphy would have it, the touch screen on my programmer went belly up at the moment I plugged up to his van. I ended up just cloning him a few keys. I wish I knew who that member is. He was a really cool guy and we visited for a long time before he took off. My phone also went belly up not long after he left, and I lost his contact info.

I have not even thought about trying to precode one of those flip keys since that night. I am going to get out in the next couple of days and give it a try on one of my vans.

Now, one last point. On the cost of these keys. I understand that 3 bills is a lot to spend on a key. I myself would not turn cartwheels over the thought of that. If you want to go the dealer route, call around. The cost if the key is going to be about the same everywhere, but programming cost varies.

Be careful trying to cheap out too much when you decide to get another key for your vehicles. Cheaper is not always the best decision. The advantage of the dealer, is that USUALLY they know what they are doing. And if you drive the van in there, and they screw up some modules and brick your van, they will have to foot the bill to straighten it out. They might try to weasel out of it, but you can play hardball with them, and make them pony up. (I have known of 2 dealerships in my area where vehicles were driven in, and the owner was told to send a tow truck to pick it up. On both cars they charged $1,500 to the customer for the privilege of making their cars no longer start. On one of them, I went with the owner as he had the vehicle towed back to the dealer and went toe to toe with the shop manager until he agreed to take it back. Had it been my car, it would have never left the lot.)

The same can be said for locksmiths. Use a reputable company, and you will have no problems. An honorable business person does not run from their mistakes, no matter how painful. I have bricked one car since I have been doing this, and I immediately had it towed to the dealer to be fixed. You can easily spend 5-10G bricking a car. I got off lucky. Good locksmiths also carry insurance.

$300 is not a lot of money for a key. There are plenty of guys running around selling Chinese keys from eBay. Modern keys are technological wonders. They communicate with your cars ECU, and on many cars now, the car communicates back with the key. There is no way a 15 dollar key from China is going to remotely (pun) compare to an OEM key that cost a buck-fifty from the dealer. The potential harm does not outweigh the savings.

I have personally spent half the cost of my diesel Promaster in the last month on programmers and software. I have to make a boatload of keys to offset my expenses. Modern vehicles are truly marvels. A modern washing machine has more computing power than had the computers if the Apollo missions. Imagine what a modern vehicle has. It takes money to work on them at any level, and you had best know what you are doing. Transponder systems have added tremendous security to the equation, but it is not without cost. You can find plenty of people out there who are doing this kind of work, who can cause you some real problems if price is your only concern.

Think about what your needs are, and make preparation while you are not in an emergency situation. If you are to be driving a long way from your home, always have at least one extra transponder key with you. If you lose one, get on google, and find someone who can clone you another one.

-t
 

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From my own experience a person can "go RF" or "go manual" but probably not mix the two.

If the vehicle was first locked with the RF fob button, the car alarm will be activated, and if manually unlocked, will start honking when a door opens, at least on my 2016 PMC Cargo.

If the vehicle was locked mechanically, the alarm is not activated, it will unlock, open, start, and operate just fine. You just lose the fob convenience and protection of the alarm.

Others have mentioned key shops that can duplicate these keys with a laser cutter, but no one in my area has this capability. Such a key would be useful for the manual option, or for emergency access in the midst of loud alarm honking, as the owner/victim races to locate a working fob, or opens the hood to detach the negative cable.

RF / alarm users must use dealer reprogramming to add a new fob. They will do up to three for around $120. Any fobs that are not reprogrammed will stop working, at least on the RF side of things.
There is no effective way to go manual on these vehicles. the computer has to see a registered transponder value, or she ain't gonna give it up. Remote start systems, utilize either an extra key along with a reader, or they utilize a module that effectively clones the value of a current key, and shows that to the PCM every time you start the van.

Incidentally, the alarm function can be turned off on these vehicles with the appropriate scan tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is no effective way to go manual on these vehicles. the computer has to see a registered transponder value, or she ain't gonna give it up. Remote start systems, utilize either an extra key along with a reader, or they utilize a module that effectively clones the value of a current key, and shows that to the PCM every time you start the van.

Incidentally, the alarm function can be turned off on these vehicles with the appropriate scan tool.
My 2016 PMC Cargo was purchased with a single dead fob. It failed the "wave" test. There was no battery in it and I used it manually to drive the vehicle for several weeks as I waited for the back ordered fob to get laser cut and delivered to the dealer. Even without the battery installed, it is operable.

It could be that there is a passive RFID chip in addition to the powered circuitry, something that gets tickled by an onboard transceiver, even when the fob battery is missing or dead. I could test that, but it's not worth it to me to risk damaging a fob.

All three local auto locksmiths said they can't program let alone cut these keys. The micropod II system for Fiat/Jeep/Chrysler currently runs about $ 3200. It's a tough sell for locksmiths around here who only see maybe two of these keys in a year.

The van was affordable and is powerful, better than the other three choices, but the electronics are a disappointment. From the radio to these fobs -- it's not aftermarket or tinker friendly.

And the range -- the RF range seems to be about 3 feet or something, even through a window. My Ford was good halfway across a moderately sized parking lot.

AAA has been able to provide me with free plastic emergency keys in the past -- lost that capability with these Fiat-style fobs too.

The local parts stores can't touch the OBD port anymore (regulatory) and a lot of scanners might not be aware of the PMC alarm setting in any case. Uninteresting to me at this point (all three of my fobs are working).
 

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You are correct. There is two elements to the flip key. There is the transponder function, and there is the remote function. On the non-remote key there is an antenna built into the self-contained chip. In the flip, there is a 14 leg surface mount chip that is hard wired to an antenna at the end of the board.

Both of them are passive, and are energized by the transceiver that dwells around the ignition lock cylinder. The transceiver creates a magnetic field which energizes the transponder, which in turn begins to transmit it's code back to the transceiver. It is the same principle that allows you to illuminate a light bulb that is connected to nothing, by creating a strong magnetic field.

It is pretty amazing that you have 3 auto smiths in your area, and not one of them has even a high-security duplicator, much less a machine that code cuts. Where are you from? Maybe I should drop a van in your area!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you still have a problem with your van. If you only have a range of 3 feet, there are issues. The fact that you now have 3 fobs, and they are all giving you no range, gives confirmation that the problem dwells with the van, not the keys. I suspect the BCM. That would also explain radio problems you might be having.

The Micropod II is substantially more than $3,200, by the time you buy the necessary subscriptions. Nevertheless, all the mainstream aftermarket programmers can do these now. I only mentioned the Micropod as a reference to those who were saying it is dealer only to program these keys. It isn't nor has it ever been dealer only, and with recent developments, any automotive locksmith worth their salt will have the ability to do them, whether they own a micropod or not.

If you want an emergency key, just have someone cut you a flip blade. If none of the locals can cut them, find a competant smith. Text them a picture of your key, and they can cut a flip blade and send it to you. Also, if you bave the card that came with the van that shows the mechanical key code, they can cut it off of that.
 

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Thanks for posting all this key info. Is it City specific or the same for both full size & City Promasters? If it’s the same for both I would suggest posting in the General Disscussion Forum instead of the City.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Central CA, an hour from the dealer or keyshops. It's been about a year since the original post and perhaps they've upgraded.

The Fiat 500 forums sometimes mention a loss of fob range, they basically have to place the fob next to the driver's side mirror to get it working.

Dealer solutions range from "if it works, it works" to replacing the vehicle battery to replacing an antenna in the driver side pillar to operating the fob with the blade extended. Cargo vans have a lot more metal than a 500.

Extending the blade does get me to about 10-15 feet.

It's not enough of an issue for me to visit the dealer, but I might ask them about it when I go in February.

I don't know what the actual range should be.
 

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Thanks for posting all this key info. Is it City specific or the same for both full size & City Promasters? If it’s the same for both I would suggest posting in the General Disscussion Forum instead of the City.
Yes it is the same for the full-sized vans. I suppose I could copy and paste this info to the General forum.

Central CA, an hour from the dealer or keyshops. It's been about a year since the original post and perhaps they've upgraded.

The Fiat 500 forums sometimes mention a loss of fob range, they basically have to place the fob next to the driver's side mirror to get it working.

Dealer solutions range from "if it works, it works" to replacing the vehicle battery to replacing an antenna in the driver side pillar to operating the fob with the blade extended. Cargo vans have a lot more metal than a 500.

Extending the blade does get me to about 10-15 feet.

It's not enough of an issue for me to visit the dealer, but I might ask them about it when I go in February.

I don't know what the actual range should be.
I would be surprised to find out such an issue is common in the vans. It seems there would be a lot of people reporting it here if that were the case. I have 2 vans, and they both have substantially more range than 15 feet.

Incidentally, there is a known issue with alarms when tripped and going off for a long length of time, causing the BCM to go belly up, and having to be replaced.

I am not saying for sure that is what is causing your issue, because if the BCM is trashed, you SHOULD have a no-start scenario. With that being said, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there was some damage to your BCM because of the alarm, but the van still runs, and the BCM still allowed the programming of your new key, and reprogramming of your old keys.
 
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