Tacoma Key Fob Not Working (How to Fix)

Key fob is a device will allows you to enter your car. Malfunctioning of the key fob of your Tacoma could be very frustrating.

There are many possibilities why the remote control of your Tacoma could not be operating and in this article, I will go over few of them.

Furthermore, mentioned below is what you must do to make your Tacoma key fob functioning once more.

Lets get started…

How to Fix Tacoma Key Fob Not Working

tacoma key fob not working

Expired Coin Battery Inside Key Fob

The most common reason for your Tacoma key fob not working is an expired coin battery. 

When already working remote control began losing its range and ultimately ceased to perform, this will be an alarm that the battery of your key fob was likely getting old.


You can use new battery packs with the exact voltage, dimension, and description to replace depleted batteries. 

To change the battery, you need small flathead screwdriver and CR2032 Lithium coin battery. At Walmart or Amazon, you can purchase these batteries for a very reasonable cost.

For your “Smart Key System”, the battery replacement procedure is as follows:

Step 1: You have to unlock the wireless remote’s lock and take out the physical key.

Step 2: Remove your key cover with the help of a little flathead screwdriver. To prevent any type of breakage to the key, tie the screwdriver sharp end with some cloth.

Step 3: Use the screwdriver to take out the battery.

Step 4: Reinstall the key cover after replacing the key fob’s CR2032 battery.

Out of Range:

Your key fob may not function if it is out of range of your Tacoma. If you are far enough, the key fob won’t work because they typically have a range of approximately thirty feet.


Before intending to turn on your Toyota Tacoma, be careful to verify whether the key fob is within range or not. 

If not move closer to the your vehicle and then try using the key fob.

Water Damage:

Your Tacoma key is seal with rubber that keep the water away from the electrical sensor. If your key fob face light rain it should not harm the chip.

However prolonged exposure to water, such as dunking the key in a pool, can cause the water to enter through the seals and cause damage to your key bob. 

In beach, water has highly conducive nature due to high amount of salts, which will cause more damage to your key fob.


If your Tacoma key fob stops functioning after getting in contact with clear tap water or rain, remove the battery right away, wipe the circuit board of your key fob with paper towels, and then replace the battery.

Following cleaning and airing out, if your key fob still doesn’t function, the chip is definitely frizzled and you’ll need to get a fresh one.

Dead 12 Volt Battery:

You have to make sure that your Tacoma’s 12V onboard battery is not dead. Your key fob won’t function properly if the battery runs out of energy or has low voltage since the 12V battery won’t be able to supply power to the essential circuitry.

If it’s been more than 36 months since you replaced your 12-volt battery you will start experiencing trouble while starting your car.

Additionally, with time, the 12V battery connections will begin to corrode and stop effective supply to your Tacoma’s electronics.


You should replace the 12V battery immediately. If you see an excessive number of white oxidations on either of the two battery terminals, please clean them with the help of a wire brush.

Your key fob should function without any problem once the 12V battery has been changed or cleaned.

If you see any damages or corrosion on the wires, you will need to fix or replace these wires.

Need of Reprogramming:

Tacoma remote keys sometimes stop functioning as a result of pairing problems. That’s why the keypad on your Tacoma might require reprogramming.


With the use of an OBDII scanner, you can reprogram your key. Browse your car’s handbook or get assistance from a nearby mechanic.

Follow these steps to reprogram your key fob.

  • Close all of the doors while sitting in the driver’s seat.
  • Within five seconds, you should insert and remove the key twice. Don’t turn it on. 
  • Within forty seconds, close and reopen the driver’s door twice.
  • Put the ignition key in and keep it in the “LOCK” position.
  • Within 40 seconds, shut and reopen the driver’s door twice more.
  • Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position after inserting it, then back to the “LOCK” position. Keep it set to “LOCK.”
  • Within forty seconds, close and reopen the driver’s door twice.
  • The ignition key should be removed.
  • The driver’s door must be closed and opened just once in 40 seconds.
  • Turn the ignition to the “ON” position after inserting the key. Once the door locks cycle, you will know you are in programming mode
  • For roughly 1-2 seconds, simultaneously press and hold the “LOCK” and “UNLOCK” buttons on the key fob, then let go of them. If the door locks cycle once more, the programming is successful.
  • Once the key is removed from the ignition, the door locks should cycle one final time, signifying that the programming procedure is complete.
  • To make sure they are all operating properly, test your key fob.

Visit your Toyota Service Center:

Unluckily, if neither of the fix’s work, you should contact a Toyota service location near you. They will inspect your key fob and fix it. 

Key Fob not Operating After Battery Replacement:

You have to remember that the Tacoma key fob battery may have been sitting on the shelf for a while when you buy a new one. Therefore, it might not function or survive as long after replacing. 

You should consider buying the battery from a shop with active inventory. If the key fob fails to activate after ensuring the power source, the issue may have nothing to do with the battery.

What is an Average Lifespan of a Key Fob Battery?

The battery in your Tacoma should last two to four years, depending on how frequently you operate the key fob or remote.

Final Thoughts

So far, I have discussed all the possible reasons and solutions that causes the Toyota Tacoma key fob to stop working. The solutions include:

  1. Use new battery packs.
  2. Avoid to come in contact with water.
  3. Replace the 12V battery.
  4. Reprogrammed the keypad on your Tacoma.
  5. The key fob should be within the range.

If you have some information to share with us about this topic, feel free to contact us. I would love to hear from you.

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