Toyota RAV4 Remote Key Not Working: Causes & Fixes

If your Toyota RAV4 has a remote key fob, then you must know how convenient this feature is. However, no matter how amazing they are, remote key fobs like every other thing get damaged and stop functioning. When this occurs, your car doors will not unlock and this can be pretty annoying.

The good news is that this problem can be fixed easily. So what do you do when your Toyota RAV4 remote key stops working? The first thing to do is to find out the cause of the problem. Your diagnosis will determine your solution to the problem.

toyota rav4 remote key fob not working

Toyota RAV4 Remote Key Not Working: Common Causes

There are several reasons why your remote key fob could malfunction. Statistically, Toyotas have one of the most reliable key fobs in the world. So why would your key fob stop working? Let’s check out the most common reasons in this section.

Bad battery

This is probably the main issue with key fobs. Most of them stop working because their batteries go dead. When your remote key stops working, the first thing you should do is to check the battery.

An easy way to do this is to make use of the backup key fob to open your doors. If this works, then it is obvious you have a battery problem with your first fob. You can purchase a new battery for your key fob at an automobile parts store.

Missed connection

If you have tried the battery trick and it does not work, then you probably need to check for other defects. The key fob may have missed its connection with your vehicle. When this happens, you need to re-pair the key fob with your RAV4.

You can visit the local Toyota dealership around you to fix this problem. They’ll help you reprogram the key fob for your car. We will show you how to reprogram a key fob by yourself later on in this post.

Electrical issues

This rarely occurs. However, if you have tried the two options above to no avail, then you should try this one out.

It could be that your car has developed an electrical problem or there are broken circuits. The best way to check for this is to seek professional help. We wouldn’t recommend fiddling with the electrical system of your RAV4 if you aren’t a licensed technician.

Other issues to look out for include:

  • Misaligned buttons
  • Broken wire contacts

Dealing with Broken Contacts Inside the Remote Key

Here’s one basic fact: we expose our remote keys to a lot more abuse than many other electronics. This is why most of them end up with internal contact issues. You can trace these issues to buttons or battery terminals.

How do you check if your remote key is having broken contact issues? It is pretty simple. Open the remote and carry out a thorough inspection of the internal parts. Check the connector terminals to be sure that they are intact.

You can carry out your inspection visually without making physical contact. You should not touch the panel carelessly so that you won’t cause more problems. If you notice any broken contacts, simply solder them in place to get the remote key working again.

What if the battery terminals are fine? Then your problem may lie around the buttons. Many times, the button connectors come loose. All you need to do, in this case, is to solder them in place. However, if you notice that a button has been snapped off physically, you have to purchase a new remote.

What if the connections are alright with the buttons? It may be that they are not popping back to the position as they should. This is mostly a result of debris or dirt. You can solve this problem by removing each button and cleaning them. After cleaning, flex the buttons and replace them in the remote and reassemble it. This should fix the issue, else you need a new remote.

How to Reprogram/Re-pair Your RAV4 Remote Key

Like we mentioned earlier, the remote key could have a missed connection with your vehicle. Without establishing a connection with your car, the remote key will not function. Do you know why you cannot use your remote key for another vehicle? Because the key hasn’t established a connection with that vehicle.

So how do you reprogram or re-pair your RAV4 remote key? There are two procedures and we will explain each in steps below.

Procedure 1

  • Step 1 – Open your car with a physical key and close the doors.
  • Step 2 – Put your key into the ignition.
  • Step 3 – Turn the key in the ignition but don’t start the car. Just get to the “run position” then return to the “locked position.” Do this a couple of times over depending on your car. Make sure that your car doesn’t start or crank while doing this.
  • Step 4 – When you attain the required number of key turns, you should hear a chime sound. Once you hear this sound, click on any of the buttons on the remote key. Upon doing this, you should hear a second chime sound.
  • Step 5 – The remote key should be working now. If this procedure doesn’t work, try “Procedure 2.”

Procedure 2

  • Step 1 – Open your car, get in, and lock the doors manually.
  • Step 2 – Put your key into the ignition then take it out. Do this 6 times in the space of 10 seconds maximum.
  • Step 3 – You should notice the interior and exterior lights of your car flash. When this happens, you know that this method is working.
  • Step 4 – Put your key into the ignition again. This time, turn the key to the “accessory position.”
  • Step 5 – Press one of the buttons on the remote key.
  • Step 6 – The hazard lights should flash if the process is successful. It means that you have fixed the key fob and it is ready for use.

If none of these procedures work, then you should reach out to your mechanic. There are other re-pairing methods. In some cases, special equipment is used. If your remote key is associated with an alarm or security system, you should seek professional help. Don’t try to reprogram it by yourself.


Now you know why your Toyota RAV4 remote key is not working. We have shown you how to deal with this problem and how to reprogram the remote key. If none of these fixes work, then you need to get a new key fob for your RAV4.