I know. It’s been a while since I have posted. Over two years to be exact. Posts will be done on a more frequent basis. For now, back to business. About two years ago I purchased a 2006 Honda Ridgeline which I love. I previously had a 2006 VW GTI which had a key fob with a foldable key. One of the great features of the Ridgeline is the trunk. Its a truck but has a large storable trunk beneath the bed with a tailgate that swings open or folds down. After picking up some groceries I decided to use the trunk and forgot I left the key in the trunk and closed the bed ending with a broken key fob. Instead of replacing with the old key fob I choose to go with a new foldable version. I found a few videos on how to do the mod but nothing with pictures or step by step detail. So, I decided to write a post to share the process with others. It was easier than I thought it would be and anyone can do it. Doing this yourself will save you a pretty penny instead of getting the key through the dealer.
First step was sourcing a key fob that was compatible with the old key. After doing some research I found one on Amazon that works perfect and was reasonably priced. A picture to the key fob is listed below. If your old key fob has a large circular lock icon, smaller circular unlock icon and a panic button then this is the key you may be looking for. Click the picture to be taken to the Amazon link.
Disregard the Amazon reviews. Reviewers did not follow the video instructions properly to get the key fob to work. If I can do it, you can also. Once you get your key fob call your local Honda dealer. Ask them the cost to cut the key. Typically you only have to show proof of ownership with a registration that has the VIN on it and a drivers license and they will cut the key for free. I would recommend calling in advance to see what the cost is. Other dealers I called quoted a charge of 14.95
The first thing I did which most of you will do is test out the key in the ignition. It did not fit and needed a little sanding. I just took some 400 grit sandpaper and sanded ALL sides without touching the grooves where the key was cut. After a few strokes and some testing the key fit and turned easily.
After checking that your new key fob fits you can start the transfer. The two major components you will need from your old key are the RFID and the control module with the buttons. You will need a small head phillips screwdriver, a utility knife with a blade, and some adhesive. I used some Loctite Red.
The first step is to remove the components. To do so there is a screw near where the key is attached. Unscrew the screw and slide off/lift the back cover of the key. Be careful not to strip the screws.
Once removed the control module/buttons should pop right out as one piece as seen below. If you want to replace the battery now would be a good time. Battery size is a CR1616. Be careful not to strip the screws.
Now to remove the RFID. The RFID is enclosed in the top right hand corner close to the base near the key. What is the RFID you ask? The RFID is the radio frequency ID. What this does is it acts as an immobilizer which sends a signal to a receiver in your car to allow it to start. If this is not in the key fob your car will not start. You will be able to unlock and close the doors. The key will turn, power on the vehicle and the starter will just turn over and will not start. Trust me I tried it. To get the RFID out there is a cover which you can pop off with the utility knife. I also cut down one side and was able to gently pry the RFID out. It may be held in with some glue. Just be gentle. The RFID is that magnet like rectangular block.
Once you have the RFID out you have everything you need to start assembly of the new key fob. Remove the screws from the bottom of your new Key fob to insert the control module with buttons. Inside you should see a piece of foam and a bag of extra screws and the key ring. Take those out.
Place your control module from the old key onto the base of the back that you unscrewed from the new key fob as pictured below.
Put on your included key ring attachment on the key fob while the back is off. Place the back with module into the key fob. Make sure everything is seated properly and the buttons are lined up with the key fob. I also tested all the buttons to be sure nothing was pinching.
Now we install the RFID. Remove the top cover of the key fob by removing the screws.
When you remove the back cover be careful as the tension from the spring that makes the key flip will release. It is ok. Let the cover release the tension and just place the top lid as pictured. You see that groove in between those two screw holes? The RFID will slide right in there. I applied a couple of drops of Loctite red before doing so to avoid any rattle.
After applying the Loctite place the RFID in the slot. Then, carefully twist the top cover with the spring to apply tension back to the key so it will flip. Hold the cover on after twisting to test out the key flip tension by pressing the release button. If the spring pressure is too much or too little make your adjustments till it is satisfactory. Once done, put your screws back in and that’s it. You are all done. Below are links to everything you need to get the job done and links to if you want to use the traditional key fob. I hope this post helps you out with your key fob build. Feel free to comment.