Kia tends to shy away from using equipment requiring expensive speciality tools to repair or maintain, allowing any experienced mechanic with a basic set of hand tools to fix any of their cars on the side of the road. Even Kia's computer's are simple; the Spectra's key fob reprogramming procedure is one example of this manufacturer's commitment to keeping their cars running wherever, whenever.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- 2-foot length of 22-gauge wire
- Wire strippers or pocket knife
Locate the diagnostic plug under the Spectra's bonnet. You can find this plug between the battery and firewall on the driver's side of the engine compartment. The plug cap measures about 1 inch by 3 inches, can be black, yellow or red and will have the word "Diagnostic" embossed on top.
Remove the cap from the diagnostic plug and locate the number six port underneath. You'll see two pairs of small holes (ports) on the firewall side of your plug, and two rows of eight ports just below them. If you stand so that the two pairs are on "top," then the number six port is on the top row of eight, second from the left. Check the "Resources" section of this article for a diagram.
Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of your 2-foot wire to create a jumper.
Stick one end of this wire into your number six port and the other into the wiring input on your positive battery terminal. If you can't squeeze the wire into the terminal, you can just set the bare wire on top of the metal terminal and hold it in place with a block of wood, your wallet or something else non-conductive.
Turn your ignition key to the "On" position, but do not start the car.
Push the "Lock" button on your key fob until the dashboard lights go out. If you've ever used a universal TV remote, then you'll already be familiar with this procedure.
Remove the key, lock the car doors manually and test your key fob. If it works, remove the jumper wire and put everything back the way you found it. If not, repeat the procedure a couple more times. If it still doesn't work after three or more attempts, then call your local automotive locksmith.
Tips and warnings
- The Kia Spectra has been sold under many different model names all over the world, and not all have the same diagnostic plugs. If your diagnostic plug doesn't look like the one in the "Resources" link then don't go sticking jumper wires into any old port hole -- you could wind up frying the computer.
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