How to Program a Sonata Key Fob

Written by susanne koenig
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How to Program a Sonata Key Fob
You can program your key fob to work with your Hyundai Sonata. (car key and remote control isolated image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Either your key fob for your Hyundai Sonata has stopped working, or you've had to buy a new one and are wondering how to program it for your Sonata. Most car manufacturers have an on-board procedure for programming your key fob--a special sequence you can follow to reprogram a key fob--but some don't. Unfortunately, Hyundai does not include on-board programming instructions and requires a costly trip to the dealership to have the fob programmed. There are some economic and convenient alternatives to heading straight to the dealership and being charged to have your Sonata fob programmed.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine if you need to have your key fob reprogrammed. If it has stopped working suddenly, you may simply have a dead battery. You can replace the battery easily by following your owner's manual for your particular fob.

  2. 2

    Estimate if your fob is still under warranty. If your car is new, then take it to the dealership and explain that it stopped working. If it is still under warranty, they will reprogram it for free.

  3. 3

    Call an automotive locksmith if your fob is no longer under warranty and you have purchased one online as a replacement for a lost fob. Be sure to contact a reputable locksmith--ask your mechanic for a recommendation, check with the Better Business Bureau or look for one through a professional locksmith association. A locksmith can program your fob quickly and for much less than the dealership. A locksmith can usually program a secondary fob for even less than the first. When you call, ask the locksmith if they deliver--if the locksmith is in your area, you may save yourself an errand.

  4. 4

    Test your newly programmed fob on your car. If it doesn't work, then more than likely the wrong frequency was assigned to the fob. Return it to the dealership or the locksmith for another programming.

Tips and warnings

  • It is much less expensive to buy a new fob online, but be aware that your local dealership and many locksmiths will not program a fob that they did not sell you themselves. This is because of both proprietary and security reasons as both locksmiths and dealerships have to pay for the right to be a vendor for your particular brand of car. Be sure to call beforehand to see if a locksmith or the dealership in your area will program a fob purchased from an online source.
  • A reputable locksmith will ask to see your identification and ownership papers for your car. For a small extra charge, they will also service your locks and ignition, if need be, and are more knowledgeable than the dealership technicians on the workings of your fob and keyless entry system. Also, a reputable locksmith will give you a quote over the phone and not change it upon arrival.

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