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Toyota Tacoma Key/Fob Not Working (How To Fix/Reset)

If you are experiencing problems with your Toyota Tacoma key/fob,  this guide will take you through the various causes of the key/fob problems and how to solve each.

Hand holding car key fob

Suppose your Toyota Tacoma key/fob isn’t working. In that case, it might imply a problem in the remote connect service, key fob batteries, ECU-ACC fuse, onboard battery, keyfob, ignition system, or the power door lock system. Below is a detailed description of each of the above issues.

Problems In The Remote Connect Service

Remote Connect is a paid subscription service for which every Tacoma owner must subscribe to use the key fob. Your key/fob won’t work if you haven’t paid for the service. The problem is common after the lapse of Toyota’s one-year free subscription service you get after purchasing the vehicle. 

Depleted Key Fob Batteries

The keyfob batteries may not send signals if they have run out of juice. This problem is easy to detect as it starts with reduced signal strength.

Blown ECU or ACC Fuse

The ECU-ACC fuse supplies power to the central electrical unit while protecting it from power surges. The fuse won’t allow power to the Electrical Control Unit (ECU) if broken. Consequently, the ECU won’t respond to the signals/ instructions to start/stop the engine or to open/close the door(s).

Depleted 12V Battery

A depleted 12V battery won’t power the attached electrical components effectively and may mess up your ECU and other electrical units. If your battery is older than three years and cannot sustain power for a long time, then it’s high time you replace it.

Defective Key/Fob

Typically a Tacoma key fob won’t work if it has system issues. On the other hand, the typical key may fail to ignite your Tacoma if they have some mechanical defects.

Problems In The Tacoma Ignition System

The ignition system in your Tacoma may accumulate debris or break from the normal wear, rendering it useless.

Failure in The Power Door Lock System

The door(s) in your car may fail to respond to the key/fob signal if there is a problem in the ECU fuse, the door switch, the door actuator, and other power door lock components.

You need to identify the above causes of key/fob failure to correct them.

Toyota Tacoma Key Fob Battery Low

As mentioned above, a low-key fob battery is one of the leading causes of key/fob failure.

When your Toyota Tacoma key fob battery is low,  the key fob may reduce its signal strength or respond sluggishly. You can tell this if the key fob:

  • Needs proximity to your Toyota Tacoma for it to work,
  • Responds after multiple clicks and doesn’t work consistently

Do not wait until the key fob runs out of juice entirely. Please change the batteries once you notice the above signs to continue enjoying your Tacoma.

Toyota Tacoma Key Not Detected

Hand holding car key fob

You want to meet your client for an urgent business meeting, but your Tacoma reads ‘key not detected,’ upon pressing the start key.

A ‘Toyota Tacoma key not detected’ problem may imply that the batteries inside the key fob are too weak to send a signal. Also,  the problem might signify a problem in the ECU, key fob itself, ca start button, or brake switch.

If that happens,  you don’t have to panic. Engage the brakes in your Tacoma, and then press the start button using your key fob to start the engine.  This might help you start the Tacoma to head to the meeting.

However, it will not solve the problem. To solve this, you need to inspect whether any of the above components is the culprit to solve them.

You must replace the key fob battery if it’s not sending signals consistently. Also,  replace the onboard 12V battery if it has become of age, or recharge it if depleted.

Take your duo key fobs to an expert for re-programming If they aren’t working even after replacing the batteries.

If none of the above solutions works,  then the electronic control board in your Tacoma could be defective. You need the help of a professional mechanic to repair or replace the unit.

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Sep 17, 2022. .

Note: Before attempting any of the above solutions,  you must ensure that you use the correct key on the right vehicle.

Toyota Tacoma Key Stuck In ACC

Car key in ignition

ACC is the ignition position that allows you to activate the radio and other electrical accessories without starting the engine.

If your Toyota Tacoma key is stuck in the ACC, it could signal a problem in the steering wheel locking mechanism, the ignition system, or the key itself. You need to inspect the above areas to repair or replace them.

Toyota Tacoma Key Won’t Unlock Door

Car keys hanging on door handle

You have had a hectic day at work and are happy you are going home. You try to open the door to no avail. Thinking that the battery is depleted, you open the driver’s door with your keys open. Unfortunately, it doesn’t open either. This can be frustrating, but you need to understand the cause of the problem to solve it.

If your Toyota Tacoma key doesn’t unlock the door, then you might be using the wrong or worn-out key. Or, perhaps, there is a problem with the door key chamber. Below is a brief explanation of each of the above issues.

Worn Out Key

Tacoma keys can lose their shape due to normal wear and tear, leading to poor work efficiency. The keys may also fail to open due to mechanical damage. You need a locksmith’s help to design a new copy of your Tacoma keys.

Defects In The Door Lock Chamber

If your door doesn’t open after replacing the key,  there could be a problem with the latch assembly, exterior knob, cylinder tumbler, and other lock mechanism parts. You need the help of an expert to identify and solve the problem.

The Toyota Tacoma Key Won’t Turn In The Ignition

Car key in ignition

You have just tied your Tacoma seat belt, ready to roll for a road adventure. But unfortunately, your key won’t turn in the ignition. Before getting too worried, check out the possible reasons your keys won’t work and how to solve the problem.

If your Toyota Tacoma doesn’t turn in the ignition, perhaps you are trying to start the wrong car, or the steering wheel is locked. Besides,  the problem might come from worn-out keys or defective ignition switches.

If you are sure you are in the right car and using the right keys, I recommend you start your car with your spare key.

If the spare key doesn’t work, your steering wheel might be locked.

If that is the case, move your steering wheel from side to side while simultaneously turning the key in the ignition to unlock it.

If the steering wheel isn’t the problem, you must replace your Tacoma’s ignition switch.

Toyota Tacoma Key Won’t Come Out

Car key in ignition

Another Tacoma key problem you will likely experience in your Tacoma is stuck keys in the ignition.

If your Tacoma key won’t come out of the ignition, perhaps the parking lock is engaged, or the steering has locked. The key might also get stuck if the key has worn out or if there is a problem with the onboard battery or the ignition cylinder.

To solve the problem, ensure the onboard battery is well charged and capable of holding power for a long time. If the steering is locked, wiggle the steering with one hand while trying to remove the key from the ignition concurrently.

If this doesn’t help, lubricate the ignition cylinder and remove the keys. If all the above attempts don’t help, contact an expert to inspect and repair your ignition system.

How To Reset Toyota Tacoma Key Fob

Car key in ignition

If your key fob runs out of juice,  you must replace the old batteries with a new 2032 battery and reset the fob to continue enjoying the keyless experience.

To Reset Toyota Tacoma Key Fob, locate the small button at the back of the fob, then long press it for at least 15 seconds, and the key fob will be reset.

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