Hi guys. There are some models that you can program the remotes to yourself. Pressing the buttons initiates the programming mode, then, after one button is pressed, the RKE module learns that remote. You have to do each remote the same way. That's what Aidansmith is referring to. The "click" is the driver's door locking, then unlocking right away to indicate it's in programming mode. I don't remember what the next steps are, but as I recall, when that remote is learned, all the doors will lock and unlock. Additional remotes are learned the same way if a button on each one is pressed within the time limit.
There are other models that DO require the DRB3 scanner, but it's important to understand that when the programming mode is initiated, current programming for ALL the remotes is lost, so all of them have to be reprogrammed at the same time. That's not as big a deal as it sounds like. In fact, when I worked for a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership, we were allowed to do that on our lunch breaks without charging for the service. We could do it during regular work hours too, but the concern of the owners was we were working for free, (they were looking out for us), and they didn't want anyone to take us off a job that someone was waiting for. Sometimes we'd finish a job early and there was time to kill before the next appointment showed up, then we might be asked by a service adviser to "take a minute and program these remotes". The biggest hassle we ran into was that even though we told people all the remotes had to be programmed during the procedure, some customers actually got angry with us when the spouse had one of them at work, and they had to come back a second time. Most customers were appreciative and thanked us. The second potential problem was at first we only had one DRB3 that had to be shared among ten mechanics, and obviously paying jobs took priority. Later on we had two, and some of us, me included, bought our own so we didn't have to wait our turn. That refers back to my common comment about more-experienced mechanics investing in themselves by buying better tools and equipment, and seeking advanced training; a fact that Aidansmith may not appreciate or even be aware of. Too many people cut down dealership personnel and even independent shop mechanics until they have to go and buy some of those needed tools for their own use. No aftermarket scanners ever do as much on one car brand as the manufacturers' scanners, and isn't it wonderful that anyone can buy the DRB3 who wants one?
I have to make a side note here that there are a lot of really good aftermarket scanners, and some of them do some really nice things that the oem stuff doesn't do. That can include containing troubleshooting articles specific to the vehicle being worked on, and may even tell you which color wire to take a voltage reading on, and what it should be. Those features aren't normally needed by dealership mechanics because they are already very familiar with the relatively few models they see over and over. I don't have any of those higher-end aftermarket scanners so I don't know if any of them can do RKE Module programming. Remember, what's the point of putting anti-theft systems on cars if a thief can easily buy the equipment to circumvent them?
Aidansmith's comment about dealers doesn't hold water. Who do you know who works for free? We did this procedure as a customer courtesy, so there's no need to berate us. If anyone can do it themselves, what's the point of having an anti-theft system?
Also, the remotes do not learn anything or are programmed during this procedure, and replacing the battery in one should not change anything other than to make it work again with a longer range. It's much more likely, Randystl1, that the battery is in backward, that is, unless your vehicle CAN be self-programmed and you didn't complete the procedure in time. Each remote emits its own pre-programmed code sequence, and that's what the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) Module is learning when the procedure is performed. That means a remote can be programmed to work on multiple vehicles if desired. If you have two similar Jeeps, each with two remotes, all four of them can be programmed to work on both vehicles. Up to four remotes can be programmed to one of those vehicles.
You can also inquire at your favorite independent repair shops if they have a DRB3. A lot of shops bought them because with an additional plug-in card they will do emissions-related service on every car brand and model sold in the U.S. Starting with '96 models. That was designed in by the scanner manufacturer. Chrysler has been very easy to work with as far as getting information, and updating these scanners. We did that for free at least once a year for any shop that bought their scanner through our parts department. Compare that to Snapon and GM. Snapon is really proud of their equipment and isn't afraid to charge for the updates. You'll pay in four years, more for updates than for the entire cost of a DRB3 scanner, and if you miss a year or two, they make you buy all the back years you missed before they'll sell you the current update. I've never owned or used the Tech2 that GM dealers use but I've heard a few complaints that they don't want to perform updates for anyone. GM has a culture of trying to lock out independent shops from working on their vehicles. VW, Audi, and BMW are even worse. At one time there was no way for a car owner or an independent shop to even buy their specialized equipment. I don't know if that is still true, but it's one reason I will never own any of those products.
So, ... To get back to the original question, which was, ... Oh yeah, programming remotes! Start by inquiring at the dealership. If this can be done by yourself, my service advisers had the dealership owners' blessings to photocopy a few pages out of the service manual if necessary, and if they weren't busy with a customer. We did that for a number of repair shops in our city, and other dealerships did that for us too. If the scanner is needed, they may offer to do it for you for free, but often only if you can leave the vehicle until someone has time to do it. If they DO want to charge you, I would only agree to that if the scanner is needed. Part of that cost goes to pay for the equipment that you didn't have to invest in, and for repairs to it.
Buying new remotes is not the answer unless yours is defective. They will also have to be programmed because again, each remote has its own code and you can't change that. You're programming the RKE Module in the vehicle to learn the codes of the remotes. That programming is retained when the battery is disconnected in the vehicle, and the code in the remote doesn't change when you replace its battery. That's why you shouldn't have to program anything if all you did was to replace the battery in the remote.
For my final thought, be sure you actually have Chrysler remotes. There is a slight chance you have an aftermarket system that someone added. Obviously the DRB3 won't work for that. Most of the original remotes I'm used to seeing had three or four buttons. Some had a "Panic" button and some had one for the lift gate. The DRB3 can do a module scan which will display a list of all the computers on the vehicle. All the other computers talk back and forth to each other, but the RKE Module only talks to the Body Computer which is the one that controls the power locks. If "RKE" doesn't come up on the list, you have an aftermarket system. You may find a company name or logo on each remote, otherwise you'll have to find the module under the dash.
If only one remote can't be learned but others DO work, you can find replacements at any salvage yard for a couple of bucks.
Also be aware that you're supposed to not touch the batteries except by their edges. Fingerprint grease can create a film that degrades the integrity of the contact to a second battery or the spring-loaded contact. Glass cleaner is an effective cleaner for that.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 1:43 PM