How to Program Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Fob: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to program jeep grand cherokee key fob

Have you ever found yourself digging through your pockets or purse, desperately searching for your Jeep Grand Cherokee key fob? That feeling of panic when you can’t find it is all too real. Or maybe you just got a used Jeep Grand Cherokee and don’t have an active key fob. Either way, not being able to unlock your ride is frustrating and inconvenient.

Fortunately, you can easily program a new or replacement wireless key fob for your Jeep Grand Cherokee yourself – no trip to the dealership required.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to quickly program keyless entry remotes for all Jeep Grand Cherokee models, from the 2005-2010 WK generation to the latest 2021+ WL.

We’ll cover:

  • What you need before starting
  • A walkthrough of the simple programming steps
  • How to add additional key fobs
  • Getting a physical backup key made
  • Tips and notes for troubleshooting

With just your original keys, the new unprogrammed fob, and a few minutes, you’ll be able to code a new remote to unlock/lock the doors and start your Jeep – without paying the dealer a dime.

Prerequisites: What You’ll Need Before Programming Your Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Fob

In order to DIY program a keyless entry remote for your Jeep Grand Cherokee, you’ll need:

  • A new, unprogrammed key fob – This is the new wireless remote you want to code to your vehicle. It needs to have a blank RFID chip that isn’t programmed. You can buy replacement Jeep key fobs online or from most auto parts stores.
  • An original, already programmed key fob – You’ll need at least one currently working key fob for your Jeep Grand Cherokee. This is essential for the programming process.
  • Keys to your Jeep – Have your original physical keys ready. You’ll need to insert one into the ignition for a part of the programming steps.
  • Access to the interior driver’s side – You’ll need to be able to sit in the driver’s seat in order to program the key fob.

As long as you have all of the above, you’re ready to program your new wireless keyless entry remote. Let’s go through the simple process step-by-step.

Step 1: Sit in the Driver’s Seat of Your Jeep Grand Cherokee

Hop into the driver’s seat of your Jeep Grand Cherokee and make sure all doors are closed.

You want the cabin to be as quiet as possible with minimal outside noise. Turn off the radio and any other devices making sound.

Have both your newly purchased replacement fob and your current working fob with you. We’ll be using the working remote first.

Step 2: Turn the Ignition On and Off in Sequence

Insert one of your original keys into the ignition. Note that the engine should still be OFF at this point.

Here is the specific sequence:

  • Turn the key to the ON position in the ignition cylinder. Don’t start the engine.
  • Rotate it back to the OFF position.
  • Then turn the key forward to the ON position again.
  • Finally, switch it back to the OFF position one more time.

This On-Off-On-Off sequence is crucial to put your Jeep Grand Cherokee into programming mode for the next step.

Step 3: Press and Hold the Lock Button

Within 20 seconds of finishing Step 2, take your already programmed, working key fob remote.

Press and hold down the Lock button on the key fob for at least 4 seconds. Continue holding it down.

You’ll know the programming worked when the interior dome light flashes. This indicates the new programming code has been successfully entered.

Once the cabin light flashes, you can release the Lock button.

If your interior lights don’t flash, just repeat Steps 2 and 3. Make sure you’re quickly pressing the fob’s Lock button within 20 seconds of cycling the ignition On-Off-On-Off.

Step 4: Test the Newly Programmed Key Fob

Now that you’ve completed the programming sequence, you need to test that your new key fob is working.

Press the Unlock button, and verify the Jeep Grand Cherokee doors unlock.

Next, press Lock, and confirm the doors lock.

If the key fob is successfully activating the locks, then the programming worked!

In the event the fob isn’t working, just redo steps 2 and 3. It can take a try or two to get the sync right. Take your time with the timing.

Step 5: Repeat Steps to Program Additional Fobs

If you want to add more new keyless remotes, you simply repeat the programming procedure with each additional fob one at a time.

Most Jeep Grand Cherokees can be programmed for up to 8 key fobs.

So if you picked up a multi-pack of replacements, just program each fob individually by taking them through Steps 2-4.

Step 6: Get a Backup Physical Key Made for the Ignition

Once you’ve finished programming all your key fobs, there’s one last recommended step – getting a physical spare key made.

The fob will unlock the doors and start the engine button. But you still want a physical key that can turn the ignition cylinder.

This is useful as a backup in case the wireless fob’s battery dies. It also comes in handy if the fob gets damaged or lost someday.

Most locksmiths can cut you a blank metal key that will match your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s ignition and unlock the doors as a backup. Prices are around $3-$8.

Provide them your VIN number and proof of ownership. Some may even be able to copy your key code by reading your current metal key.

Tips and Notes for DIY Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Fob Programming

To wrap up this guide on programming new key fobs yourself, here are some additional pointers:

  • Avoid having other unprogrammed keys or fobs in the vehicle during the process. This can confuse the system.
  • Battery power needs to be strong. Program key fobs with fresh CR2032 batteries installed.
  • Programming must be done inside the Jeep, in the driver’s seat, while in park/neutral gear.
  • Make sure cabin is quiet and free of radio or device noise when programming.
  • If you only have one currently working key fob, you won’t lose function by programming additions. All will continue working.
  • When programming multiple fobs, wait 5 minutes between each one.
  • If you have issues, try holding the fob Lock button longer in Step 3, up to 10 seconds.

-consult your owner’s manual or contact a dealership for further support if needed.

And that’s it! Following this straightforward, 6 step guide will have you set up with a newly programmed key fob for your Jeep Grand Cherokee in just minutes. No need to pay for an expensive locksmith or dealer visit.


With an unprogrammed replacement and your original key fob, you can DIY program new wireless keyless entry remotes for your Jeep Grand Cherokee in virtually no time. Whether you lost your only fob or bought a used Jeep without one, follow the instructions to easily add and code additional key fobs yourself. Plus you’ll have peace of mind having a backup metal key made for the ignition.

Hopefully this detailed walkthrough took the frustration and hassle out of programming key fobs. You save time and money doing it yourself following these simple steps. Now enjoy the convenience of multiple programmed remotes to unlock and start your Jeep Grand Cherokee!

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