A car is an important means of transportation as it gives you the freedom and comfort to go from one place to another easily and fast. In this blog, we’ll learn about the difference between a car key and a key fob. Stay with us as we take you through the pros and cons and car key fob programming in case you lose or misplace the fob.
Today, higher-end cars come equipped with keyless entry systems. The rest of them have a key fob to lock and unlock the car doors. These locks have replaced the concept of a simple mechanical key. Let’s understand the difference between a car key and a key fob and see each of its pros and cons.

What is a car key?

A car key is a simple key used to open the lock. It can be any type of key, but for now, let’s consider it to be the traditional car key. It is a metal key that slides into the lock barrel. Rotating it inside the barrel opens the car door or turns on the ignition.

Pros of having a car key

The making of a car key is simple. It is reliable too. It is made of durable metal and is cut into pins that when fit inside the lock barrel open up the door or turn on the ignition.
Also, if your key gets lost or misplaced, it is cheaper to get them redone through car locksmith services. They suggest better key quality upgrades to secure your car against thefts.

Cons of a car key

One main disadvantage of a car key is that it is simple to break in. It is very easy for thieves to clone the mechanical key. This key offers less security against car thefts.

What is a key fob?

A key fob is also a car key but comes fitted with a small electronic device with buttons that make the car unlocking process secure, easy, and convenient. These are keyless entry systems for locking and unlocking the car from a distance. It is also used to control the car’s windows and trunk. Also, some have an active panic alarm that beep when there is an intrusion or forced entry. Key fobs come attached to the mechanical key. You need to insert the key to start the ignition. Another type is the remote key which allows you to start the engine without inserting the key.

How does a key fob work?

The car comes equipped with a special receiver while the key fob has its transmitter. Every time you press the button on the fob, its transmitter sends a coded signal. The receiver inside the car receives the signal and authorizes the engine control module to unlock or lock the door only when the codes are synchronized. So a key fob is unique to a particular car and no other will work for your car. It essentially means you need a car key fob programming should something go wrong with it. More on it later.

Advantages of a key fob

  • 1. Convenience
  • A key fob offers convenience. With it, you can lock or unlock the doors, windows, and trunk of your car. It is automatic and you don’t have to insert the key every time you want to perform these functions. Another aspect is, it automatically locks after you have walked a certain distance away from it.

  • 2. Security
  • Safety is a top priority for the majority of car owners. They need the assurance that their vehicle will not be broken when they are away from it. Having a key fob gives them this security. They can control their car’s locking system from a distance. Also, when there is an attempted intrusion, the car’s alarm system beeps alerting the car owner of an emergency.

  • 3. Locating the car
  • Sometimes, finding your car in the parking lot can be difficult. You lose track of where you parked your car, and locating it takes time. With a key fob, you can simply press the lock or unlock button from a distance and locate your car by the beep sound.

Cons of a key fob

Unlike a simple car key, a key fob has its unique code and if you lose or misplace it, you need to reprogram or replace it. While anyone can duplicate a simple key, car key fob programming requires expertise and only professional car locksmith services can do it.
Another disadvantage is that car key fob programming is expensive compared to replacing a simple car key. A car key fob is complicated and there’s also the risk of them going wrong.


When it comes to simple car keys, they are easy to maintain. Even if you lose or misplace the key, it is easy to get it replaced. When it comes to key fobs and remotes, it will be difficult to get in your vehicle if you lose them. Fortunately, Desert Locksmith offers car remote services to help you get into your car. We have the proper equipment and the highest level of service quality to sort out your issues. We also offer rekeying and key fob reprogramming services so that you can always have a spare on hand.
Whether it is the car keys or key fobs, Desert Locksmith is available at your service 24*7.