What is an OEM Key Fob?

And Why Choose OEM Key Fobs Over Aftermarket?

Understanding the Value of Original Equipment Manufacturer Products

When shopping for replacement key fobs for your vehicle, you will come across a couple of terms to describe the products listed for sale: “OEM” and “aftermarket” or “replacement.”

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This means the key fobs are made by the same company that produced the original parts for your vehicle. Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet (General Motors), etc. These parts are the exact same parts that you can buy at your local Dealership.

Here’s why choosing OEM key fobs is crucial for your car’s functionality, your overall satisfaction and your wallet.



Superior Quality and Reliability

OEM key fobs are renowned for their superior quality and reliability. Unlike aftermarket fobs, which might be cheaper, OEM parts are designed with higher quality materials and stricter quality controls. They’re the exact match to what came with your vehicle when it rolled off the production line. This precision ensures that the electronic components function seamlessly, offering longevity that aftermarket products can’t match.

Enhanced Signal Strength and Range

One of the standout features of OEM key fobs is their strong signal strength and extended range. This is due to the high-quality components used in their manufacture. Whether you’re trying to unlock your car from a distance or need reliable functionality in an emergency, an OEM key fob provides a level of performance that aftermarket alternatives often fail to deliver.

Warranty and Compatibility Assurance

Using aftermarket key fobs can sometimes lead to complications, such as voiding your vehicle’s warranty. This is a significant risk, especially with modern vehicles that are more like computers on wheels. OEM key fobs are guaranteed to be compatible with your car, ensuring that all features work as intended without jeopardizing your warranty.

Avoiding the Risks of Aftermarket Programming

Programming a key fob should be straightforward, but with aftermarket parts, it can get complicated. Automotive locksmiths might need to find workarounds to program these fobs, essentially “hacking” into your vehicle. This is not only a security risk but can also lead to functionality issues down the road. OEM key fobs, on the other hand, are designed to sync perfectly with the vehicle’s built-in systems, allowing for a smooth and secure programming process.

Long-Term Cost Efficiency

While OEM key fobs might come with a higher upfront cost compared to aftermarket options, their durability and reliability offer better long-term value. You’re less likely to need replacements, and you won’t face frequent malfunctions that can often end up costing more in the long run.



You can’t judge a book by its cover… or can you? Here are some tell-tale signs of a remote being of cheap quality with regards to the circuitry and its components. This means shorter life and reduced signal strength/range.



– Potential Quality Issues: Variable quality, which can affect performance and durability.
– Risk of Voiding Warranty: May void your vehicle’s warranty if the part fails and causes damage.

+ Guaranteed Compatibility: Specifically designed for your vehicle, ensuring all features work seamlessly.
+ Higher Quality Components: Made with superior materials for enhanced durability and performance.

– Compatibility Problems: Might not perfectly match the vehicle’s system, leading to operational issues.
– Weaker Signal: Generally poorer signal strength and range, which can be inconvenient.

+ Stronger Signal Strength: Offers better range and reliability, especially in remote access.
+ Warranty Safe: Using OEM parts typically does not void vehicle warranties, keeping your coverage intact.

– Security Risks: Programming these fobs might require unauthorized methods that could compromise vehicle security.

+ Longevity: Lasts longer due to higher standards of quality control during manufacturing.

How do you make sure you’re purchasing an OEM key fob for your vehicle?

Check out our extensive article on “How to Spot a Counterfeit Key Fob Remote Online” to learn 10 ways to spot counterfeit key fobs and ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality, guaranteed to program and last OEM remote for your vehicle. Here are some of the top tips:

  • If the product doesn’t have a logo or if the product has a price that is too-good-to-be-true, it probably is.
  • Be sure that the listing you’re purchasing from says that the product is “OEM”
  • Instead of “OEM” the listing refers to the product as “replacement” or “aftermarket”
  • Stay off of the marketplaces with low barriers to entry and buy from reputable online sellers such as NorthCoast Keyless. We’ve been selling high-quality OEM key fobs for decades at this point. 

Be safe out there!

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