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Program New RAM Key at Home for $18 with AlfaOBD and BAFX




Previously, I wrote about lowering the default TPMS threshold from 60/80 PSI using AlfaOBD and the BAFX OBD bluetooth scanner. This post assumes you already have a scanner, but if not, I’ve found BAFX the cheapest option at around $21 on Amazon.

Recently, I misplaced one of the RAM keys and wanted to have another backup. Normally replacing keys on newer vehicles has become a nightmare because of all the radio frequency sensors built into the keys and FOBs. RAM trucks have this same technology built into their FOBIK and proximity keys. Having a locksmith or dealer program a new key would easily cost $100-300. Luckily, we can program a new RAM key off Amazon at home for around $18.

Step 1: Get Necessary Software and Hardware and your PIN

In my TPMS post, I walk you through how to get all the necessary programming AlfaOBD software and OBD Scanner hardware. If you don’t have a OBD scanner that connects to an Android phone, you’ll need to add about $21 for the cheapest scanner that will work.

  • Android phone with AlfaOBD – you’ll need the full verison. Cost is $49 on the Play Store, but you can also get it free by searching “AlfaOBD apk”. Use a website like virustotal.com to scan it first if you download it that way
  • OBD Scanner – needs to be bluetooth or WiFI enabled. BAFX OBD Scanner is the cheapest at $21 or you can go upgraded to the $99 OBDLink MX+
  • RAM Replacement Key – buy the correct version for your RAM truck. I purchased this $18 key FOB with lock/unlock and the panic button
  • RAM 4 digit PIN – you can get this for free at your local dealership. They only give it out at the Parts counter in person. You have to bring your ID and registration to prove ownership

Step 2: Program FOB with AlfaOBD

If you have the following items from above, you can now go out to the truck with a working key and the new key. If done correctly, this should only take about 5 minutes tops.

  1. Plug in your OBD reader and turn the truck ignition to the run position (without starting) with the working key
  2. Turn on phone’s bluetooth and connect to OBD reader. Open AlfaOBD and press bluetooth icon, select your OBD reader. To function, I had to allow AlfaOBD permission to access files on my phone.
  3. Select Ram and your vehicle from the main AlfaOBD menu. Select RADIO FREQUENCY HUB(RFH) function. Select the Control Unit from the list that matches your year model. You may need to try multiple options from the Control Unit list if at first it doesn’t work.
  4. Press red Connect button. Once connected, press car icon in lower right corner with the open hood.
  5. From “Select procedure to start” menu, choose “Program Ignition FOBIKs Baseline System”

  6. Remove your working key and insert the new key. Leave the ignition in the OFF position.
  7. Enter your 4 digit PIN and press START. It will program the new key.
  8. Done! You can now unplug everything, remove the key. Test the lock/unlock button and try to start the truck.

If you have a proximity key with push button start, you would follow the directions in AlfaOBD for that key type. The proximity key would need to rest somewhere on the center dash by the radio to program. You can also go get the key blank cut at the hardware store (like Ace Hardware) if you desire.

You should now have programmed your new key without going to the expensive dealer or locksmith!

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