How Far Can You Drive Without a Key Fob in a Chevrolet?

Having a key fob on your Chevy can make getting into your vehicle and on the road much more convenient.

A serious downside, though, is that your key fob doesn’t actually need to be in the car with you to start driving.

Many Chevy drivers have started their car, dropped their key fob on the ground, and driven away to find themselves stranded at their destination.

Just how far can you drive your Chevy without your key fob?

How Far Can You Drive Without a Key Fob in a Chevrolet?

Once your ignition is on, you can drive your Chevy as far as your fuel tank can take you without a key fob. Until you turn the vehicle off, you can keep driving without the key fob. If you do not turn the car off and keep filling the tank, it can go on and on.

Key fobs are alternative key starters that are being used for luxury vehicles of late. 

They are technologically-linked devices that allow you to send commands such as start, open/close the trunk, lock and unlock, etc. 

However, the twist is that you can drive without the key fob!

Key fobs are a fun car technology. 

They look sleek and modern and scream of class. Unlike conventional key starter cars, the idea of key fobs is upgraded and trendy—until you lose your key! That makes many people wonder how far they can drive without their key fob or if their car can start without a key fob.

This article will now discuss all of the above in detail.

What is a Key Fob?

Key + FOB (Free On Board)

A key fob is a wireless transmitter that has a unique ID that is linked with your car. The key fob configurations transmit orders from the user to the car even from a distance away. 

They often come with a battery and a tag code (a number that is recognized by the car).

How Far Away Do They Work?

This varies depending on your car and the key fob. Generally, key fobs have different ranges within which they work. 

Since they operate like remote controls, you can send an order from 5 – 20 meters away from your Chevrolet, based on its configurations.

In some cases, commands can be sent from as far as 50 meters from the car.

What are Key Fobs Used For?

Key fobs were originally made to be remote for easy accessibility to car parts such as the trunk, the burnet, the doors, etc. 

However, in contemporary times, keyless car technology was developed. This latter technology allows you to start your car without a key.

How Keyless Cars and Key Fob Work

Today, key fobs are now used to start vehicles remotely. 

Once your key fob is within the stipulated range (even if it is not on you or in your pocket) the engine can be ignited. Once it is out of range, the engine will not start.

Keyless cars are usually ignited via a button, a switch, or a key fob.

It is easy to operate with only a few touches.

But there is a plot twist. The car will not start without a key fob but once it has been ignited while the key is within range, you can drive miles away without the key.

Some users say they have driven their car up to 60 miles away from their keys and it didn’t shut down. But once they turned off the ignition, it was impossible to restart the vehicle.

What happens when your key fob battery dies?

Here’s another perplexing question for key fob users. When your key fob battery dies, your car will likely start, provided the key is within range. 

If it doesn’t, use your key fob to push the start button and it will respond.

Over the years, manufacturers realized car owners sometimes struggle with a dead key fob, and it was configured to operate as a non-functioning remote in such a situation.

If you have to insert your key fob to start then it may or may not start depending on the configuration.

We suggest you try it out to discover how your car works; knowledge of this will help you in emergencies.

Security Concerns About Key fobs

Key fobs made from similar manufacturers sometimes open other cars. 

This is a major security issue that is still being investigated and resolved. It is one of the downsides.

Another downside is that some keyless vehicles can be unlocked once the key fob is within reach. More so, if you forget your key fob inside the car and it automatically locks while it is inside, it could be a hassle to retrieve it.

Furthermore, key fobs technology could potentially be hacked. Hackers use signal boosting to trick your car into thinking its key fob is within proximity.

Also, the vehicle may be turned on with another key configured like the original. 

Latest Improvements with Key Fob Chevrolet

The newest versions of key fobs now alert you when the key is not within range. It may drive as far as possible, but the warning signs and beeps will remind you at intervals. 

Additionally, some keyless cars will shut down if someone tries to move it where the key is too far away.

These newer versions increase the security for key fob users. 

You may have no difficulty opening the car, but if you try to change gears outside of the range, it may not work.

Nothing beats knowing your car and how it works.

It is advisable to experiment with these features in safe environments to know how your keyless engine is wired.

Keyless Vehicles and Key Fob Safety Tips

  1. Always remember to lock the car once you step out (some cars will automatically lock themselves but not all).
  2. Do not leave the engine running. It won’t automatically shut down even if you are far away, and it may run down your car battery at best, or at worst, someone can drive off with your car.
  3. If keyless entry unlocks the door whenever you are within range, then endeavor to park in secure places.
  4. Once you lose your key, deactivate it. The process is usually simple and varies based on your key fob manufacturers. 
  5. Pay attention to warning signs. The latest versions will alert you when the key is far away.
  6. Check your battery frequently and keep it charged. If the battery is low, it takes longer for your car to detect it and you may click multiple times before you can get a response.
  7. To protect against hacking, activate a two-factor sign-in or get an anti-malware that fortifies your car against common hacking manipulations.

Should I use a key fob?

Why not? Although there are many challenges surrounding key fobs, they offer a great utility that you can enjoy. 

Just remember that you still have to practice safety measures with or without the key.


Essentially, we made these two discoveries:

You cannot start your keyless car without a keyfob.

However, once the engine is ignited with the key within range, there is no limit to how far you can drive.

For your safety, ensure you lock the car after stepping out, otherwise, anyone can open the door and start the engine while you are around the corner.

The bad news is that they can drive away, but the good news is that once the car turns off, you can track it down.

Last but not the least, get to know your car (and the key fob).

You can experiment with a dead key fob battery and its other features when you have alternatives. 

This saves you a lot of stress in the event of an emergency.


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