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Are OEM VW Key Fobs Better Than Aftermarket?

The price delta between OEM Volkswagen key fobs and aftermarket keys is hundreds of dollars in some cases. So you may be wondering if getting an OEM key fob is worth it. It is just a key after all. Or is it?

Key fobs are a complicated device and this guide will help simplify your decision between buying an OEM or aftermarket key for your Volkswagen.

OEM Parts Durability And Materials

VW key fob

Image Credit: MyTurboDieselDotCom

OEM key fobs are built with components from the VW factory. You can trust they are built with high-quality, trustworthy materials. The key is specifically developed for your vehicle and is designed to function with your car.

Aftermarket key fobs, on the other hand, are generally made with cheaper, less durable components and materials. Generic aftermarket key fobs will likely be missing branding that an OEM Volkswagen key fob will have. In addition, aftermarket keys are likely not likely to last nearly as long as original factory equipment, which comes with a warranty. Poor connections and cheaper internal components can lead to an aftermarket key fob having a shorter life than an OEM fob.

Quality should be emphasized when it comes to your key fob. With most modern cars being push-to-start, having a key fob fail could potentially leave you stranded. The failure rate with an OEM key fob is relatively low. 

Key Fob Functionality

Replacing your key fob with an OEM replacement will make it feel like your car hasn’t skipped a beat. Going with an aftermarket solution can impact your vehicle, depending on the type of key fob. Replacing your key fob with a generic replacement will likely not have an impact on your vehicle's electrical system. These types of key fobs may not perform as well with your vehicle and may require you to be closer in proximity in order to work. 

Warranties And Customer Service

VW key fob

With an OEM VW key fob, you have recourse if your key becomes nonfunctional during the warranty period. The same can't be said for aftermarket solutions. If you do buy an aftermarket key fob, check for warranty info first. If it fails, you don't want to be on the hook for another replacement. 

It doesn't just end there. When you get a new key fob, you need to change its battery and have it programmed. Programming your key fob can cost a significant amount of money and generally needs to be done by a professional. If you run into any snags trying to program your aftermarket key fob, your first inclination would be to call customer service. Many aftermarket providers don't have knowledgeable customer service teams. Some don't even have customer service at all. 

Summing Up

If you're looking at an aftermarket key fob, you're likely looking for some savings. If that's the case, looking for an OEM Volkswagen key fob through an online retailer may be the move for you. Check out our catalog of parts and see how much you can save on an OEM key fob!