In college, I briefly drove a 2001 Ford Taurus, until I decided that I was working to pay for the car to go to work, so my parents gave the car to my sister.
Sometime during her ownership of the car, her keyfob died. She told me that it wasn’t just the battery in the remote, but the receiver on the car as well. She’d been told by a mechanic to give up on the whole idea and tossed the fob.
When the car was deemed to old to do anything with but scrap, my parents gave it back to me. I put $500 in repairs into it and it became the newest car we owned. My wife drives it but wished she had a remote unlock like a car she had once upon a time.
One day I came across a link on Hack a Day detailing how to program your own key fob. For the Ford, it was “Turn the key from [Off] to [Run] without starting it eight times in ten seconds. Then press any button on the fob you wish to activate. Turn the ignition to [Off] and you’re done.”
I ordered a remote off eBay for $8 and followed the instructions above. I got it right the first time.
I had always figured programming such devices required specialized software and/or hardware. I guess the folks charging $60 per fob are running a racket.