If the battery terminals don’t look broken, you may find an issue where the buttons are soldered and have come loose. These tabs are also under spring pressure when the battery is installed, as the central “finger” presses the battery down to hold it in place and create electrical contact on both the top and bottom. There are other methods, and some require special equipment. If the procedure is successful, the hazard lights will flash. The best way to check this out on your own is to just pull the remote apart again and do a thorough visual inspection. You can use a pencil eraser to clean both this and the similar-looking button contacts on the board’s reverse side. Most of these batteries should show about 3 to 3.6 volts. This is not the prettiest repair I’ve ever done – don’t take photos while soldering. The two most common points of failure are the battery terminal contacts and the buttons, although there are a lot of other ways they can break. If the buttons still don't work, you'll need to obtain a new remote. If there’s no slot, carefully use an appropriate tool to wedge them apart. If nothing else works, there is always a chance that the receiver inside your car is broken or disconnected. When soldering, there are a few points to keep in mind. Even if it's just a dead battery, you can pretty much guarantee that your car doors will fail to unlock with the remote at one time or another. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution At this point, the reader will probably beep to say that it is done reading the key. You can also just open up the remote and look at the battery, which will typically have a number printed or stamped into its surface. Her expertise includes social media, web development, and graphic design. All The grid visible on the board is the negative contact. These remotes, even the proximity-style and push-button start fobs, all use batteries that occasionally require replacement. If the procedure was successful, your key fob remote will work again. Some cars have push-button ignitions that only operate when the key fob is close by. It’s the most common reason for fob failure. Donor fobs … Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day, Broken Internal Contacts in Car Key Remotes, Why Your Car Won't Start Even Though the Lights Work, What to Do When the Gauges in Your Car Aren't Working, How to Fix a Car Radio That Won't Turn Off. How to Fix a Car Horn That Won't Stop Honking. You can check behind and under the dashboard for loose wires, but don't connect or plug anything in if you aren't able to verify that it's actually the wireless door lock receiver. If the battery is more than five years old, consider just replacing it. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. Key fobs are exposed to more physical abuse than most electronics, and they aren’t indestructible. Michelle Adeola Adelufosi is a marketing consultant with 9 years' experience working for a variety of clients. If the remote has been inoperative for a long time (i.e. You can rule part of this out by locking and unlocking all of the doors via the physical primary control inside the vehicle, which would indicate that the electronics are fine. With the fob split open, we can see the circuit board and battery. Car key remote fobs are a nice convenience to have, but they all stop working eventually. Insert the keys in the ignition. If just one breaks off, it may only affect one button. rights reserved. In that case, you may have to contact your local dealer or an independent shop that has experience with your particular make and model of vehicle. The contacts inside the buttons do wear out — obvious if wiggling or squeezing the buttons sometimes make it work. Heat the tab and melt the solder on it, not the iron. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. The metal tab not only holds the battery in place, it is also the positive conductor for the remote. The other issue you may run into is that some car doors don't have any visible place to insert a key. Insert your key into the ignition, and turn it to the accessory position. Most of these vehicles still have a keyhole, but it may be hidden behind a trim piece near the door handle. It may say in your manual, or you can contact a local dealer. However, there could still be an electrical problem. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. If you don't have a spare remote, you may be able to buy a used one or get one from your local dealership. In that case, try removing the buttons, cleaning them, flexing them in and out, and then reassembling the remote. Also, don’t use too much solder, and be sure to use solder intended for electronics, not plumbing. 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