by Barbara Cannon
Remote keyless image of Ray Kasprzak from Fotolia.com
Almost everyone has come to rely on keyless entry car remotes. No more fighting trying to insert a key into a darkened lock while it is laden with packages or a baby. Gone was the ring of scratches that surrounded the car door lock. Still, the humble remotes are not thought of. That is, until the day it stops working. Your car dealer will replace or repair your remote at no cost if your car is still under warranty. However, often by replacing the battery, followed by a little reprogramming, these little gadgets can be revived at home.
My car remote doesn’t work
Get in the driver’s seat. Start the car and go for a drive. No absolute time is required, but 15-20 minutes should suffice.
Stop the car, get out and try to lock and unlock the car with the remote control. If it works, you have successfully reset the remote timer and do not need to continue.
Press the “open” and “lock” buttons on the remote control at the same time, if the previous step failed. Hold down the buttons for about a minute. If the car lights go on and off, you have successfully reset the remote. (Some car brands can sound the horn as well.)
Change the remote control battery. Slide a dime into the slot between the two halves of the box, if present, and turn. Some remotes have a small screw or sliding cover on the back for easy access to the battery.
Insert the new battery while sitting in the car, as the next step should be done shortly after the new battery is in place. Start and stop the car eight times in less than 10 seconds. Leave the car running. Press any button on the remote control for one second to pair the remote control.
Turn off the car and get out. Try to lock and unlock the car. If you are still unsuccessful, you will need to ask your dealer for help as you may need a new remote control.
- Before removing the old battery, note how it is in place so that the new battery can be placed in the proper position. Use your mobile phone’s camera to capture and save the size, type, and location for easy retrieval.
- To conserve battery life, the remote control timer turns off only if it is not used for 8 days. Programming is usually saved and restored in a short walk.
- If you have more than one remote control, change the batteries for all of them at the same time. Have all the remotes and fresh batteries with you, in the car, when you get to Step 5. If not, then only the one you just reprogrammed will work.
- Sometimes the rubber conductive pads inside the remote control wear out. Some auto parts stores have a remote repair kit that contains replacement pads for an auto repair. Verify that home repairs will not void your warranty before attempting this repair.
- Some brand-specific instructions can be found online. Include the words “car remote control” and the make, model and year of your car. Each brand of car may have different steps to reprogram a remote control.
- If you feel uncomfortable trying to reprogram your remote, visit your dealer. The dealer will reprogram, repair or replace the remote control.
- Oddly enough, static can disable the remote in cars with an antenna wire in the rear window. Some sources of static are pets and balloons.
- If the remote control contains 2 batteries, always change them at the same time.
Articles will need
- Car remote control battery (check your manual for correct size)