How I Used Logic To Fix My Remote Keyless Entry

My Pontiac G6 is nearly 10 years old.  So, it stands to reason that things might start to wear out.  This started to happen to the remote keyless entry fob.

The Steady Decline Of The Remote Keyless Entry Fob

Over the past winter, things weren’t working right on it at all, which was a pretty big problem because I used the remote start to warm the car up on cold days.  That was a pretty easy fix: The battery needed to be changed.  Changing the battery is a simple task, basically prying open the two halves of the plastic cover, sliding out the old battery and replacing it with a new one.  The biggest task there was actually going out and getting a replacement battery first.

That took care of the problem, but lately a new problem cropped up:  The unlock button started to have problems.  At first, I noticed that it just didn’t work unless you were closer to the car.  Then, you had to be even closer, then you had to be practically standing on top of it, and eventually you had to press the button furiously and have a slight chance of it actually working.  It was pretty frustrating, but I figured there had to be a fix.

My wife borrowed the car a couple of times and complained about it, and told me that I should change the battery.  I explained that I just had, and also logic told me that it wasn’t the battery by virtue of the fact that every other button worked just fine.  The lock, trunk open, and panic button all worked from long distances.

If it were the battery again, I knew that none of those would work right.

So, I decided to give a further look.

Troubleshooting

I popped open the plastic housing, and this time took the entire circuit board out, battery mb-2015-06-keysand all.  As I flipped it over, I could immediately see what the problem was.

When you press the button, that presses a small pin which is surrounded by a circle of rubber.  The pin touches against a contact point on the board, and that activates the control.  It looks like somewhere along the way, a little moisture must have gotten in, and some of the rubber piece had broken down and had formed a film of residue over the contact point on the circuit board.

It looked like all it needed was a little cleaning.

I’ve cleaned things with contact points before.   I knew that I just needed to gently scrape off the residue from the area.  Taking care only to touch the contact point and not the board itself, I gently scraped it until the residue was gone.

I popped everything back into place, walked over to the window where the car was parked outside and hit the unlock button.  The lights flashed and the doors unlocked!

Voila!

By using a little bit of logic, I was able to figure out where the problem was and fix it.

I’m sure that many people would have taken it to the dealer or a repair shop.  For this they would have paid handsomely.  All I needed was five minutes and a paper clip.  Not bad, eh?

Readers, what tasks have you taken upon yourself lately that have saved you money?

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7 thoughts on “How I Used Logic To Fix My Remote Keyless Entry

    • Thanks! Sadly, I think that the rubber piece inside is breaking down as it’s already started needing a harder press. I suppose I could continue to take it off and clean it regularly, but that will get old fast, and probably loosen the fasteners that keep the two plastic pieces together. I did see that they have the shells for sale, so I may just get one of those and trasfer the innards to that in hope it is a more permanent fix.

  1. Great post. It was a pretty good read! I always say that by reusing and/or fixing always teaches you something new. Gaining new skills is way better than paying someone. Plus, there are a mountain or resources to help you online.

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