Keyless remote battery is low — signs and fixes
One notable technological advancement presented in modern cars is the keyless vehicle entry. This feature makes life easier for drivers with its endless benefits, such as locking and unlocking your vehicle, accessing the trunk, or controlling the window without fiddling with the keys. Some are so sophisticated that they can unlock the car just by approaching the car with it, even with the remote in their bag or pocket.
However, the keyless remote or key fob is powered by a little silver-like battery, which only lasts for a while. In most cars, the keyless remote battery is not rechargeable and can run low.
Unfortunately, most drivers do not remember to check and replace the key fob batteries or even ignore them when the battery gets low, which affects the functionality of the keyless entry and, in some cases, denies them access to the vehicle.
This article provides information on what you should do when your keyless remote battery is low, and many other questions about the keyless remote.
How do I know if my keyless remote battery is low?
There are certain signs that your keyless remote will give off to indicate its battery is in its last days. Even if your remote seems in good condition, you should pay attention to these abnormalities when they occur to prevent more embarrassing situations. Some signs that show that your keyless remote battery is on its last leg are:
The computer in your vehicle monitors the output voltage of the fob’s battery when the key fob is in use. If the voltage reaches a certain level, it will display a warning light on the dashboard to inform you that your battery needs replacement.
The display varies in different vehicles. While some cars show a key icon with an exclamation point, others display a key icon with a battery beneath it, and others flash the warning message “Keyless Remote Battery Low” on the driver’s display.
Decreased signal range
A typical keyless remote has a signal range of about 30 to 60 feet. As the battery gets weaker, the transmitter loses its range, so you might have to bring the fob closer to your car for it to work. In cars with a push-button start, the vehicle may fail to recognize the smart key fob in your bag or pocket if the battery is low. Hence, you might also have to hold the fob near the start button to start the engine successfully.
If you find that your key fob takes several clicks before your vehicle receives the signal, it is a sign that your battery needs help to muster the power to operate. If your car isn’t receiving strong signals from the key fob as it should or if the push-to-start component is inconsistent and requires multiple clicks, you should immediately consider a key fob battery replacement.
Waiting for one or two seconds for the car to unlock after clicking the button indicates that your keyless remote battery is wearing out. In some cases, the car’s headlights may also fail to blink when the car unlocks. If this happens, replacing your car battery will do the magic in making your vehicle respond the way it should. In worst-case scenarios, this issue may lead to drivers wondering how to unlock a car door without a key.
What should I do if my keyless remote battery is low?
The Keyless remote battery low can be very inconvenient. Therefore, paying attention to your keyless remote battery is imperative to avoid a keyless remote battery situation. However, there is no cause for alarm if your key fob battery runs low. Here are easy ways to get on with your trip when the keyless remote is low.
Hold the key fob close to your car to unlock it
Most keyless remotes in modern vehicles come with a security chip that works without the battery to help you access your car if the keyless remote battery is weak. But this chip only works at close range, which means you have to hold your remote close to your vehicle to unlock it.
Place the keyless remote close to the start button
Since the key fob range has declined, you must hold the keyless remote close to the start button for the vehicle to start successfully. Once you have started your vehicle, the warning sign should not be a problem, as it will only make your car not respond to your remote the way it should.
Replace the keyless remote battery as soon as possible
If you do not enjoy the inconsistency in your key fob and the inconvenience it causes, the best thing to do is completely replace the battery as soon as possible. Other strategies are temporary and may soon completely drain the battery in the long run. Changing your battery will save you from being stranded without access to your vehicle.
How do I replace my keyless remote battery?
Replacing a keyless remote battery is one of the least complicated and straightforward things to do. And yes, you can fix it yourself if you are so hesitant. If you are, you should get a battery specialist or go to your dealership to help you fix it. These simple steps will guide you if you choose the self-fix option.
Identify the battery type
The first step to replacing your keyless remote battery is to understand the exact type of keyless remote, as there are different types. To know the perfect one for your key fob, flip over your keyless remote and find the battery type written on the back. If you can’t find it there, it will be noted on the existing battery once you open the fob.
Open the remote
After purchasing the new battery, you can proceed to open the fob. It would be best if you did this gently to avoid breaking the case and having to replace it. Use an object that can help you open it, as you probably won’t be able to do it with your hands. Undo the screws, if any, using a tiny flathead screwdriver.
Remove the old battery
Once you separate the two halves of your remote to see the battery, check the position and status of the original battery noting the sides facing up. Slide out the old battery if there is an open space, or use an object or a screwdriver to remove it.
If clips are holding it, carefully push aside the clip and remove the old battery. Avoid touching the battery terminals with your fingers to avoid eroding the terminals with the oils in your skin which can shorten the life of your remote.
Insert the new battery
Replace the old battery with the new one in the same sequence as the old one. Also, replace the clips in their position, if any. If you’re uncertain about the battery placement, look for the positive (+) and negative (-) marks inside your keyless remote.
In the case of multiple key fobs, replacing all the batteries at once is advisable since they tend to run out almost simultaneously.
Close the keyless remote
When you are sure that everything is in its place, put back the covers of your keyless remote. If there are screws, put them back using the screwdriver. If your keyless remote does not have screws, align the front and back of the casing correctly, watching out for holes and the sides pointing into them. Then press it gently until they snap together.
Test your keyless remote
You would want to be sure that you did the right thing with your keyless remote. Test your remote to see if it works properly the way it should. If it does, there you go; your keyless entry is back on track. But if it doesn’t, it could be that you placed the battery wrongly or that the battery is defective.
Also, some vehicles require a reset procedure for the low battery warning light to go off. You can take it back to a professional battery specialist or your dealership to help you fix it properly. If the key itself is the problem and not the battery charge, it’s worth knowing how to get a replacement key without an original.
The Keyless remote battery low may seem relatively harmless, but it may be very inconvenient for you and, in the worst cases, can deny you access to your vehicle. Understanding how to manage and remedy the situation will save your neck in those embarrassing moments.
Although you can drive your car with the keyless remote battery low, you should try to pay attention to it. Always replace the battery as soon as possible. Refer to a professional battery specialist or your dealership for help whenever necessary
How long does the key fob battery last after the warning?
Every vehicle component has a time frame of durability; the same goes for the keyless remote battery. Most keyless remote battery low will last for two to three years for the smart key fob and four to six years for the regular key fob.
Still, certain circumstances, such as usage style, storage and maintenance culture, will determine how long your keyless remote battery will last. If your keyless remote battery drains faster than it should, you should consult a skilled auto technician to sort it out.
What do I do if my keyless remote battery is low?
There is no need to panic if your keyless remote battery is low, as this will not affect your driving once you can start the vehicle. When your keyless remote runs low, you will have to hold the key fob close to your car to be able to unlock it.
You must also place the keyless remote close to the start button to start the vehicle. To save yourself from these inconveniences, the best thing to do is to replace the keyless remote battery as soon as possible to stop it from dying altogether.
How much does it cost to replace a battery in a keyless remote?
One of the cheapest components to replace in your car is the keyless remote battery. Typically, a keyless remote battery costs between $3 to $10 tax inclusive. A car accessories dealer or battery specialist will replace the battery free of charge when you buy it from them.
How do I change the battery in my keyless remote?
Changing the battery of your keyless remote is not rocket science. You can do this or have a car accessories dealer or battery specialist do it. The process involves first identifying the type of battery your keyless remote needs by flipping the back of key fob to find it.
Then open the key fob, remove the old battery, insert the new battery, close the keyless remote properly and test your remote to be sure it is working correctly.