Fixing the car key fob.

I found myself replacing the battery in my mother’s car key fob. The car is a 2001 Vauxhall/Opel Zafira. When I had prised the key part from the electronic transponder, and was about the remove the battery (a common CR2032) I noticed the battery holder seemed to be a bit more mobile that I would have expected.
Then I spotted why it was loose. I suspect it’s a result of years of use, the negative pin of the battery holder was just sitting in the hole on the PCB. Making a poor and intermittent contact.
That explains lots of things. It explains the poor range on the radio, it explains why the key fob often needs re-synchronising with the car.
So I set-up the soldering iron, and removed the old solder from the hole, re-flowed in new solder. Now the key fob works well, and the range has noticeably improved.
I wouldn’t like to say how much the local Vauxhall dealer would charge for a replacement key fob, particularly when they charged 7UKP for a 2UKP battery a year ago.

P.S. To re-synchronise the key fob; use the key to open the driver’s door. Insert the key, check mother hasn’t left the car in gear (bad habit on the flat), turn the key to the second position. Hold the ‘lock’ button until you hear the doors lock and unlock. Remove key, job done, look smug.


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