What do you do when the Key Fob Battery is Dead?

Now is a good time to change the battery in your car’s Key Fob… I’ve read so many postings about how to Unlock a car door and even Start the car when the battery in your Car’s Key Fob is dead… And I have never see it all wrapped up in one posting…

So consider this a belated Christmas Present or an early Valentine Gift…

Each year, at about this time I change all the batteries in my electronic appliances, the entertainment remotes (TV, Stereo, DVD, Corded Phones, etc…), Smoke Detectors, Clocks, Thermostats, Flashlights, In-ground Sprinkler Timers, and so much more… (Costco sells big packs of AA and AAA batteries)…

But now, we need to get back to the Garage and you will probably need those Flat, Quarter-sized, 2032 or the less popular 2025 Batteries; Vroom, Vroom, and here we are… Don’t forget to change the batteries in the Garage Door Remotes.

Your Remote most likely uses one or two of these batteries and you should change them now…

As a side issue, do you know how to open your locked door if the battery is dead; worse yet how do you start your car when the Fob is Dead?

Your Key Fob probably has a “Key” built into it and it is on the ring that a regular key ring can hang from and on your Fob there is a “Latch” on the Fob that releases the “Door Key” and if you do not know how to access this key, you had better Google How to Access it Right Now…

And if you do not know how to open the Fob to change the Battery, Google that too…

This is also the time of year when I give my locks a short squirt of WD-40 to remove road dirt and lubricate it. And then I try the key, several times just to make sure it’s working easily… With late model cars that use the Fob as the primary entry, there is probably only one door lock on the Driver’s Side Door that the Fog Key will fit in.

Now, how does one start a car when the Fob Battery is dead and there is no key-hole on the dash to put that Fob-Key into? The secret is to hold the Key Fob right next to the Start Button and press the start button (with the Brake Pedal Pressed) and the car should start normally.

My final suggestion is for you to change the batteries; but while the old battery is out, go outside to your car and try your Fob Key and see if the door unlocks easily, then place that Key Fob (still with no battery…) next to the Start Button and see if it works for your car

It’s better to try this when you are not stuck in a dark parking lot, late at night, with a phone with a near-dead battery.

Remember, things happen threes, Your Key Fob Battery is dead, you have not lubricated the door lock and the Fob Key will not unlock the door, and your phone battery is also dead…

It Works

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A product designed for locks is better than WD-40.


Dead Battery? No keyhole? Remote Not Working? Now What?

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Agreed, but I’ve never had bad luck with WD-40, While a Graphite lubricant is the preferred lubricant, it cannot “wash” out the road dirt and grime that works it’s way into a lock. And a short blast of WD-40 will clean the lock out.

So, I agree your response is the more correct response, but I’m set in my ways with WD-40.

I have had a couple of cars owned for many years with fobs. Owned since new. Only changed batteries on each of these cars twice in 16 and 18 years.

Two additional cars, a 13 and a 14, bought used have had theirs changed once and twice respectively.

Yearly fob battery changes seems wildly excessive…

But the advice is spot on. Know how to get in and start with a dead fob before it happens.

I use silicone on the lock. The solvent carrier cleans the lock. The silicone doesn’t attract dirt


I have two key fobs for my 2012 Camry. In the 11 tears and one month I have owned it, I have replaced the battery in one of them. My key will open the door and start the car just fine without the battery in it. Why anyone thinks push button start is a desirable feature is beyond me.

Isn’t it difficult to remove keys from your pocket while wearing gloves? Open the door, get in and press the start button.


No, I never drive with gloves on.

Newer vehicles with more features assigned to the fob wear the battery out faster. I can open locks with the fob or by touching the doors or trunk. I can lock the doors by touching a button on the door handle. These only work when I have the fob with me. I can also start the cars by pressing the start button. All that seems to run the batteries down in about two to three years. Other cars I’ve owned with fobs didn’t provide as much functionality and lasted at least twice as long. My wife’s 2019 Odyssey shows a message on the driver’s message center to change the battery when the signal gets weak.

All of that is true, but it is also true that some newer cars inform you daily via your Smartphone app about the “health” of your key fob battery. I used to change those batteries every couple of years–proactively–but now I will be able to see the actual strength of the battery in real time, and to replace it when it begins to weaken, but before it goes “dead”.

It’s possible that this info will also display on my car’s video screen, in addition to appearing on my phone. At this point, I only know about the phone-based info.

Evolution. My 2017 Accord doesn’t have the dashboard notification, but our 2019 Odyssey does. I don’t believe there was a phone app for such notifications for either of our cars.

What do you do when the Key Fob Battery is Dead?
I replace the battery, but maybe that’s me.


I guess you don’t often try to get in your car in heavy rain while managing an umbrella and a handful of grocery bags. The last thing I want to be doing in that situation is trying to dig a key out of my pocket, so I’m very happy with my keyless entry and push-button start.


Yep, it is wonderful, love it on the car. My older truck does not have that feature, the keys are always in the same pants pocket that my hand is holding the bags.

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Very good in most cases. But as always it’s a good idea to read your owners manual. Some are different. My Buick says to place the dead fob in the front cup holder.

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OK, you’ve just walked out of the shopping mall, you are one of the last customers of the night, it’s raining, it’s cold, and as you hurry to your car, you click your Key Fob Battery but the car door doesn’t unlock, your Key Fob Battery is Dead. You quickly grab your phone, only to curse as you see No-Bars, and the phone battery is about to give up the Ghost too.

No, really, I agree, my suggestion to change the battery in the fob is probably overkill, but let’s be honest, isn’t the “wasted cost” of that yearly swap out of a new fob battery really cheap insurance to not find yourself in the situation I listed above?

dead battery

Do whatever gives you piece of mind.

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After reading your posting, I googled “Buick and dead Key Fob” and it said to “Find the key pocket and place the fob into it.”

Is your cup holder the “Key Pocket”?

Thank you for your note, i had not considered that some manufactures would have “secret” Fob Contact Points… I say secret because, the instructions said to “Find” it…

Now, some folks might take to time to see what they need to do…

Yes, based on the previous sections on fob relearning and the last statement in the picture, the key pocket is the front holder. Seems a little stupid to change terms in a manual, but such are manuals.

Was just a tongue in cheek answer to the title question. But in regards to :

There are some that will, but that’s just useless.
No big deal, I use the key (you know like we used to have to years ago) in the fob to unlock the door, get the spare battery out of the glove box. If there is no spare in the glove box I know I can press the start button with the fob. I know this because I am one of the relatively few of the motoring public, who even know that your vehicle actually has a book that tells you what needs to be done in situations like this. And read the In Case of Emergency section.