How to Install a Garage Door Opener in a Dashboard




I had an issue... We have a Craftsman garage door opener, and two remotes. The problem is that the remotes kept getting lost because they had no clips on them. My wife's car doesn't have a built in garage door button, so I started thinking of how to make them easily accessible, and not get lost as easy.

So I started by adding velcro to an empty spot on the dash board, and the remote. This just wasn't good enough for me though. So I got to thinking, and looking. I noticed a blank button in the dashboard that was fairly small, and right next to the steering wheel. So I got to work thinking of a solution....

I came up with installing a button on the blank cover, attaching the garage remote PCB to the button. So let's see how this goes..

Step 1: The Design

Fairly simple. I took the PCB out of the remote, and soldered extensions on the main button that opens the door. Those extensions attached to the button. I then had to come with a solution to hold the battery. I happen to have a coin cell battery holder in my spare parts, they are usually no more than $.25 though. I found a way to attach the coin cell holder to the PCB, then soldered wires from the negative and positive terminals on the PCB to the coin cell leads.

Step 2: The Parts

All of these parts were recycled, or extra parts i had from past projects.

  1. Garage Door Opener Remote (1)
  2. Breadboard wires (4)
  3. 2016 Coin Cell Battery (1)
  4. Coin Cell Battery Holder (1)
  5. Quick Release Pushbutton (1)
  6. Blank Dashboard Butto
  7. Solder

Step 3: The Tools

I needed these tools, once again nothing special.

  1. Drill
  2. ½" Drill Bit
  3. Soldering Iron
  4. Bench Vice

Step 4: The Garage Opener Remote

When I was changing a battery a few weeks ago I accidentally broke the clips that hold the two halves together, so I decided to canibalize that remote for the PCB.

  1. Pry open the remote
  2. find the clip that holds the PCB in place, and use a screwdriver to pry it back so that the PCB comes out easily.. Don't force it, you may want to put the PCB back in at a later date!!
  3. Remove the PCB and find which button actually opens the door.
    1. For my remote it was SW3.
  4. Look on the back of the PCB and trace the lines coming from that switch.
  5. Locate the terminals on the PCB button that have traces coming from them.
    1. These are the terminals that you will have to solder the extension wires for the pushbutton.
  6. Locate the positive and negative terminals for the battery. The positive was a bit tricky, but it was there

Step 5: The Dashboard

Find a blank button cover, this one in the 2007 Honda CR-V works great..

  1. Locate a blank cover
  2. Pry off the cover
  3. Look at the internal structure of the cover. I had to remove a portion of it to fit my pushbutton in it flush. I just used a box cutter and the plastic came right off.

Step 6: The Prep

I bagan sizing up the pushbutton, and the blank cover.

  1. I placed the cover in a batch vice to hold it steady while I drilled.
  2. Drill a hold in the middle of the cover that the pushbutton can slide into. I drilled mine a bit to large, but was still able to make it work easily enough.
  3. Place the pushbutton into the cover and check the fitting.
  4. Install the cover back into the dashboard to check your clearance and fit.

Step 7: Build the Base Circuit

This was essentially just connecting the terminals and everything so that I could verify that it was functional. This allowed me to see if the correct terminals on the PCB and the pushbutton terminals were connected properly. As always I recommend testing the circuit at every step that way you don't have to undo everything if there is an issue..

Step 8: Build the Final Circuit

  1. Attach the Coin Cell battery Holder. DO THIS WITHOUT THE BATTERY INSTALLED!!!
  2. Solder the coin cell holder to the PCB and the positive and negative terminals.
  3. Solder the pushbutton connections.
  4. Check the clearance for the dashboard.
  5. Test the circuit to make sure it works..

Step 9: Conclusion

The video is the final product.

This all in all took about 2 hours to finish. That includes the time it took to figure out the solutions for the issues that arose. I didn't have to spend any money on this project, but assuming that you have solder, a soldering iron, and an already installed garage door opener then you could build it for about $8. The pushbutton is a standard $5 button from any hobby store, and the coin cell holder is only about a quarter. I had fun with this project, and it made life a bit easier.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always I welcome any thoughts or comments you may have.



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16 Discussions


2 years ago

I was about ready to do this in my 2014 CRV, just too old and lazy to tear into the dashboard. But I have a simple upgrade I'm sure you will love. Buy a 3 volt regulator and bypass the coin battery completely! The one I used was an NTE 1904, under $4. And get a heat sink for it, though I doubt it will ever get warm enough to need one. Less than $5, and no more battery changes! And you won't need the relay Tpassrino suggested, because if you wire into the switched 12, it will be off when the key is out anyway.


4 years ago on Introduction

That blank panel has a switch in a different trim level. Just hit up a auto graveyard and pick up said switch. That way the switch for the door is hidden in plain sight. If the car is stolen anyone will just think that option is broken (unless they press the button near your home).


4 years ago

i did this for my bike to it works way better as for what of the car is stolen they would have the opener ether way.


5 years ago on Introduction

Pretty cool. I don't get all these "If your car is stolen, all a thief has to do is.." statements. If you have the garage door opener in your car, does it matter if it clipped to your visor or a push button on the dash? Anyway, if I did do this, I would go more James Bond and put it next to the eject button under my seat.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

I have done a similar project, however, I used a voltage regulator and tapped into the car's battery rather than a coin cell.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Awesome... I thought about tapping into the car's power, but my wife is hoping to sell the car in the next year or so and wanted to avoid the complications of me removing it, or explaining to the dealership. With this option I can just buy a replacement blank cover.

Blue Hawaii

5 years ago

Excellent ible. I did this exact build for my street bike except enclosed the board and battery in a weather proof housing so that I could open up the door as I approached the house. All the comments about "what if your car is stolen" makes no sense. If anything, this is much safer. The thief would have to know what the button was for.


5 years ago

If the car gets stolen... The have te know where the button is for. And if the car gets stolen... You just turn off the remote control system of your garage.


5 years ago

If your car gets stolen... They have to know where you live.

Tex Arcana

5 years ago

well done instructable, nicely done. I agree with hiding the button, but you work with what you're given, and the car gave you what it had. good job.


5 years ago

True. But as said, it's no different than having the remote in the car. Or any other car that has programmable buttons in it.


5 years ago on Introduction

The work is very good, but a bit dangerous: if they steal your car, they have free access to your home.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

I like the idea - convenient, well documented and photographed. However, if your car is stolen, all a thief would need to do is look in your glove compartment, find your owner registration card (or search for "Home" on the GPS in your car) and then drive to your house to push that button and gain access to your house. (BTW, that's the same problem that exists with ANY garage door opener kept in a car.) Perhaps a better approach might be to HIDE the button just under the ledge of the dashboard or in a similar convenient place. That way a thief would not have "push button" access to your home...and you would also not need to drill a visible hole on your car's dashboard.