Car Key Fob Repair

Introduction: Car Key Fob Repair

About: Married, retired, kids, grandkids, like all kinds of music. Graduated Everett High School 1965, studied at Knoxville Business College, Tennessee College of Automation

If your keyless entry 'fob' still doesn't work after replacing the battery, it might just be a problem with worn out contacts inside the device.  These contacts are rubber-like, yet coated with an electricity conducting film that can wear off with use.
A typical keyless entry 'clicker' for your car looks like mine. 
By using metallic tape and a hole punch, you can fix it....and the fix works g-r-e-a-t !
Tools needed:
metallic tape or (aluminum foil, for which you'll need a tiny amount of glue to make the dots adhere)
hole punch
a little  bit of manual dexterity

Disassemble the device as shown in the pictures.
Using the hole punch, cut out a "dot" of the metallic tape to place over the worn-out contacts inside the 'fob'.
If you cut the dots from aluminum foil, you might want to use tweezers to put the dots in place. I found through trial and error that super glue does NOT work for very long. I happened to have the roll of what I call 'muffler tape' (that's what it looks like to me and I don't rememnber where I bought it, or for what purpose originally)
I just had to repair mine again today after about 9 to 12 months of service. Beats the price they want at the dealer for a new one.
The pictures should tell the story. Good luck.
    i just re-did both 'fobs' this morning, June 30, '12, by necessity..the tape dots were coming loose again.   This time, to help the metallic tape 'dots' stay in place better I thoroughly cleaned the rubber-vinyl insert to the fob that the tape dots adhere to.  Maybe because it's in Florida, (lot of hot weather) or just general use that allows oils from your hands to enter the deveice over time, the insides of both mine had a distinct 'oily' feel to them.  So I washed them with soap and water, dried them off, then used rubbing alcohol to finish the cleaning.  I also decided to use a pair of tweezers to both separate the paper backing of the tape, and to put the dots in place. In the past I used my fingers to handle the dots and that may have compromised the glue-to surfaces. They seem to more secured now than before.



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    42 Discussions

    This worked like a charm. I just put in two pieces of aluminum foil. one in the unlock button and one in the arm/lock button (the trunk button was working okay). Worked perfectly. I wonder by extending the foil over the hole(see photo) without touching any other foil, will that help keep the foil in place without using glue . Either way, thank you so much for this tip Bobcat1947

    1 reply

    Glad this worked for you, andew.bock.90. Don't know about extending the foil over the hole as you've suggested. Although I've since sold that car, the last repair I did on the fob worked well and lasted; I think due to being careful with cleaning and handling it prior to repair. Also, another fob became damaged when the battery clip inside it broke free from the solder point. That turned out to be an easy fix, too, with patience and (for me) a magnifying lens.

    Thank you, thank you!! We just did this with the adhesive backed metallic tape and it worked immediately. Thanks for saving us $78.95 b4 tax.

    The battery connector solder breaks from circuit board, use very small soldering iron,

    don't use a lot of solder it will cause solder bridges.

    Thanks doc ... this worked perfectly for my wifes Durango keyfob .... but I used superglue before reading that part, LOL! I'll see how long it last and then buy that tape you used! Bless!

    1 reply

    Just a quick note. When I took mine apart I found that the contacts had a dirty surface over them instead of being shiny. I used isoprol alcohol with a Q-tip to gently clean the dirt off of the contacts and rubber pads and put it back together. It has worked fine every time since.

    2 replies

    This exactly, my buttons each had two contact points which had to make a connection so it was damn near impossible to get tiny enough pieces of foil to stay on that milimeter of rubber carbon, and I couldn't just put it across both of them as that made it malfunction. I took ISO and a qtip and rubbed all the contacts, lots of grime came off and it works like a dream again.

    Thanks. I did the same with another fob, as you did, and it worked also. My particular post was the only way I was able to fix that one.

    Yes !!!!! It works. Thank you very much.

    Thank you very much for the tips. I am pleased to report that not only am I able to lock my doors using my keyless entry, but I am unable to lock them as well. Again happy to save moolah.

    This repair using tin foil works great with TV remotes too.

    1 reply

    OMG you just made my day!. Saved me tons. Dealership wanted to charge for new fob. Others said I needed new car battery, starter or computer system. Wow, thanks

    1 reply

    Really glad that helped. You just made MY day !

    Awesome! Just fixed mine. Thanks!

    I just fixed my fobs by gluing tin foil to the rubber piece. It works great!!!!! Thank you so much for the quick easy fix!

    Sorry I didn't see your remarks earlier. Glad this worked well for you.

    Thank u. Its well worth it to do every six months or however long it lasts. So far works well