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Fixing old key FOB


adallak

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Some of us still drive old cars, so the key FOBs are old as well and do not function as they used to do. If you pry a FOB open, you will see four micro switches. Those for trunk and interior lights are not used as often as ones for the doors, so they are still probably fine. The door lock/unlock ones get "lazy". I am not analyzing here what made them "lazy".

Here is how I fixed mine. I pried the FOB open with a flat screwdriver. First removed all the gunk inside with a q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol.
After everything was clean and nice, inserted a piece of carefully tailored paper (five fold) to cover the two "lazy"switches. Closed the FOB, and now it operates just like it did when it was brand new. You do not have to remove the battery during this procedure. Hope, this will help to solve that annoying old FOB issue. Sorry for teh quality of the pictures taken with my laptop.
 

IMG_20170211_113720 - Edited.jpg

IMG_20170211_113733 - Edited.jpg

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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I have my gold keys on a fob that served as my spares and were unused for years.  When I went to use them the other day, I had to squeeze the fob, and press hard to get it to work.  I was our getting a battery for it when I decided to open it with a dime and scratch the battery contacts, and bend the battery contacts gently out a little.  Then I took the circuit board out, and wiped down the button contacts.  After I put it back together, I tried it from a distance, and it worked! Compared to my daily fob, this "new" one is a pleasure.  It's amazing how when something goes bad over time you just get used to he degrading quality.  Maybe the metals oxidized by sitting on the key holder in th garage?

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The fobs on the '96 and '97 Sevilles I used to own would always degrade and stop working.  Opening them up would reveal a goo that was all over the contacts and the part of the button that contacts the circuit board.  Cleaning it with rubbing alcohol always restored the operation.  It was as if something was breaking down the button material.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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The goo in my FOB looked like peanut butter! I do not know what the previous owner did to it.

In my case, the cleaning alone would not help. I depressed all for switches with ballpoint pen and could hear/feel the difference right away. The action of the rarely used switches was crisp and sound, while the action of two others I would describe as "mechanically worn out". The white plastic material holding the buttons of the FOB wears out at the points of contact as well. So, it is the combination of mechanical deterioration  of both switch and plastic membrane. The layers of paper just compensate for that wear.  

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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Agreed. 

The nice ones have a crisp click when pressed. Overtime they get worn out.

By the mid 90s those went away and were replaced with compound buttons that completed the circuit on the board. 

But the membranes wear out and degrade over time also

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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5 hours ago, adallak said:

The goo in my FOB looked like peanut butter! I do not know what the previous owner did to it.

In my case, the cleaning alone would not help. I depressed all for switches with ballpoint pen and could hear/feel the difference right away. The action of the rarely used switches was crisp and sound, while the action of two others I would describe as "mechanically worn out". The white plastic material holding the buttons of the FOB wears out at the points of contact as well. So, it is the combination of mechanical deterioration  of both switch and plastic membrane. The layers of paper just compensate for that wear.  

Those Fleetwood Brougham remote fobs were a superior design to the '96-'97 types that gooped up.  Mine are almost 24 years old and the one that I have been using all these years still works and I've never had it apart.  The other one has never been used and is in new condition.  My Deville remotes look very similar to the '96-'97 remotes except GM substituted a panic button for the fuel door release button.  It seems like they corrected the goop issue but I would rather have the fuel door button over the panic button.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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"The word fob is believed to have originated from watch fobs, which existed as early as 1888. The fob refers to an ornament attached to a pocket-watch chain. Keychains, car starters, garage door openers, and keyless entry devices on hotel room doors are also called fobs."

 

I thought FOB was a mysterious abbreviation... 

 

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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