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Old 08-06-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
greenman
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Default Key fob problem solutions

GM key fobs have two distinct problems:

1. the battery contact arm loses good contact with the circuit board
Symptoms: the fob has a short range and/or is intermittently completely non-functional
Solution: carefully add solder to the battery contact arm connection points on the circuit board


2. a button pad electrical contact has failed
Symptoms: one button (or maybe two) quit working or work poorly
Solution: replace the button pad for about $10
Here is one source: http://www.keylessfix.com

Last edited by greenman; 08-06-2011 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
MalibuKen
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Default Re: Key fob problem solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenman View Post
2. a button pad electrical contact has failed
Symptoms: one button (or maybe two) quit working or work poorly
Solution: replace the button pad for about $10
As was mentioned in an earlier thread:
It also can usually be fixed by cleaning with 90% (or higher) Isopropal alcohol and a Q-tip.

If the contact point on the circuit board is contaminated (dirty), a new button pad many not work very long either.

Thankfully, the electronics in the fobs seem pretty robust. Mine went through the wash once and still works fine......after drying out.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Key fob problem solutions

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Originally Posted by MalibuKen View Post
As was mentioned in an earlier thread:
It also can usually be fixed by cleaning with 90% (or higher) Isopropal alcohol and a Q-tip.

If the contact point on the circuit board is contaminated (dirty), a new button pad many not work very long either.

Thankfully, the electronics in the fobs seem pretty robust. Mine went through the wash once and still works fine......after drying out.
Cleaning in certainly worth a try. But I would use an electrical contact spray cleaner as opposed to isopropyl alcohol because even 91% IA has 9% water in it. Regular IA is around 30% water.

They may have improved the fob manufacturing process over time after having so many complaints for so long. My '10 fobs so far have been fine but both my '09 fobs needed re-soldering after just a couple months past new.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
Len McRiddle
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Default Re: Key fob problems

Warranty item.
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2010 LTZ, White diamond tricoat, sunroof, compact spare, rear 110V outlet, rear window shade, and all the other LTZ goodies. 2.4 EcoTec (My 5th car with an EcoTec)
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
MalibuKen
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Default Re: Key fob problem solutions

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Originally Posted by greenman View Post
But I would use an electrical contact spray cleaner as opposed to isopropyl alcohol because even 91% IA has 9% water in it.
I would too.....if I had any at the time I needed it.

Depending on what the contaminant IS however, a small amount of water might be desirable, for things like dried soda pop residue for instance.

And if you blow the things off to dry them thoroughly, that tiny bit of water won't hurt anyting. Witness my washing machine incident; 100% water !!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Key fob problems

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Originally Posted by Len McRiddle View Post
Warranty item.
True. Covered by bumper-to-bumper.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
dalbc
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Default Re: Key fob problem solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenman View Post
GM key fobs have two distinct problems:

1. the battery contact arm loses good contact with the circuit board
Symptoms: the fob has a short range and/or is intermittently completely non-functional
Solution: carefully add solder to the battery contact arm connection points on the circuit board


2. a button pad electrical contact has failed
Symptoms: one button (or maybe two) quit working or work poorly
Solution: replace the button pad for about $10
Here is one source: http://www.keylessfix.com
Eventually, both the key fobs for my 2006 Malibu failed. The first repair was to solder broken battery contact points on the circuit board. That worked for a while, but then the fobs failed again.

I purchased the button pads from keylessfix about two years ago and installed their pads. The repair took just a minute or two. The fobs have worked perfectly since the pads were installed.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Key fob problems

It turns out there is a conducting material on the contacting surfaces of the button pads that is breaking down over time & eventually fails to complete the circuit on the board.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
MalibuKen
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Default Re: Key fob problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenman View Post
It turns out there is a conducting material on the contacting surfaces of the button pads that is breaking down over time & eventually fails to complete the circuit on the board.
Sometimes.

As has been discussed here before, other times it is just contamination of the contacts and a good cleaning will fix the problem.
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