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What to Do When Your Car Remote Stops Working

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Keyless car entry systems work through a complex system of communication between memory chips using radio signals. Such a system can occasionally malfunction, rendering you unable to use the remote to open or lock your car. This article discusses some of the measures that you can take when that happens.

Confirm that It Is the Remote with a Problem

Many keyless entry makers provide two remote controls. Get the second remote and try opening the car with it. If it opens, then the other remote was defective (for instance, it had an old battery). Take any of the steps below to restore that defective remote. In the meantime, use the spare remote control panel. If the second remote doesn't open the car, chances are high that the locking mechanism of your car may be defective. Contact an emergency locksmith to diagnose and solve the problem.

Change the Battery

The battery may have become worn out if you have had that keyless entry system for an extended period (such as a year). Your first line of action should therefore involve replacing the battery with a new one. Examine the remote for a small slot on its side. Slide a fingernail inside that slot and force the remote open. Once it is open, check the number on the old battery. Buy a replacement battery with the same number. Take the remote to a battery store and ask the attendant to open it for you if you fear that you will damage it as you open it. Test the functioning of the remote after replacing the old battery.

Reset the Remote Control Panel

Enter your car by opening it using the car key. Get the manual of the keyless entry system and read the reset instructions. Follow those instructions and reset your remote. The remote control can lose its memory for a variety of reasons. For instance, the battery may have been old and the sensors struggled to communicate with the memory chip on the door locks.

If you do not have the manual, this procedure may help. The exact steps vary from one car model to another so only try them as a last ditch effort. Enter the car and close all doors. Insert the key into the ignition. Turn the key several times (as if you want to start the car) but just fall short of actually starting it. When you hear a chiming sound, press one of the remote keys. Wait for the chiming sound again. Once you hear it for the second time, exit your car and lock all its doors. Wait for about 20 seconds, and then try using the remote. It will work if it needed to be reset. If the procedure doesn't work, contact your emergency locksmith.

Try the methods above only once, and then call an emergency locksmith like Nelson Locksmiths for help. Repeated DIY attempts may cause further damage to the car or the keyless entry system.