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today I successfully repaired my car's keyless remote fob because one of its little rubber buttons (the "lock" button) stopped working.

In short, I followed directions I found in a YouTube video: I added a small piece of aluminium foil to the underside of the problematic rubber button -- and presto! Now the button works perfectly!

However . . . I did not glue the aluminum foil to the underside of the rubber button, because I was merely testing this solution to see if it actually worked. So when I pried apart the fob to get at the piece of foil in order to actually glue it in place, I found that the foil had adhered itself not to the rubber underside of the button, but rather to the small motherboard itself in the fob (the foil completely covering the four little contacts in the motherboard). And I could see that the foil was on there good, too, merely from the pressure of me repeatedly pressing the "lock" button when testing the solution.

Again, the fob now works flawlessly. And yet I'm wondering: could it be somehow bad for the foil to be in constant contact with the the metal contacts on the motherboard?

On the one hand, there seems to be no downside to the fob being "fixed" this way; on the other hand, how do I know the foil's constant touching of the contacts on the motherboard isn't "invisibly" running down the battery, or doing something else that will damage the fob?

Experience tells me "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" -- that is, what I did, though not quite how I planned it, works and works well, so I should leave it alone and be happy it works . . . rather than troubleshoot a problem that may not even exist. What do you all think?

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how do I know the foil's constant touching of the contacts on the motherboard isn't "invisibly" running down the battery, or doing something else that will damage the fob?

You don't. A half assed repair can mean that foil loosens up and shorts something out due to moving around in your pocket all the time. Or loses its springiness and keeps the contacts close, causing the battery to drain or causes the key fob and car to lose sync because its constantly trying to unlock it.

Do a proper fix.

Or ebay a new key fob, most cars allow you to add new key fobs easily. Personal experience, I bought a new key fob and programmed it for 3 bucks.

  • Thanks. I went back and redid the fix the proper way (so that the foil adheres to the back of the rubber button, not to the motherboard). I then tested the remote and it still works terrifically. I now know that the foil is not constantly touching the contacts on the motherboard, and thus there is no circuit unless I actually depress the button. (Still, I don't understand why the "half-assed" repair even worked to begin with, not that it matters. Just curious.) Incidentally, I would buy a new fob and reprogram it, but I need the 2 original keys to do so, and this used car only came with 1.) – Shane Bernard Feb 5 '18 at 21:43
  • @ShaneBernard it's half-assed because you didn't finish fixing it in place. That's like fixing a cable by soldering two sides together, but not actually taping it up or using insulation, or fixing a broken headlight by changing the broken bulb but not the broken case. – cde Feb 5 '18 at 21:46
  • @ShaneBernard depends on the car. I didn't need the master keys to add in the remotes, but I do need the original master key to add in new chipped keys. (99 Camry). – cde Feb 5 '18 at 21:47
  • I understand. And I take your "half assed" reference in the spirit it was intended, because that's indeed what it was. My uncle is a former NASA engineer, and many times he has advised me in no uncertain terms not to do things half assed! In this instance, I was just surprised to find the repair worked in an unintended way! But like I said, I did go back and do it the right way. – Shane Bernard Feb 5 '18 at 21:48
  • According to my Jeep manual, I have to have both the original keys, insert them one after another, and then finally insert the new key, which the Jeep key assembly will then program while the new key is in the ignition. But, alas, the Jeep only came with one key. Someone suggested I try it anyway with one key, since "how would the Jeep know you aren't using two keys?" But perhaps it does. – Shane Bernard Feb 5 '18 at 21:51

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