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Replacing the battery in your remote

kopper69

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Every now and again someone will post a problem they have with their key having a flat battery. It is always said that the battery is soldered onto the contacts, and is basically impossible to replace. Just want to let everyone know that there are 3V coin cell batteries with the contacts already soldered onto the battery, ready for direct connection to a PCB. If you are able to solder, you will be able to replace a battery in a remote key head without doing any damage to the battery or the circuit board. I havent looked around for them before, but I dont think they are really available at watch stores or anything like that. I found them on some of the bigger electronics websites:

http://www.rsaustralia.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/home.do?cacheID=auie&returningUser=N

au.farnell.com

Just search 3V coin cell

They cost about $5 which is much cheaper than getting a whole new key head.
 

TheForgotten

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honestly, I doubt that all but the absolute best of us could do it without melting the PCB... but then... I've never looked into it so it could well be easier than I imagine
 

hako

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A good post. The other problem with remotes especially when used by females with long or sharp fingernails is that the buttons tear or rip before the battery goes flat. (some blokes also)
The VS remote seems to be glued together but can be forced open.
One thing to remember is that if you want to replace the battery and do not have a spare remote, by opening up the remote you risk stuffing it totally and then you may have problems actually starting your car, so make sure you have backup. I've stuffed one remote up by dropping it on the ground after I opened it, then stepped on it breaking the circuit board. Fortunately for me there was a spare.
However, its a good way to save cash.
 

kopper69

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Soldering is a bit of an artform. But anyone can really do it. Unfortunatly the cheap soldering irons tend to be really crappy which makes it hard. PCB wont melt, and it only takes seconds to make the solder joint for an amature. Not for everyone, but just letting everyone know that the battery is replaceable. If your nice to me you can send my the key and battery and I will solder it for you.
 

Slow VR

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Luckily for me Im an Avionics Technician, so i can solder with my eyes closed while hanging from he ceiling with my head in a bucket of water. I actually replaced my Bat a while ago with a 3v coin cell. It didnt have tags but i just soldered some onto the bat. Helps when u have profesional equipment.

If some1 can apply enough heat with there dick smith soldering iron to melt the PCB, id love to see it!!!!
 

hako

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Slow VR said:
Luckily for me Im an Avionics Technician, so i can solder with my eyes closed while hanging from he ceiling with my head in a bucket of water. I actually replaced my Bat a while ago with a 3v coin cell. It didnt have tags but i just soldered some onto the bat. Helps when u have profesional equipment.

If some1 can apply enough heat with there dick smith soldering iron to melt the PCB, id love to see it!!!!
Its very easy to melt the PCB when the soldering tip on your Dick Smith temperature controlled soldering iron is worn down and as thick as a blunt pencil! Also those 3V coin cells just love it when you hold the overheated iron on for too long...and when you solder the negative side of the cell you put too much solder on and it spreads to the positive edge and shorts....and the fumes from the resincore solder, man 'o man.
 

kopper69

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Lol. Geez hako, that doesnt sound like a good experience. Must have put you off soldering for a bit. Im almost ready to break out some of my horror stories.
 

smokin salami

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I would like to share this with everyone.

I googled in the replacement of a battery on my VS commodore key and it took me to this site. I have replaced my battery and it worked!!. You will need to be able to use a soldering iron,solder wick, a pair of long nose pliers, a knife, a small phillips screwdriver, a large flat blade screwdriver and some super glue...or get someone else who can.


Heres how I did it....

1. Remove 2 screws on the key head and then remove the key blade.

2. Pry apart the sealed key head. This may have to be done with a large flat blade screwdriver inserted into the key blade slot. Twist the screwdriver and pry apart the remote.

3. Once the head has been split in two, the circuit board will be exposed. Carefully remove the clear rubber seal. You will have to save the seal when re-assembling.

4. Take note of the polarity of the battery connections into the board. Then remove old battery by using solder wick with a soldering iron.

5. Once the battery has been removed, pull the tabs which are tacked onto the battery off. I used a knife and a pair of long nose pliers. The tabs may be bent and warped after this, however carefully re-straighten the two using your long nose pliers.

6. Get your new CR2032 battery and slightly file away both sides of the battery where you will solder your tabs back on. If you don't file the new battery, the solder will not take.

7. Apply a bulb of solder to each side of your battery prior to re attaching the lugs. This solder should be positively stuck to the battery and will not come off by rubbing it. If it does come off, file away a little more of the surface.

8. Apply a little solder to each of the lugs on the side which will be soldered to the battery. Then solder the lugs to the battery. Take care not to heat the battery too much (it may damage the battery or even explode with excessive heat-use safety glasses just in case).

9. Once the lugs are soldered on the battery, re insert the battery into the circuit board and solder the battery to the board. Take care with the polarity of the battery.

10. Repostion the board and the immobilzer bullet (penis looking thing) back into the head of the key. Ensure the metal bullet has good contact into the slot. Refit the clear seal and refit the the other half of the key head. Re fit the 2 screws.

11. Apply a small dab of super glue between the key halves at the opposite end of the screws and close.

12. Go to your car and push the button. It sould open and close your doors and start your car.


It worked for me. The remote was totally dead for about 3 weeks. I had the battery out for about 24 hours before refitting a new battery.

I hope that someone else will be able to use this info. I reckon its a major scam that Holden have introduced for these remotes!!! Anyway, in the end it cost me $4 for a battery and half an hour of my time....and saved me $140 from a Holden dealer.

Good luck!!!! :dance:
 

kopper69

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smokin salami, just for future reference, there is no need to copy the same post between different threads.

Also, your method is not recommended for a couple of reasons.

Firstly the battery is a lithium and heating any type of battery, particularly lithium is not only dangerous but will shorten the batteries life. This is why there are tabs already 'welded' on to the battery using a mini spot welder.

Unless you have a mini spot welder for battery tabs or will make one up, you are better off spending an extra dollar and getting a battery with the tabs (as suggested above).

I wouldnt recommend filing the battery either. Not only is the layer of metal around the battery very thin, you also risk shorting the battery out because the positive and negative terminal are so close together. In a second you could kill the battery and be putting a worse battery into the key head than you started with.

Major scam that holden introduced these remotes? What would you recommend? The car is probably 15 years old and you complain that you need to replace the key. Generally by the time the battery goes flat the key is worse for wear anyway and needs replacing. Considering all the benefits the key offers - convenience and security - its hardly a scam when you need to replace the battery after this period of time.

If you think that is bad, you should try owning a boat. Replace nearly everything on it in a never ending cycle.
 
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