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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After two and a half years my key fob battery needed replacement. It still worked but there was a message on the dash whenever I started the car telling me that it needed to be replaced


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I drove it for a few days with this message, but I didn't want to push my luck so I used my spare fob for a few days until I had a chance to replace the battery.

The owners manual has fairly adequate instructions about replacing the battery:

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Yes it's pretty simple, but these fobs are expensive and I wanted a better idea what to expect so I decided to check online and I found some general YouTube videos for Honda key fob battery replacement and that helped.

I took it slow and all went well, here are some photos that I took along with a few pointers based on my experience.

The first step is to remove the emergency key by sliding the little switch to the right.


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As a side note, as probably most people know the emergency key is used to open the driver door in case your 12V battery is dead. But it also can be used to open the trunk using the lock behind the driver side rear passenger headrest. Nice to know that when your 12V battery is dead and your portable jump starter is in the trunk!


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After removing the emergency key, the instructions say to use a coin to split the fob into halves. And to wrap a cloth over the coin to avoid scratching the fob (???)

It's not as clear in the instructions but what you do is insert the coin between two tabs that stick out as seen in the photo below. The 2D photo doesn't really show the tabs very well, it's easier to see what I am talking about if you remove the emergency key on your fob and take a look at these tabs.


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Something I found online pointed out that instead of a coin you can use the emergency key. In fact the key fits perfectly between the tabs, so clearly it was designed this way. I doubt if it harms the key as it didn't take that much force to open the fob. But if you are worried about using the key go ahead and use a coin (and be sure to wrap the coin with a cloth LOL)

After splitting the halves you now have access to the 2032 battery.

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The instructions say to "Remove carefully to avoid losing the buttons". That's kind of an odd statement. I found out what this actually means is when you are digging around with a small screwdriver trying to pry the battery out it's pretty easy to accidentally start pulling out the circuit board that the battery is connected to, the buttons are also connected to on the other side, so if you lift the circuit board it starts to pull the buttons out of their holes. I guess that's what they mean by "losing the buttons".

To avoid this keep that half of the fob on the table while you are removing the battery instead of holding it in your hand. Hold it to the table with one hand while you use your other hand to pry out the battery.

As seen in the next photo the yellow arrows are pointing to two tabs that overlap the battery. The green arrow shows the best place to insert a small screwdriver under the battery and pop it out. Pretty simple and straightforward, and maybe there is no chance of damaging the fob, but I prefer to take this step slowly considering how much a replacement fob costs.

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After removing the old battery, insert the new battery under the two tabs, then it should easily pop into place.

Getting the two halves to snap back together took more pressure than I expected which made me a little nervous, just make sure that the halves are lined up exactly before putting pressure on it.

As another side note, the outside of my fob was getting scratched up so I bought a cover for it on Amazon, you can search for Coolbestda Silicone 6buttons Smart Key Fob Remote. You get two of them for $11.00


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Yep, most Honda key fob battery replacement (and Toyota Prius' as well) work in the same way. the door key is the wedge to open the fob. I replace the batteries in both fobs at the same time. As you stated, you can buy two to a pack. Its cheap insurance. I have not checked, but if the fob works like Toyota's then you can still start the car by touching a dead key fob to the start button.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have not checked, but if the fob works like Toyota's then you can still start the car by touching a dead key fob to the start button.
Yes you can. Although I tried it and there is a quirk that is not mentioned in the instructions, which is that it doesn't work until the car has completed its 30 second "welcome" phase. When you first get in the car, even without the key fob, the power button starts to pulse in white color. It doesn't blink, it's more of an undulation. Then on the dash the Honda logo comes up for a few seconds then turns off, but the power button continues to undulate for another twenty seconds or so then turns off.

I removed the battery from my remote to simulate a dead key fob. During the entire 30 second welcome phase I tried holding the remote up to the start button but it did nothing. I had to wait the entire 30 seconds for the power button to stop pulsating and go dark. Then I could press the power button and get the message "To Start, Hold Remote Near Start Button"


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You can try this yourself by not having the fob with you and getting in the car, wait until the 30 second pulsating period is over then try pressing the power button and you should get the message.

I was able to start the car even though the fob had no battery in it, so even if the fob battery is completely dead this method will still work.

most Honda key fob battery replacement (and Toyota Prius' as well) work in the same way. the door key is the wedge to open the fob.
Clearly so, it's odd that they don't mention this in the instructions.

As you stated, you can buy two to a pack.
Actually it was the key cover that I said came in a two-pack. But yes I always buy multi-packs of batteries because it is cheaper and batteries have long shelf life. In fact I sort of overkilled on CR2032 because Costco had them on sale in a 12-pack, and more or less reflex action I bought it since 2032 is a common size. Then I got home and I thought what I am going to do with a dozen 2032 batteries? After almost a year I have only used three of them, including the two key fob batteries that I just replaced. Nine more to go, but shelf life of lithium coin cells is 8-10 years so probably I will eventually use them.

I replace the batteries in both fobs at the same time.
At first I wasn't going to because the driver 2 fob has not been used. But after reading your post I got curious and I decided to test the batteries. I have a nice battery tester made by ZTS that tests under load, unlike most battery testers that only test voltage. Some cheaper testers claim to test under load but they don't work very well.

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It's a bit pricy, I got mine on sale for $85, normally it's over a hundred dollars. Clearly you won't save money using this, but I use batteries in so many things including rechargeable batteries that it's worth it to me to know the condition of a battery that I am putting into something, and while no battery tester is perfect this one works pretty good. They have a smaller model for $50 that I bought several years ago and still have, and even though it has less capabilities it works good also, but I have to change the batteries on that one more often since it uses four AAA batteries. The larger model uses four AA batteries which last a lot longer. It's just sort of annoying when you need to test a battery but you can't because your battery tester's batteries need replacing!

Anyway the new 2032's tested at 100% as expected. The battery that I took out of my driver 1 fob tested at 20%. Interestingly the battery in the driver 2 fob also tested at 20% although I didn't get the low battery message when using that fob, so probably the driver 1 fob was just a bit lower and that triggered the message.

The question is why would driver 2 fob drop so much when not used. Probably parasitic loss since it was installed in the fob. But still it's surprising that it would wear out nearly as fast as a battery that is in a fob that is used every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
$93.30 currently on Amazon. I find that the cost-benefit doesn't pencil out for me right now. Nifty device, though.
Like I said there is no real cost benefit. What I actually said was you won't save any money using it, that was a simplified statement meant to convey that whatever cost savings it may produce will be negligible compared to the price of the tester. But that's not why I bought it, as I mentioned for me it's a matter of convenience to help me keep things powered up by knowing the condition of the batteries that I am putting into things. I obviously don't need it when I am using a fresh battery out of the package, but there are plenty of times when a battery condition is not known especially with the rechargeables. Or a device that I think might be low on power but I'm not sure. I have tried many battery testers over the years but these are the first ones that I found to be actually useful most of the time.

People spend even more money than that on things like decorative accessories for their car, fancy wheels, etc. Of course some upgraded wheels can provide better handling, but I'm pretty sure that only a small percentage of people who purchase fancy wheels even notice any difference in handling. In fact I can't remember the last time I heard someone comment on the improved handling of their car after they upgraded the wheels. I'm pretty sure for most people it's mainly about aesthetics. And certainly pinstripes or other decorations have no actual function.

But I think that's great that people do that to their cars, if it helps someone enjoy their car more then it's worth it. Many things that I buy aren't exactly necessary. But if something is useful I am much less hesitant to buy it, even knowing that most people will consider it overpriced for what it does and wouldn't buy one themselves. But I just think well that's coming out of my fancy wheels fund, i.e. the money that I didn't spend on fancy wheels for my car LOL.
 

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Like I said there is no real cost benefit. What I actually said was you won't save any money using it, that was a simplified statement meant to convey that whatever cost savings it may produce will be negligible compared to the price of the tester. But that's not why I bought it, as I mentioned for me it's a matter of convenience to help me keep things powered up by knowing the condition of the batteries that I am putting into things. I obviously don't need it when I am using a fresh battery out of the package, but there are plenty of times when a battery condition is not known especially with the rechargeables. Or a device that I think might be low on power but I'm not sure. I have tried many battery testers over the years but these are the first ones that I found to be actually useful most of the time.

People spend even more money than that on things like decorative accessories for their car, fancy wheels, etc. Of course some upgraded wheels can provide better handling, but I'm pretty sure that only a small percentage of people who purchase fancy wheels even notice any difference in handling. In fact I can't remember the last time I heard someone comment on the improved handling of their car after they upgraded the wheels. I'm pretty sure for most people it's mainly about aesthetics. And certainly pinstripes or other decorations have no actual function.

But I think that's great that people do that to their cars, if it helps someone enjoy their car more then it's worth it. Many things that I buy aren't exactly necessary. But if something is useful I am much less hesitant to buy it, even knowing that most people will consider it overpriced for what it does and wouldn't buy one themselves. But I just think well that's coming out of my fancy wheels fund, i.e. the money that I didn't spend on fancy wheels for my car LOL.
Agreed. I just had my '21 Bolt Premier detailed and doubly ceramic coated. Very expensive ($1k+), some actual intrinsic value, and [email protected], it does look absolutely amazing. I did it for the wife, after she saw the after-market paint protectant on my Clarity. Her Bolt hadn't even been waxed yet.

The battery tester is in my Amazon "save for later" cart. (I suspect I'll get it for xmas.)
 
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