Two fobs came with the car. My wife and i had traded fobs every few months since she is the primary driver, but had not done so since at least last December, and i noticed this week that my fob would not open or close the doors or trunk. It does work to start and operate the car. She has now driven with the dead fob for two days and it still will not function as a remote.
There have been several posts about fobs, but they are ambiguous about these questions:
a) Will a dead fob battery cause the device to lose its programming?
b) Isn't the fob supposed to recharge with an hour or two of use while driving?
c) Is there any way for me to open the fob and replace the dead fob battery?
d) If so, how? (The Bentley repair guide is silent about this little beast)
e) If not, are my only choices to 1) use it manually, or 2) pay Mini of Annapolis a hefty sum to replace / repair it (while inventing new curses for BMW engineers who can never be satisfied with a cheap solution for ANYTHING)?
This Mini was probably built in late January or early February 2005 (VIN WMWRE33475TD98709). Below is an image of the key fob. Is it one with a replaceable battery? Mini of Annapolis claims it can only be replaced for $200+ and not repaired.
If so, please give some tips for disassembly to avoid damage to the plastic shell and contents.
a) Is a special tool needed or will a set of jewelers' screwdrivers or some other tool (please specify) work?
b) Must one pop off one or more buttons first to see and remove screws underneath or are the two halves just press-fit together? If so, which buttons: trunk? lock? unlock?
c) If press-fit, where should one apply pressure to the plastic shell halves to pop them apart: top, bottom, left, or where the metal key shaft emerges?
d) Is it correct to assume that the battery is a common silver oxide watch / computer BIOS battery, or must I buy it from a Mini dealer?
Thank you again in advance for further details and help.
I will put my tools away and try the reinitialization procedure this weekend, when both keys are available and time permits. You have probably saved me a morning-long trip to Annapolis and a couple of Franklins.
But you have to reinitialize all your keys/fobs in one session.
Apparently, the "secret handshake" code sent to the remote when you initialize it is stored in a volatile memory, and if the key/fob is unused for a while, draining its internal battery, then that code is lost (just a guess, but based on many years of hanging around electronic gizmos).
The whole procedure took about five minutes, but i had to do it over again. The first time my reinitialized key/fob worked, but the one that had been working failed. The second time i reinitialized both keys/fobs and then both remotes locked and unlocked the car.
My '05 mini s convertible key fob - 2 weeks ago i noticed i had to push unlock button sometimes more than once for it to work. then it quit locking or unlocking completely. tried the reinitializing, but when i do this, the doors never lock in response to successful RI. the fob then might lock the car once or twice, but then quits, and it will never unlock doors. I noticed once that the rear lights flashed when trying to unlock. is the fob just dead and i need to get a new one?
If you have recharged all fobs--using each one to drive the car for an hour or two _before_ reinitializing--and then one fails, the rechargeable battery on the failing fob might have gone bad and need replacement. (Please don't shoot the messenger. )