PDA

View Full Version : Key Fob Range Problem (yes, I changed the battery - twice!)



Skeenka
06-04-2013, 03:41 PM
So about a month ago, I thought that the battery in my key fob had gone bad because the range of where I could lock/unlock decreased dramatically. I changed out the battery, and it didn't improve. So a week goes by and I get more batteries. Same thing. I'm now having to lock/unlock my car with the fob right next to the drivers-side side mirror. My thought that it isn't the fob but maybe the sensor? Anyone else have this issue?

My dealership is an hour away, so before I take a day off from work to hang out at the dealership, I thought I'd try here.

2012 Fiat 500 Sport

Thanks!

Robert Nixon
06-04-2013, 04:11 PM
Same problem with both key fobs?

This probably doesn't apply, but I had fob issues with a Toyota last week, and the dealer was able to test the fob battery strength to at least narrow it down. In our case we needed both a new fob batter and a new car battery, so having them check the sensor or fob battery sounds like the place to start.

MrFiat
06-04-2013, 04:53 PM
So about a month ago, I thought that the battery in my key fob had gone bad because the range of where I could lock/unlock decreased dramatically. I changed out the battery, and it didn't improve. So a week goes by and I get more batteries. Same thing. I'm now having to lock/unlock my car with the fob right next to the drivers-side side mirror. My thought that it isn't the fob but maybe the sensor? Anyone else have this issue?

My dealership is an hour away, so before I take a day off from work to hang out at the dealership, I thought I'd try here.

2012 Fiat 500 Sport

Thanks!

I had the same issue with my 2012 sport. One key worked fine and still does. The other went through a battery within a few weeks. Replaced the battery on the bad unit and it worked fine for about a month, then same problem. Dealer in Syracuse checked it out and found the unit was drawing too much current from the battery. Unit was replaced under warrantee. Going on two years now and No more problems.

MrFiat
06-04-2013, 04:56 PM
Oh yes, almost forgot. When you bring in the key for replacement, bring them both as they need to reprogram both fobs at the same time.

sfhpawel
06-05-2013, 12:53 PM
I have had a couple times where I forgot to lock my 500Turbo, and had to walk back almost 10-15ft for it to beep -_-
it could be interference somewhere....maybe your phone lol. it has not happened enough times to become a concern..

Skeenka
06-05-2013, 01:55 PM
I have had a couple times where I forgot to lock my 500Turbo, and had to walk back almost 10-15ft for it to beep -_-
it could be interference somewhere....maybe your phone lol. it has not happened enough times to become a concern..

Interesting thought...but I'd LOVE 10-15 feet! Right now it is less than 1 foot. :( I don't know what wave length the fob is on, but would the bluetooth interfere? I always have my phone on me.

Unfortuately it looks like a trip to the dealership.

Skeenka
06-05-2013, 01:57 PM
Same problem with both key fobs?

This probably doesn't apply, but I had fob issues with a Toyota last week, and the dealer was able to test the fob battery strength to at least narrow it down. In our case we needed both a new fob batter and a new car battery, so having them check the sensor or fob battery sounds like the place to start.

I put a new battery in my 'spare' fob and that is DOA. So I need to get that replaced at least.

Skeenka
06-07-2013, 10:35 AM
A funny side note -- if I put the fob under my chin or next to my head and press, I gain about 6-8 feet of range! Short term solution -- yes, I look like I'm into self-destruction while doing it -- so I still want to get this fixed!

GetsThruBuckner
08-14-2013, 10:46 PM
Have you found a solution to this issue yet? I'm having similar problems, with about 15-20' range. Many inconsistencies though.

Tweak
08-14-2013, 11:39 PM
Have you found a solution to this issue yet? I'm having similar problems, with about 15-20' range. Many inconsistencies though.

A friend that has an Abarth and I discussed this not long ago...his works a bit further than mine, his wife has a Gucci and it barely worked at all so they returned her fobs and got new ones, if it is bad enough maybe your dealer will do the same for you? Mine work for short range but occasionally it does work at longer distances, somehow it only occurs when I don't need or want it to though and when I wish it would it never does the range required. :(

GetsThruBuckner
08-14-2013, 11:53 PM
Mine work for short range but occasionally it does work at longer distances, somehow it only occurs when I don't need or want it to though and when I wish it would it never does the range required. :(
Exactly! It seems like whatever distance I need, it only works closer than that. Randomly it will work from much further. I've become accustomed to clicking the fob right after I get out. Occasionally forgetting if I did it or not, having to walk back a good distance to be sure. Did the replacement resolve the issue?

Tweak
08-15-2013, 12:31 AM
Exactly! It seems like whatever distance I need, it only works closer than that. Randomly it will work from much further. I've become accustomed to clicking the fob right after I get out. Occasionally forgetting if I did it or not, having to walk back a good distance to be sure. Did the replacement resolve the issue?

HA! I often do the same. As for her Gucci, yes, the replacement fobs worked and hers does great now.

I find it weird the 99 GM vehicle remote works from across the street or parking lot but the 13 Abarth requires being around 10 feet or less. :(

GetsThruBuckner
08-15-2013, 07:39 PM
As for her Gucci, yes, the replacement fobs worked and hers does great now.

Awesome, hopefully they actually consider my issue a real "problem" and it doesn't turn out to be "normal". With my luck i'll go in to show them and it will work from 100 yards magically, and i'll be left like :dunno:


I find it weird the 99 GM vehicle remote works from across the street or parking lot but the 13 Abarth requires being around 10 feet or less. :(

Yeah, right? My wifes SUV is a 2008 witch obviously not that old but still, I have used her panic button to find the car in JFK's long-term parking lot! In a SEA of cars. Seems like my 2012 should at least be equal.

Tweak
08-15-2013, 09:54 PM
Awesome, hopefully they actually consider my issue a real "problem" and it doesn't turn out to be "normal". With my luck i'll go in to show them and it will work from 100 yards magically, and i'll be left like :dunno:



Yeah, right? My wifes SUV is a 2008 witch obviously not that old but still, I have used her panic button to find the car in JFK's long-term parking lot! In a SEA of cars. Seems like my 2012 should at least be equal.

Good luck, hope they work with you. I am always shocked at how well a fob for a 99 GM can work from so very far away for sure, if I could get about half that range from the FIAT fob I'd be happier.

FiatCares
08-16-2013, 11:53 AM
Awesome, hopefully they actually consider my issue a real "problem" and it doesn't turn out to be "normal". With my luck i'll go in to show them and it will work from 100 yards magically, and i'll be left like :dunno:



Yeah, right? My wifes SUV is a 2008 witch obviously not that old but still, I have used her panic button to find the car in JFK's long-term parking lot! In a SEA of cars. Seems like my 2012 should at least be equal.

GTB:

Let me know if I can be of any assistance.... by the way, I have tried using the key fob near my mouth... the fillings (in your teeth) can act as an amplified for the signal and it does increase the distance.. kinda funny but it works.. :)

enginethatcould
08-16-2013, 12:05 PM
The range on my fob is awful, too. It's not that big of a deal, though. Oddly, I've noticed (and maybe a little self-confirmation bias) that 'unlocking' has a shorter range (<15') than 'locking' (<25') with mine.

GetsThruBuckner
09-03-2013, 07:52 PM
GTB:

Let me know if I can be of any assistance.... by the way, I have tried using the key fob near my mouth... the fillings (in your teeth) can act as an amplified for the signal and it does increase the distance.. kinda funny but it works.. :)

Thanks, I'm bringing it next week. I'll post here with the answer i'm given.

Fiat500USA
09-04-2013, 03:33 PM
My Prima worked farther away than my Abarth. I have the same issue with my Audi, though I think there is an antenna that can be moved. My Audi dealer wouldn't fix it because it still worked within a certain range. I may look to see if the Abarth has one.

cmj912
09-04-2013, 08:33 PM
I thought I was the only one that did that...put it up to my lower jaw and all of the sudden it works when it isn't even pointed at the car.

Indie500L
09-04-2013, 09:58 PM
First I have to say too many people POINT the remote - it doesn't shoot an infrared beam like a TV remote - it probably radiates sideways and not out the end of the key so holding it up over your head may actually increase its range. Second is that the typical lithium cell inside the remotes are easily damaged by excessive heat so keep your key out of the sun, off of radiators etc. Often the button you are pressing gets dirty or worn and makes poor contact. It's a good idea not to get them wet of course and to have a spare to test with if one starts giving you trouble. Somewhere in the car is the antenna that picks up the signal usually under the dash so if you have anything covering the dash it may interfere with the signal. And they can go bad so sometimes a trip to the dealer is required and you can lock and unlock with the key as a last resort.

Macchina Divertente
09-12-2013, 05:04 PM
Let's face it. New batteries or not, the Fiat key fob remote signals are weak compared to other cars.
The remotes for my Wife's 500 POP have such a short range, you may as well manually unlock the door. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit, it's perhaps 8 feet from the car that they work.

It doesn't matter how I point it.
Even pressing the button while balancing on one leg, facing north while laying it against the steel plate in my head all the while singing The Chant of the Italians doesn't work.

With other cars such her previous '08 Saturn VUE, the remote worked from 50-75 feet away. Walk into the store and can't remember if you locked the car? Point it out the door and hear the horn honk.
With the 500 I've had to walk back out eventually ending up back at car before it responds.

turbocharged
06-01-2014, 04:20 PM
So I made an interesting discovery. When you have the key part out like ready to go into the ignition the range is greatly approved. I think the key being extended works like an antenna. Give it a shot!