Most automobile manufacturers have switched to keyless remotes, and keyless entry systems are so convenient that they are used in other applications, including residential and commercial security. Most keyless remotes use a single lithium-ion battery cell. Those battery cells typically last three to five years in a keyless remote. When it comes time to replace the cell, a few tips can make the process easier and more productive.
Tip 1 — Check Dealer, Warranty, and Insurance for Battery Coverage
Many auto dealers provide free or inexpensive keyless remote battery replacement to customers who purchased their vehicle at the dealership. Some warranties include this service as well, particularly warranties included with vehicle leases. Likewise, some insurance policies include this service as a perk, and AAA and similar plans often provide it. In fact, drivers with deluxe roadside assistance can often call and have a company deliver the replacement cell directly to them wherever they are. That service is particularly convenient for people who are locked out of their vehicle due to keyless remote battery failure.
Tip 2 — Identify the Battery Number and Open Mechanism
If coverage is not available, then most consumers will want to replace the battery themselves. The first step is to determine how the key fob opens. The easier fobs to open have a circular cover on the back that can be twisted free with a coin or similar object. The more difficult fobs are elaborate and require a disconnection of the key shaft so that it can be used to slip into the cover’s lock mechanism, which will free it.
Every battery has a unique code. That code usually starts with a two-letter prefix, such as CR. A common lithium-ion cell used in keyless remotes is CR2025, which is a 3-volt battery. Cell batteries are not interchangeable. A fob that requires CR2025 cannot use anything else. However, brand is irrelevant. A keyless remote that uses CR2025 can use a cell by Energizer, Panasonic, Sony, or other makers. The battery ID is usually listed on the battery cover or in the battery pocket. If not, it will be necessary to call the dealer or research for the information online.
Tip 3 — Purchase the Exact Battery Model
Cell batteries, which are usually coin-shaped, are often similarly sized. Therefore, 3V cell batteries can often fit in a fob even though they are not the exact battery required. Avoid doing this, and never use a battery if the ID is unknown. If the draw is too low, then the keyless remote will work unreliably or not at all. If the draw is too high, then it can lead to leakage, which will damage the remote. The notion of extending battery life with a more powerful battery is not sound and will not work as expected.
Tip 4 — Buy Batteries in Bulk or Consider Rechargeables
Coin and button cells usually have a large premium for a single battery and are typically available at a much cheaper rate if purchased in a multi-pack or bulk lot. Many devices use these cell batteries today, so having a pack in the home makes sense. Even if buying a pack for a single keyless remote, those batteries will last with minimal loss of energy if stored properly. Another option is rechargeable lithium cells, which will often last the life of the product.
Storing lithium-ion cells properly is not difficult. Refrigeration will not extend battery life, and storage that is cool, dark, and dry is ideal. Use a chocolate bar as a point of reference. If the storage location is a good place to store a candy bar, then it is also a good place to store a lithium-ion cell battery.
Tip 5 — Consider Replacing the Key Fob
Consumers who have a key fob that's difficult to open or is going through batteries at a fast rate may want to consider replacing the fob. Although vehicle manufacturers provide branded keyless remotes, those remotes are not proprietary. Inexpensive replacement key fobs can be purchased and programmed to work with the car. An added benefit is they can be reprogrammed when the consumer upgrades to a new vehicle. Being able to choose the fob lets the consumer target one that is user-friendly and cost-efficient in terms of battery usage.
Finding Keyless Remote Batteries on eBay
eBay provides a wide selection of batteries for many different purposes. Most of them are listed in the Single Use Batteries section of the Multipurpose Batteries & Power category. Consumers seeking rechargeable cells for their keyless remote should look in the Rechargeable Batteries section. Both kinds of batteries are available in singles, multi-packs, and bulk lots. Many of the batteries available on eBay are shipped free by the seller, and all of them are fully backed by eBay Buyer Protection.